Tuesday, November 16, 2004

What the papers said

In defence of The Sun

The BBC had a woman from The Daily Express reviewing the papers on Saturday. She pointed out that the 'blood for oil' remarks of relatives of a soldier of the Black Watch (the British troops deployed to support the US operation in Falluja) was reported by 'almost all' of the papers. The Sun, however, chose not to mention the family's dissent.

The reasons why The Sun is pro-American and therefore pro-war are fairly well-known, but there is something rather distasteful about this turning on the odd man out. Right or Left, we might got be able to agree about Europe or how to treat gypsies, but at least we can all agree to hate America. To use the reviewers own expression, it's sad really.

Calling it 'dissent'  is rather curious when one considers the line-up of the London papers (the *** s indicate big gaps in my knowledge, since I rarely look inside them) :

Independent :             98% anti-war (exception Johann Hari)
Guardian/Observer :    95% anti-war (exception David Aaronovitch)
Mirror :                      98% anti-war (occasional piece by Christopher Hitchens)
Express :                     ***   anti-war
Mail                            95% anti-war (exception Melanie Phillips)
FT                              balanced, but increasingly anti-war
Times                          balanced
Sun                             *** pro-war

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