Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hillsborough and the Sun

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy and the most vulgar moment in the Sun's (in)glorious history.

If you bought the Sun today with the sole purpose of giving your right hand some inspiration, then you may want -just this once- to trade it with the Daily Star. Here's why.

This morning the Sun asked the whole nation to remember the 96 victims of Hillsborough on the 20th anniversary of the doomed FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

What the best-selling red top doesn't mention, however, is that Britain's worst football-related memory also coincided with the paper's most vulgar moment - and that's after considering the industrial amounts of trash the country's favourite tabloid cooks up every day.

You may already be aware that the Sun don't shy away from milking a story or even making one up altogether. It's happened plenty of times. Anything to make some extra cash, and who gives a flying one if lives are destroyed or reputations mangled.

But that the Sun could do that on the back of the worst tragedy in contemporary British history was a shock for everybody, including the most cynical amongst ourselves. In case you were too young to remember, editor-in-chief Kelvin MacKenzie masterminded a front page headline "THE TRUTH", along with claims that that some Scouse fans picked the pockets of crushed victims and urinated on members of the rescue services as they tried to help.

Within days it became clear that the 'outrageous' story had been totally fabricated. The police said it was bull and so did the thousands of witnesses. Harry Arnold, the reporter who wrote the story, later made it clear that Kelvin Mackenzie was fully aware that the Sun's allegations were impossible to substantiate.

Still, as recently as two years ago, on the BBC's Question Time, MacKenzie (still at the Sun) said, "I was not sorry then and I'm not sorry now" for the paper's coverage. What an arse.

The hundreds of newsagents in Liverpool who are still refusing to stock the Sun haven't forgotten.


Proud Scouse said...

It took The SCUM -15 YEARS- to utter an apology to the city of Liverpool.
They called it 'an awful error' whereas it was some deliberate editorial ploy to cash in on a terrible tragedy.

I'm old enough to remember the press watchdog accusing the SCUM of being "insensitive, provocative and unwarranted". To this day I believe they were being too kind.

Hillsborough Memorial said...

Most LFC supporters up and down the country are not aware of what the Scum wrote.

None of it was true. There was no hooliganism. People were vomiting and behaving strangely because they had been crushed and traumatised. Others died because senior police officers failed to understand that the fans inside the pen were fighting for their lives, not trying to 'invade' the pitch.

'THE TRUTH' was the opposite. Like much in MacKenzie's Sun, it was clearly intended to pander to prejudice.


socialist sam said...

Good to see some people haven't forgotten.

I was 18 at the time. My dad is a staunch Liverpool supporter. I must say what the Sun wrote back then played no small part in what are my current opinions of the 'SCUM', as Proud Scouse rightly calls it.