Tag Archives: The Sun

Let’s Talk About . . . Freedom of Speech

3 Dec

When I was about aged nine, each Tuesday, I would kiss my parents goodnight, climb under the covers of my bed, and take out the transistor radio secreted in my bedside cabinet. With the earphone in my left ear (in those days, we were satisfied with just the one), I waited patiently for my clock to chime midnight for that heralded the beginning of my favourite radio series—a locally produced lecture series called “Let’s Talk About . . .” There would be a few seconds of theme tune and then the voice of Dr. Langley Crispier, whom I imagined was most certainly greying at the temples in that most distinguished way many scholars do, would say “Let’s Talk About” followed by the most deliciously exciting pause before announcing the topic of that week’s episode. There was no way of knowing in advance what would be discussed. What made the anticipation so palpable was the fact that, after those few seconds of silence, that man could have said anything.

Except, of course, he couldn’t have said anything. He couldn’t have said “Let’s Talk About Barack Obama’s Presidency,” because this was long before Obama even dreamt of such a thing. He couldn’t have said “Let’s Talk About Emetophilia,” because that would have been too disgusting to hear about at that late hour. He couldn’t have said “Let’s Talk the Bomb That Will Be Hitting Our Town in Three Minutes,” because that would have caused total panic. He couldn’t have said “Let’s Talk About the Policy of Adding Poison to the Food Served at Tim’s Cafe,” because that would have been slanderous (and anyway Tim’s Cafe was a major sponsor of the show and the food there was delectable). Despite America’s laws protecting free speech, Dr. Crispier was not totally free to choose the topic for that night’s speech.

This why I feel compelled to punch in the face those who defend the obnoxious shite that is spewed by the likes of Jeremy Clarkson, David Irving and Ann Coulter with the phrase “Well, it’s a free country and we have free speech.” I don’t stoop to violence, of course, but goodness me, I sometimes want to.

The first problem involves the word free, which can mean “without cost.” Do you think Jeremy Clarkson would be willing to post a rebuttal here for free? I’ve a feeling I’d have to provide him with a rather large cheque for the privilege of publishing his “free” speech. But cost does not always refer to dollar signs. Ask a parent whose gay son committed suicide because of bullying or a worker whose rights are abused because his employer is non-union. The old chestnut “You can’t yell Fire! in a movie house” is true because people could get hurt. Words that perpetuate ignorance and hate may be without cost to Jeremy Clarkson, but someone is paying the price for them everyday.

Ultimately this is what is most important about free speech. Freedom works best when it’s coupled with responsibility. The greatest gift that language offers us is its ability to change the world. I so admire those who use that gift wisely.

I am not arguing for changing laws protecting free speech. But with freedom comes responsibility. If an injured fox were lying in my driveway, I technically have the freedom to run over it with my motorcar. Despite this freedom, I would not because it would be cruel, stupid and messy. It would not be the right thing to do.

But Jeremy Clarkson would run over the fox. And then the BBC would pay him thousands of pounds to talk about it on a television show. And if people were offended, the Sun newspaper would accuse them of wanting censorship.

And that makes me want to vomit (and not in a sexy way).

What Rebekah Brooks Knows

8 Jul

Not too many people in the mood for bigging up ol’ Rebekah Brooks today, were there? A  staff member said, “For the sake of one person, 500 people at the News of the World have been sacrificed”; Nick Clegg has called for her to go; David Cameron claimed he would have taken her resignation and I confess I’ve never been too keen on her face since the whole Ross Kemp incident. Basically, she’s pretty much top of everybody’s shit list.

Except there’s one man who just can’t quit her. It’s the lovely Mister Murdoch. Why hasn’t he sacrificed her as many assumed he would and believe he should?

Today Rebekah Brooks reportedly told those News of the World staffers who could bear to listen:

I am a working journalist who has worked here since I was 19 years old. You are trying to say to me that because an allegation came in that we do not know if it is true, you think I should resign? If you think this is a bundle of laughs trying to fight and get this company’s reputation back, it isn’t.
We have more visibility perhaps with what we can see coming than you guys. I am tied by the criminal investigation but I think in a year’s time, every single one of you in this room might come up and say “I see what she saw now.”

Hmmm. . . is this just a typical journalist’s teaser to get us to tune in later? No. I’m afraid it’s the truth. She’s seen a few things; she indeed knows things that we do not know.

So what’s she on about? You may think that she’s just hinting at the fact that closing the News of the World was simply a gesture, and that it will be back to Sunday business as usual shortly (just with The Sun at the top of the page instead). Some speculate the real pay off of closing the newspaper will come when the BSkyB bid goes through.

The truth is Murdoch won’t axe her because she is privy to some sensational information about the man. Exactly what that sensational information is is what everyone wants to know. I’m afraid it’s far worse than anyone imagines. Here is just a taster of the things that I can’t tell you about Rupert Murdoch, his dastardly deeds and his wicked, wicked ways:

  • The first restraining order in Melbourne’s history was taken out against a young Rupert Murdoch by a neighbour who claimed she didn’t like the way the boy was looking at her dog (if you know what she means).
  • Rupert Murdoch suffers from automatonophobia.
  • Remember how we were all fine with there being nine planets in our solar system? Well, Rupert Murdoch wasn’t. Now all of a sudden, Pluto doesn’t count. You do the math.
  • Rupert Murdoch doesn’t know how to read.
  • Rupert Murdoch has never taken a one-stroke penalty when his ball is in an unplayable lie.
  • Murdoch started the rumour that centrifugal force is “fictitious” and today that’s what we teach our children.
  • Have you ever seen Rupert Murdoch and DB Cooper in the same room? Think about it.

So Rebekah does indeed have a few things on the man.  However, despite her red hair, she seems to have forgotten the Golden Rule of Evil: you deal with the devil, you’re going to get burned. The truth is that Rupert Murdoch is more powerful than any of us realise. It won’t be long until Rebekah Brooks, too, gets what’s coming.

Immediately Confine All Pigeons and Wayne Rooney for Further Study

22 Feb

I continually find it astounding that people criticize the Sun for not being a worthy newspaper.

Evidence to the contrary: today’s article about Lord Rees, astronomer to the Queen, and his interesting comments about alien life.

Never mind that there is no context for his comments. It’s not our place to concern ourselves with that. The fact that it’s likely he made these comments at a conference of The Royal Society almost a month ago is also neither here nor there. Timeliness is hardly a key issue when it comes to reporting the news. Yes, other news outlets may have covered the conference in appropriate detail at the time, but my friends, it was only the Sun who invested almost an entire month in researching the facts and interpreting them in a way that is relevant to our lives. I say we should be thanking God for that newspaper, not criticizing it.

For if people wanted to really understand the mysteries of the universe, they would have become scientists themselves. Clearly, the Sun knows the only fact we really need is that pigeons and/or Wayne Rooney may be aliens living among us. Now that we have that fact (a fact that no other newspaper dare touch let alone illustrate with photographic evidence), we are much better able to live our lives accordingly.

Informing us about current events and provoking cultural debate are what good newspapers should do, and I’m not sure anyone does it better than the Sun. And if we are ever in an any doubt about what to make of the news this esteemed organ contains, we need only turn to Page 3 where a pair of tits will make it all crystal clear for us.

Thank you, Rupert Murdoch, Dominic Mohan, and Poppy, 18, from Somerset. Without you, I may have never known the truth.


UPDATE: Poppy makes another appearance, giving her philosophical analysis of the 2010 election and how our very basis of freedom is rooted in tits.