27 years since Liverpool banned The Sun for blaming football fans for their own demise in the Hillsborough disaster, the paper is in hot water again. This time, for an absurd front page which appears to link Arsenal Football Club to the London attacks.
The front page
The London attacks of 3 June killed seven people and injured many more. Three men in a van ploughed into pedestrians on London Bridge, before leaving the van at Borough Market to stab people at random. This was how The Sun chose to lead on the tragedy with its front page:
The front page of The Sun.
— Arsenal TSN (@ArsenalTSN) June 5, 2017
As Arsenal is a London club, The Sun‘s bizarre editorial decision left Londoners and Arsenal outraged.
Al have you seen the Sun's headline?? Shocking. Trying to link Terrorists with Corbyn via Arsenal. Disgraceful
— Ljungberg's Y fronts (@louisbrowneIOW) June 5, 2017
Mr Corbyn @jeremycorbyn Arsenal fans would ask that you help to get the Sun newspaper banned from Emirates after that disgusting headline
— ⚽⚾??? (@bajankris) June 5, 2017
In the Sun offices the dots of London Bridge murderer, Bin Laden, Corbyn and The Arsenal are being joined together with a crayola…
— Markey P (@Markey_P) June 5, 2017
Some speculated the decision was an extremely tenuous attack on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is known to be a keen Arsenal supporter.
What the fuck does this mean, Corbyn is an Arsenal supporter. Surely the Sun ain't that perversely sick??? Come to think of it they are. https://t.co/Qmwtg2asz5
— Mark Flack (@mflack66) June 5, 2017
The Sun & Daily Mail's Arsenal related headlines about the terrorists has nothing to do with fact that Corbyn is a Gooner. Definitely not…
— Ben Rogerson (@bjrogerson) June 5, 2017
The tip of the iceberg
The Sun is just weeks from its last controversy.
Manchester called for a city-wide boycott of The Sun over its reaction to the recent concert bombing. On 22 May, 22 people were killed and 59 injured in the bombing of Manchester Arena. The Sun later ran a front page which placed an image of the youngest identified victim of the attack (8-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos) next to her killer. The move provoked strong criticism from Manchester and beyond.
WEDNESDAY'S SUN FRONT PAGE: with depressing inevitability, The Sun is the only newspaper to give the killer front page coverage. Not needed. pic.twitter.com/52pkwxMgDy
— The Sun Apologies (@SunApology) May 23, 2017
Nearly 80,000 people signed the petition calling on Mayor Andy Burnham for a Manchester-wide boycott of The Sun. But Change.org removed the petition following a complaint from the Murdoch-owned paper.
Enough is enough
Once again, The Sun has poorly misjudged a response to a major tragedy on UK soil. Where readers needed solace, they found only more incitement.
But Manchester and Liverpool show there is something each of us can do to help. We can ensure we don’t reward irresponsible hackery with our attention, or our money.
– Issue a complaint to press regulator IPSO over The Sun’s reaction.
– Take action with Stop Funding Hate.
– Read and support independent media outlets that hold the powerful to account:
The Canary, Media Diversified, Novara Media, Corporate Watch, Red Pepper, New Internationalist, Common Space, Media Lens, Bella Caledonia, Vox Political, Evolve Politics, Real Media, Reel News, STRIKE! magazine,The Bristol Cable, The Meteor, Salford Star, The Ferret.
Featured image via Flickr Creative Commons