Archive for the ‘Page 3 – News in Briefs’ Category

Posted by Tim Ireland at 19 July 2017

Category: Page 3 - News in Briefs, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

Long-time readers of this blog will be familiar with my regular articles back in the day about the 2003 reinvention of Page 3 as a ‘political platform’ under that famously law-abiding editor, Rebekah Wade/Brooks.

Well, recently, I decided to finally go through my faded and dusty binders of tabloid wretchedness and do something useful with the hundreds of examples I’ve collected/documented over the years. The result is a new book of over 300 Page 3 ‘News in Briefs’ editorials purportedly in the name of a series of topless models, complete with the context in which they were printed.

Because some are bound to ask: yes, there are tits inside, but only very briefly (I put them on page 2 just to be awkward), so it is a very SFW book containing very little nudity and many, many examples of the alleged views of topless models on the subject of welfare, crime, the economy, health, education, the hated EU, the so-called Human Rights Act, MP’s expenses, terrorism, immigration, and more.

It’s a tidy little 100-page volume that will do you nicely on a long train ride, or over several weeks in the toilet… though you will want to be careful about laughing grimly to yourself in either situation (and I can assure you it is a grim book in places, dealing with several rum dos).

Looking at noughties Britain through the lens of The Sun’s Page 3, it is very easy to understand how we got where we are today… and you’re invited to try it for yourself as soon as your payment is processed and shipping can be arranged.

Cheers, all!

Page 3 book
Buy it now from Amazon UK or Amazon US








Posted by Tim Ireland at 1 July 2013

Category: Page 3 - News in Briefs, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

Last week Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid flagship The Sun finally brought an end to the shameful practice of using Page 3 models to sell the opinions of senior editors to readers as if they were their own.

This practice began under the since-disgraced editor Rebekah Wade – now Rebekah Brooks, soon to be inmate #5318008 if I’m any judge – but rather than let it die with her career, Dominic Mohan saw fit to let it drag on for nearly 4 more years under the pretence that it had all been a clever bit of post-modernism (i.e. before he was suddenly removed as editor for reasons that I am sure will become clearer to us as time goes by).

I am here to refuse Brooks, Mohan and other intellectual cowards the luxury of a neatly rewritten history.

‘News in Briefs’ was no joke, and my leading example from February 2004 needs no explanation. It is stark, it is real, and it is a perfect example of how sincere Rebekah Wade/Brooks was in her efforts to use topless models to push political propaganda, and how deeply she and others invested in it:

Page 3, Feb 4 2004

These further examples paint a more complex but no less compelling picture. They date from August 2004, when David Blunkett’s reign as Home Secretary was about to end in ignominy over issues surrounding his affair with Kimberly Quinn.

Blunkett was balls-deep in the kind of ‘love rat’ and corruption scandal that tabloids normally go nuts for, but in this case, the subject of the scandal was not only politically-aligned with then-editor Rebekah Wade/Brooks, but a personal friend to boot.

What usually happens in cases like this is that the damning details are played down or not explored at all. Meanwhile, the feral enthusiasms one normally expects from tabloids are diverted into undermining critics/accusers while sympathetic editorials paint the besieged ally in as positive a light as possible.

In this case, the editorials extended onto Page 3, and praised three distinct Home Office initiatives over three editions (the Friday before the scandal broke cover, and the Monday and Tuesday following):

Page 3, AUG 13 2004

Page 3, AUG 16 2004

Page 3, AUG 17 2004

She has yet to admit to any of this (or anything else, for that matter), but I remain confident that these editorials were strategically placed by then-editor Rebekah Wade/Brooks in order to better service her friend and political ally David Blunkett, and not the result of any topless model(s) spontaneously deciding that they would use the empowering platform of Page 3 to express their admiration for the work of the beleaguered Home Secretary.

That said, there is an outside chance that this was a genuine and spontaneous outpouring of emotion following the first of two resignations:

Page 3, DEC 16 2004

Those not wanting to see what happened after Blunkett’s second resignation should look away now.

‘News in Briefs’ editorials were not designed for shits and giggles, folks. They served a very real political purpose, they exploited Page 3 models way beyond any concerns about pornography*, and I’m damn proud to have campaigned against the practice for as long as I did.

*Related link: No More Page 3

See also: This video explains the situation in more detail and this video (NSFW) contains many, many examples

Page 3: Propaganda [sfw] from Tim Ireland on Vimeo.

Page 3 :: Girls + Words from Tim Ireland on Vimeo.








Posted by Tim Ireland at 17 February 2012

Category: Old Media, Page 3 - News in Briefs, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

On Tuesday 7 February, there was a moment in the Leveson Inquiry when Sun editor Dominic Mohan sought to distance himself and even the previous editor from a deeply personal and abusive attack on Clare Short, the MP who had dared to question the appropriateness of using soft pornography to shift mainstream newspapers.

The full transcript of the relevant exchange between Robert Jay Q.C. (Counsel to Inquiry) and Dominic Mohan is available here (more) if you would care to see the full exchange and the surrounding context. I have used an edited extract below in order to highlight key points:

Dominic Mohan: I think that it’s worth looking at Page 3 in a wider context, and in the Sun’s context of women’s issues that we cover. A lot of the Page 3 girls, they’re much more than models. They’ve become ambassadors for the paper… They’re good role models*.

Robert Jay Q.C.: Can I deal with a number of points which are around Page 3. One of them is before your time. Under tab 17 — this is before your time as editor — I don’t have the date, but this is a piece which is rudely critical of Clare Short, isn’t it?

Dominic Mohan: It is.

Robert Jay Q.C.: Is this appropriate language, do you think, to use, Mr Mohan?

Dominic Mohan: It’s not probably something I would run now, no.

Robert Jay Q.C.: To be fair, I’m sure this isn’t you, and we don’t have a date for it, but we have an earlier piece for which we do have a date, tab 18. This is January 2004, when you’re working for the paper but you’re not editor. I think you’d left Bizarre by then. Where were you in January 2004 within the Sun?

Dominic Mohan: I think I would have — after I left Bizarre, I became a columnist. I had a weekly opinion column in the paper.

Robert Jay Q.C.: Did you have any involvement in this piece we’re looking at?

Dominic Mohan: No. I don’t believe I did.

Robert Jay Q.C.: Is it the sort of piece which the Sun would run now, do you think?

Dominic Mohan: Possibly not in that way, no. I mean, I think there is an article in — actually, I’m not sure it’s in this piece. It was in one of the submissions from one of the women’s groups, but I ran a similar piece — sorry, I ran a piece in the run-up to the last election where — which was about Harriet Harman and Lynne Featherstone because they were claiming they wanted to ban page 3, but I didn’t use that kind of language that was used in the previous article. It wasn’t as — we weren’t on the offensive in that way.

Robert Jay Q.C.: Not as offensive, frankly.

Dominic Mohan: Possibly.

Robert Jay Q.C.: Possibly or probably when one looks at it, Mr Mohan. What do you think?

Dominic Mohan: As I say, I don’t think I would run it in that way now, although I do think — I mean, clearly “fat and jealous” is in quotes. It is a quotation from somebody.

A “quotation from somebody”, says Mohan, heavily implying that the words are not responsibility/work of The Sun and leaving it that.

Being a cynical, curious and somewhat resourceful type, I went to the trouble of looking up the 2004 item/edition that Mohan part-defends here, and it is entirely clear to me, as it should have been to him, that the “quotation from somebody” came from certain “ambassadors for the paper” whose role Mohan defends on the basis that they are “good role models”. Of course, here we assume that this is one of those rare instances where statements printed by The Sun in the name of Page 3 models are actual statements from Page 3 models, and not an invention of the editor (then Rebekah Wade/Brooks, who would have OKed the picture rendering Clare Short topless and the image comparing her to the back of a bus).

The Sun, 14 Jan 2004 - 1 of 3

Further, the editor clearly endorsed the ‘fat and ugly’ quote in that day’s editorial…

The Sun, 14 Jan 2004 - 2 of 3

… and even saw fit to run a Page 3 on the subject, just to stress the point for those one-handed readers with shorter attention spans:

The Sun, 14 Jan 2004 - 3 of 3

It’s getting to the point where Lord Justice Leveson might want to seriously consider calling past and present Page 3 girls to the inquiry, not just to answer this point, but also some serious questions about other editorials in their name.

[*The original transcript contains an obvious error, where Mohan is quoted as saying Page 3 girls are ‘role moulds’. I have corrected that here for clarity… and to avoid getting needlessly personal.]








Posted by Tim Ireland at 7 July 2011

Category: Old Media, Page 3 - News in Briefs, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

See if you can detect any hidden meaning in today’s Page 3.

From what I can see, it makes oblique reference to tonight’s 2011 Police Bravery Awards (“Hosted in partnership with The Sun”) and may or may not have some bearing on the embattled position of the former Sun and News of the World editor Rebekah Wade/Brooks. Or am I reading too much into it?








Posted by Tim Ireland at 23 May 2011

Category: Old Media, Page 3 - News in Briefs, Video

#Lolitics is a project by Chris Coltrane inviting comedians and campaigner/activists to step out of their comfort zones for a little chat about politics. Stand-ups are invited to engage with more political material, and people like me are invited to bring what they know to a stand-up audience.

It is a nurturing environment. There is cake. I’d been to an earlier event and was blown away by an entire set about Nadine Dorries from Nadia Kamil.

Encouraged by Chris, I brought these good people what I knew about Page 3. The following is an audio recording of the exchange, along with the relevant slides (old-skooled onto cardboard for this event, but pixelled in glorious web colour here for you).

If you would like to share this video with others in Twitter, please use the http://bit.ly/page-3 link (because it will send sweet, sweet link-love to the main project page, where this video will headline from today).

Page 3: Propaganda [sfw] from Tim Ireland on Vimeo.








Posted by Tim Ireland at 27 April 2010

Category: Page 3 - News in Briefs, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, Tories! Tories! Tories!

Page 3: Election 2010

It’s comforting to know that every white van man who enjoys a quiet moment with Page 3 today will be sufficiently alert to the dangers of a hung parliament and proportional representation.

The Sun exploiting young women and treating people like morons shock.

(In other news, they’re also worried about young women in porn. Positively outraged, in fact.)

If you haven’t done so yet, pop the tag #disobeymurdoch into Twitter. The alternative is submitting to this bullshit and eating out of the trough like everybody else:

Page 3 :: Girls + Words from Tim Ireland on Vimeo.

Related links:
“At the Sun, we deliberately ignored the Lib Dems,” admits David Yelland, their former editor
“It is my job to see that Cameron fucking well gets into Downing Street,” says Tom Newton Dunn, present political editor of the Sun








Posted by Tim Ireland at 13 November 2009

Category: Page 3 - News in Briefs, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

Not a lot of people know, understand or appreciate what’s been happening on Page 3 since 2003, so I made a video that explains it and includes all the evidence anyone could want that The Sun have been royally taking the piss and brainwashing their readers with boobage for well over 6 years now. Enjoy:

[MINI-UPDATE: Video now re-hosted at Vimeo. Please read this new post about YouTube’s odd priorities if you have a mo… but check out the video first.]

Page 3 :: Girls + Words from Tim Ireland on Vimeo.

Apologies that it took so long to collect and collate this evidence (in between unconscionable attacks by right-wing thugs), but I would hope this video has been well worth the wait, and is successful in showing both the individual outrage and the cumulative impact of the propaganda on Page 3.

The video is, of course, an ART and is therefore designed to speak for itself, but it will also be playing part of a wider campaign to address this issue, just in time for 40th anniversary of the reinvention of The Sun, and the introduction of Page 3.

[A Page 3 girl first appeared on Nov 17, 1969. A Page 3 girl first appeared topless on that tabloid’s first ‘birthday'(Nov 17, 1970) wearing her…. hold on to your sides… birthday suit. They got away with that, so repeated the stunt the next year with a run of four topless models over four days (Nov 17-20, 1971), but it wasn’t until later (1972-1973) that almost every Page 3 girl was topless. The Sun probably celebrate their Page 3 anniversary a year after their main anniversary so they get two hits from each major milestone, but in truth Page 3 has been with us since Nov 17, 1969. Pardon my pedantry.]

What follows is a draft of a long-overdue A4 insert for the media watch site The Sun: Tabloid Lies. It is designed to be left inside copies of The Sun, and its call to action is the core of the campaign that starts here:

FREE TITS

Since 2003, the Page 3 feature in The Sun has carried an item called ‘News in Briefs’ instead of the usual pun-filled caption of days of yore.

Even the title itself is a lie; this ‘news’ item rarely carries news, and instead carries an editorial/opinion (an important distinction to make, especially when dealing with media owner Rupert Murdoch, the father of FOX News).

We are not saying that a young woman with her tits out is not allowed to have an opinion; far from it. We are instead asking, if Page 3 is as ’empowering’ as some people claim, then why aren’t these women allowed to choose which issue(s) they discuss and/or express their own opinion about that when appearing on Page 3?

At present, they are clearly often (if not always) compelled to echo/repeat the opinions of Rupert Murdoch, Rebekah Wade, Dominic Mohan, Graham Dudman, or whoever else is calling the shots that day. This is not empowerment; rather, it is exploitation.

We challenge The Sun to allow Page 3 girls to use their paid appearance(s) in that tabloid as a personal/political platform, just as they do for columnists such as Jeremy Clarkson, Jon Gaunt, Lorraine Kelly and Jane Moore.

If there is to be editorial content on Page 3, then it should be clearly labelled as opinion (not news) and it should always be the heartfelt, unprompted opinion of the woman whose name, face and tits are being used to sell the idea. End of.

Any standard less than this exploits these women and cheats the readers.

If you agree with that, simply talk to someone about it, or even better write/blog/email/tweet something about it… and then leave this insert inside another copy of The Sun for someone else to find.

Cheers

Tim Ireland
13 November, 2009

PS – I do realise that my headline is potentially misleading, but if you read The Sun, then you should be well used to that by now.

More information (and downloadable copies of this pamphlet) available via:
http://bit.ly/page3 | http://www.bloggerheads.com | http://the-sun-lies.blogspot.com

NOTE – Even if I reach a million people with this message, The Sun will reach more people on a single day (with a single pair of tits) so please share a link to the video and this page with as many people as possible.

I’ll be back shortly with more bloggage on this issue. Bring tissues.








Posted by Tim Ireland at 18 September 2008

Category: Old Media, Page 3 - News in Briefs, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

Omission of detail #1:

Septicisle on a few matters, including some case detail that the Daily Mail would rather not mention. The front page in question can be seen here.

Omission of detail #2:

Ian_QT fails to note or notice certain details regarding objections to wilful distortion. Helpful details can now be found in comments under that post.

Omission of detail #3:

I’m personally not prepared to comment publicly on the death of Jenny Grant at this time but, yes, I am aware of it. Thank you.

UPDATE – Oh, go on then… have another:

Omission of detail #4:

Check comment No. 4 over here for a litmus test or two and a minor detail that Iain Dale really should have mentioned in the printed version of his rigged poll of weblogs.








Posted by Tim Ireland at 10 September 2008

Category: Page 3 - News in Briefs

A little something special for you, courtesy of Page 3.

Happy Hadron Collider Day!








Posted by Tim Ireland at 12 June 2008

Category: Gordon Brown, Page 3 - News in Briefs

Page 3Brown can’t honestly expect 42 days to pass through the Lords. This was a bloody dangerous attempt at a show of power, with a pathetic result.

There’s bound to be plenty of talk about the support from Northern Ireland that helped Gordon to squeak by, but this morning my eyes are drawn a little further south…

Today, in the Downing Street Echo, Page 3 lovely Claire Tully (24, from Dublin, who has a First Class Honours in Biochemistry, thank you very much) gets her cha-chas out to deliver this message on behalf of the editor, Rebekah Wade her own personal take on matters:

Claire thinks the 42 days detention measure means the authorities will have to strike a delicate balance between preserving civil liberties and protecting the British public from terrorists. She says it shouldn’t be used “without strong and valid reasons”.

What, like this whole issue was?

This cynical manipulation of the terrorist threat for political gain makes me sick to my stomach…. and I’d love to dwell on how happy it makes me that we have yet another PM who thinks he can play pissy power games with it, but there’s plenty of dissatisfaction here for you to chew on and right now at Bloggerheads it’s time to point, laugh and get a wee bit frightened about what happens when they do try to take the issue seriously:

BBC – Secret terror files left on train: Police are investigating a “serious” security breach after a civil servant lost top-secret documents containing the latest intelligence on al-Qaeda. The unnamed Cabinet Office employee apparently breached strict security rules when he left the papers on the seat of a train. A fellow passenger spotted the envelope containing the files and gave it to the BBC, who handed them to the police.

BBC – Terror files official suspended: The Cabinet Office has suspended the civil servant at the centre of an inquiry into the loss of top-secret documents on al-Qaeda and Iraq.

Five quid says the opening paragraph on the top-secret Iraq documents reads; “The place is still in a right mess, but we and our chums over the pond are f**king coining it in.”

Related bloggage:
Liberal Conspiracy – What a farce
Septicisle – I love a free country
Devil’s Kitchen – 42 days later
Mr Eugenides – 42 days
Sim-O – Lost intelligence?








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