More from PCC chairman Baroness Peta Buscombe (last night’s speech in full here / report here) on this morning’s Radio 4 Today Programme. She argued that a free press plays an important role in scrutinising government policies, but would not be drawn on the Sun’s use of the Jacqui Janes / Gordon Brown tape.
A fantastic spot from Michael Acton Smith after the Sun’s criticism of PM Gordon Brown this week for misspelling the name of killed Guardsman Jamie Janes in a letter to his mother, which included the paper publishing a transcript of a phonecall between Brown and Jacqui Janes.
(Hat tip to @joe on Twitter for sharing the link)
Update: There are suggestions on a Guardian story that the Sun moderators haven’t been putting through comments that are critical of the Sun’s position …
The Sun is running a campaign against Gordon Brown. But I’ve analysed the comments on its website – and readers disagree with its stance by a ratio of more than 3 to 2.
The paper has exploited the grief of Jacqui Janes over her son Jamie’s death in Afghanistan to attack the PM – because his handwritten letter of condolence was supposedly disrespectful due to sloppy writing and (disputed) spelling errors.
It’s loathsome journalism that ignores the effect of his disability (the PM is blind in one eye).
And it seems Sun readers are mostly on the Prime Minister’s side.
Of the 100+ comments on the story (don’t worry, I’ve nofollowed those links) when I checked, 111 expressed a view for or against Jacqui Janes or Gordon Brown (the rest commented on other issues or corrected people’s spelling errors). Of these:
- 42 were anti Gordon or pro the Sun’s stance.
- 69 were pro Gordon or anti the Sun’s stance.
So that’s more than 60 per cent who don’t agree with the Sun, and less than 40 per cent who do.
Sample comments from those who agree with the Sun’s stance:
Some comments from those opposing it:
The Sun is channeling this woman’s grief into a personal attack on the Prime Minister.
It’s refusing to make allowances for his disability (maybe we could next attack the war wounded for being workshy benefit scroungers?).
And it’s facilitating her breaking data protection laws by releasing a recording of a private phone call.
The whole thing is sickening – let’s hope that observing its readers’ reactions will lead to an end to this (not that this happened in the Jan Moir case) – and preferably prosecution of the Sun over the data protection offence.