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

The Sun newspaper, in case you’re not aware, is the British Murdoch-owned tabloid that helped Blair’s government push the 45-minute WMD lie (even suggesting at one stage that they could have been deployed in 30 minutes), dedicated more column inches to a Labrador puppy thrown off an overpass than they did to the Abu Ghraib scandal, and endorsed Tony Blair on the eve of the post-Iraq general election by declaring that he had quite an enormous penis.

One thing not a lot of people have noticed about the Sun newspaper is how editor Rebekah Wade has, since mid-2003, integrated editorial content into the topless-model feature on Page 3.

An article I wrote about this a few years ago provides some background, and there are many, many recent examples listed here in this category at Bloggerheads, but the short version is as follows:

For many years before 2003, there used to be a short bio alongside each model; just enough information to allow the reader potential masturbator to become (ahem) familiar with the model. Now, there is an editorial on most days that comes from the editor of the newspaper but is presented as the model’s own opinion; the upshot of this is that the reader potential masturbator – on a conscious or subconscious level – needs to align himself with a political view before he can imagine shagging the model (unless of course he opts for the masturbatory version of a grudge-fuck).

My entry for the 5-years-on Iraq War blogstorm is a run-down of the most audacious war-related editorials to be fed to the public via these topless models in the 18 months following the invasion of Iraq.

The post would be too top-heavy if I included scans for all of these examples, but rest assured that they are all entirely genuine and unaltered. All of the text below in red has been quoted verbatim, and each example was published/presented as the opinion of a topless model:

– | –

Date: Friday, August 15, 2003

Circumstances: The opening hearings of The Hutton Inquiry have just taken place.

Nicola T has been following the Hutton Inquiry into the death of government scientist David Kelly. She says: “The only clear thing about the inquiry is that someone is lying. Whether it’s politicians or the BBC, it is very worrying. I just hope we get to the bottom of it soon and find out the truth.”

– | –

Date: Friday, October 24, 2003

Circumstances: George Galloway has just been expelled from the Labour Party following his criticism of the Iraq war.

Joanne reckons George Galloway deserved to get the boot from Labour yesterday. She said: “He’s a disgrace. I couldn’t believe how he betrayed Our Boys during the war. They were laying down their lives and he was urging the Iraqis to rise up and kill them. He’s a traitor. I’d boot him out of the country, too.”

– | –

Date: Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Circumstances: George W Bush makes his controversial visit to the UK. The only British newspaper to get an interview is the Sun. The Washington Post reports that this was done “on the recommendation of Tony Blair” and that “officials at the White House acknowledge that it was a reward to the Sun for its unstinting support of the United States regarding the war in Iraq.” The interview appears on Monday the 17th, in a rare edition that does not include a topless model on Page 3. The next day, Page 3 is back… and backing Bush.

Page 3 Idol Krystle says President Bush’s visit is a boost for Britain. She adds: “He is the most powerful man in the world and it’s nice to welcome him to this country. I think his first state visit will symbolise America’s special relationship with us. I hope he enjoys Britain.”

– | –

Date: Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Circumstances: It is the week after Bush’s visit and the fallout continues after Blair’s use of a US-style ‘free speech zone’ in Sedgefield. On Monday (24th) Tony Blair hosts an Anglo-French summit. As part of his visit, French President Jacques Chirac inspects a guard of honour by the first Battalion of the Grenadier Guards. The Sun is notably “appalled”.

Anna, 22, saw footage of Jacques Chirac inspecting the Grenadier Guards yesterday and took this pop at the French President: “It was about time he was introduced to Our Boys – real soldiers. He shied away from Iraq. Maybe he took notes yesterday to pass on to French troops.”

– | –

Date: Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Circumstances: Following Operation Red Dawn, the US announces the capture of Saddam Hussein.

Krystle says of the capture of Saddam Hussein: “It was the news we have all waited for. That terrible man tried to crush the Iraqi people. Now they can celebrate their freedom and rebuild their country. I really hope this is the beginning of the end of the troubles in Iraq.”

– | –

Date: Tuesday, February 3, 2004

Circumstances: It is the peak of the aftermath of the leak (to the Sun) then release of The Hutton Report. Later this same day, the government announces The Butler Review, an inquiry into the intelligence relating to Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.

Zoe is certain Tony Blair was right to take Britain into the war with Iraq. She said: “You don’t need to be an international diplomat to realise the world is better off without Saddam. We should be proud of what has been achieved.”

Zoe on Iraq

– | –

You may need a few minutes to get over that one. I still do. Take your time.

(calm blue ocean)
(calm blue ocean)
(calm blue ocean)

OK, all done? Let’s carry on…

– | –

Date: Wednesday, April 7, 2004

Circumstances: The insurgency in Iraq is expanding. It is one week since Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah ambushed a convoy containing four American private military contractors and a mob set their bodies ablaze and dragged their bodies through the streets. It is 3 days since the resulting First Battle of Fallujah began. The message from the White House is; “Our resolve is firm… and we will prevail.”

Natasha believes it’s vital that our troops remain in Iraq. She said: “Our boys are doing a fantastic job peacekeeping. To give in to a minority of extremists would be an insult to the brave soldiers who lost their lives fighting to free Iraq from its evil regime.”

– | –

Date: Friday, July 2, 2004

Circumstances: Saddam Hussein appears in court for the first time and describes Bush as “the real criminal”

Ruth hailed yesterday’s court appearance by Saddam Hussein as a triumph for Iraqis. She said: “This was a great moment for the people of Iraq. Yet many will feel a proper trial seems too good for a man who denied the same right to millions of victims.”

– | –

Date: Friday, December 10, 2004

Circumstances: It is one month since Bush secured a second term as US president. The conduct of the Bush administration in/over Iraq has been a hot topic on both sides of the Atlantic for months now following that election campaign and the Abu Ghraib scandal. In the US, it has just been declared that evidence gained through use of torture would be used against the detainees in Guantanamo Bay. In the UK, there are calls for an inquiry into civilian deaths in Iraq following the release of the first Lancet survey of Iraq War casualties. In Iraq, Rumsfeld has just faced a grilling from his own troops over equipment shortages and responded with the now-infamous “You go to war with the army you have” remark. In short, it is a week where you will struggle to find an editorial in favour of the Bush administration in any newspaper bar one…

Nicola T thinks people are too keen to forget the help given to Britain by the US. She says: “People are too quick to condemn America. We’re indebted to them for the help they gave us in the war. Imagine if they had decided not to support us.”

– | –

Gosh, can you just imagine it? Without the Americans we might have been up to our necks in war-mongering fascists and their xenophobic propaganda.

(ahem)

Well, we’ve skirted far too close to fulfilment of Godwin’s Law for my liking, so I think we’ll pull up *right* there, thank you very much.

– | –

Epilogue:

Date: Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Circumstances: It is the 5th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Most newspapers are running features on what has come to pass and what has come to light (and have been for days now). But the Sun does not mention Iraq today. At all. I’ve checked today’s edition from cover to cover, and cannot find a single article about it. No praise for Our Boys, no mention of how jolly good it is that we took out a brutal dictator. Nothing. The nearest we get is a headline in a puff piece for chocolatier Paul A Young; “Choc and awe”. The good people at the Sun do, however, dedicate eight pages to telling us what a nasty liar Heather Mills is. Yes, Page 3 gets in on the act, too… and today’s tit-tastic editorial seems as good a note as any to go out on:

Peta on Heather Mills








Page 3 editorial10 Downing Street – PM marks International Women’s Day: The Prime Minister has marked International Women’s Day 2008 by asking women’s business leaders for advice on how to support the “next generation” of successful women. The PM and his wife were joined for a lunch reception at Number 10 by a range of guests including Oxfam CEO Barbara Stocking, Sun editor Rebekah Wade an*WAIT! WHAT? WTF!? Rebekah Wade???

If I read this article right, Gordon Brown is asking Rebekah Wade of all people to “adopt and mentor” British teenagers and young girls in order to empower them.

And yet in today’s super soaraway Sun, there’s yet another perfect example of Wade’s ongoing efforts to exploit young women by using their semi-naked bodies to feed her readers either (a) right-wing propaganda (b) Downing Street propaganda, or (c) a clever mix of both.

(If you’re new to Bloggerheads, plenty of examples can be found here and here.)

Putting Rebekah Wade in charge of a young women with aspirations is like putting Fagin in charge of a child-entrepreneur scheme; the majority of ‘graduates’ will be victims used to victimise people, with one lucky pup (maybe) getting lessons on how to form and control their own gang.

I’m guessing *that* lesson starts with a special contract for nudie shots, that states in complicated legalese that the editor has the right to assign opinions to any/all models in a clear attempt to exploit them and everyone who likes staring at their boobies.

Yet another Big Lie, courtesy of the ‘new and improved’ Downing Street, ladies and gentlemen.

(Oh, and speaking of big lies, there’s a right-wing editor on the loose in Wikipedia who likes to censor his own Talk page, and one of the many favours he’s done for the British gang of right-wing pseudo-bloggers is the big lie – first entered here – that Paul Staines ended up independently wealthy after his years in the field of finance. Two trails for you to follow if have the time and inclination to join me.)








Posted by Tim Ireland at 25 February 2008

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

Page 3 editorialThe Sun – Death penalty: Your verdict: Almost 100,000 Sun readers unite today to call for the return of the death penalty. Monster Mark Dixie, Suffolk Strangler Steve Wright and the teenage killers of hero dad Garry Newlove have sickened the nation in recent weeks as details emerged of their vile crimes. All received jail sentences. But as the clamour grew for the return of capital punishment, The Sun on Saturday dared to ask the burning question: “Do we really want it back?” And a staggering 99 per cent of the 95,000 readers who responded to our You The Jury poll said the Government SHOULD reintroduce it.

OK, let’s start by generously accepting the following; every time the Sun runs a high-profile phone poll, roughly 100,000 of their 3 million readers vote (another e.g.). Let’s also classify this result as a 3% ‘voter turnout’ (rather than a vote involving 2,900,000 ‘undecideds’).

1. If the best The Sun can manage is a 3% turnout on a bloody phone-in poll, then I may have to start rethinking my position on compulsory ballot casting.

2. There’s been a clear attempt to skew the debate… and not in the way that you might expect. On Saturday, the poll was announced using an entire colour page dominated by a menacing set of gallows (i.e. a single scarified option). The poll question was; “Do we really want it back?”

3. Today’s front page and editorial pretty much scream; “No, wait… think about it!”

4. That same editorial also says; “(Capital punishment) will not be brought back on a wave of public emotion, however much we sympathise with it.” which isn’t entirely in keeping with Rebekah Wade’s position in past crusades for justice… but perhaps she’s starting to cotton on to this whole 3% turnout thing.

5. Of those readers who bothered to turn out for a phone poll, 99% of them are in such an emotional state that they are calling for a return to the death penalty, and some of them were even calling for a return to *public hanging* before the poll had started. In that case (and in most other cases not involving treason), the primary trigger/justification for bloodlust is the paedo-monster.

6. The kind of paedo-monster The Sun taunts its readers with all too often.

7. Lost control of the mob again, have we, Rebekah?

8. Rebekah Wade is so desperate to calm her readers, she’s even using her secret weapon, the Page 3 girl, and there’s some lovely spin on this boobtastic editorial; it’s because of the terrible things that we make you afraid of that we need a stronger alternative to the death penalty!

Amy D can understand why victims are calling for the return of the death penalty. But Amy says: “There are so many terrible people stalking the streets, that there has to be a stronger deterrent. They should be locked way forever.”

9. Locked away forever? At great expense to the taxpayer? Am I really reading this in the Sun newspaper? No wonder Rebekah is having trouble reigning in readers like xms, who had this to say on the subject of capital punishment:

Not only should we bring back hanging, we should also bring back the “Birch” for unruly thugs. Our prison are full of psychopathic killers who should have been executed years ago. Instead, it costs the taxpayers billions of pounds to keep these killers in a life of luxury for the rest of their miserable life’s.

By bring back hanging we reduce over populated prisons, and save money that could go on hospitals, medical research etc. It’s about time politicians did their jobs, and started listening to the people they are supposed to represent. Forget the religious leaders, and the goody-goody brigade who are against hanging, and use common sense. If you deliberately kill someone you hang. If you steal, mug someone, burgle someones home, you get the Birch.

10. How can Rebekah Wade possibly hope to turn this round (or at least keep things down to a dull roar)? Well, by being a little smarter about which buttons she pushes, of course:

Achtung! Ze Germans!

UPDATE (26 Feb) – Septicisle – Scum-watch: A lesson in attempting to puncture its own emotional balloon








Posted by Tim Ireland at 8 February 2008

Category: Page 3 - News in Briefs

One more for the Page 3 fileScaryduck (who would also like to bring this to your attention), spotted the following in the latest edition of the Popbitch newsletter:

>> News in Briefs << MPs could learn from The Sun The 'news in briefs' column on page 3 in the Sun yesterday reported that Keeley, 21 from Bromley, supports the crackdown on MPs employing family members: "MPs should not be able to employ whoever they like and pay them as much as they want to. There has to be some kind of controls put in place." As usual, Keeley was snapped by Alison Webster, who takes all the photos for page 3. She is married to the Sun's executive picture editor Geoff Webster, and they are the loving parents of Charlotte, who goes by the name of Jak, 21, from Tunbridge Wells, when she makes her own appearances on page 3.

Hypocrisy? From the Sun? Heavens, no.

Also, I’d like it noted for the record that – even though I haven’t been blogging about it much lately – I have been obsessive diligent enough to source and retain copies of Page 3 editorial activity over recent months.

If you’d like an overview of that activity, it is as follows:

They appeared to go all quiet and fluffy when Murdoch Junior was set to take over the reigns* of News International (an appointment that was almost certainly based on merit alone) and made a bold return as soon as he was in place.

[UPDATE – *Originally an error from my spill-chucker, but it makes a nice pun, so I’ll leave it. After all, this is how royal families get started. Royal families that seem to think they have a God-given right to rule. You know, like the Saxe-Coburg-Gothas Windsors, the Bushes, the Clintons… and last time I checked, Rupert Murdoch was agin it. Or at least some of it.]








Posted by Tim Ireland at 26 June 2007

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

Told you so.

Here we go, with helpful input from the lovely Mel and Becky:

The ups and downs of the game within 48 hours. Rebekah Wade must be feeling frisky…








Posted by Tim Ireland at 25 June 2007

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

The Times – Brown to allow Iraq protests: Gordon Brown is to make a symbolic gesture to critics of the Iraq war by allowing antiwar protesters to demonstrate and march outside parliament. This will reverse legislation introduced by Tony Blair two years ago to restrict the rights of people to camp on Parliament Square and install banners criticising the government.

Guardian – Brown to lift protest restrictions: The Sunday Times said it had seen a memo from Sir Richard Mottram, chairman of the joint intelligence committee, indicating that the change in the law was to be accompanied by plans to bolster defences at key Westminster sites with walls and bollards.

Rikki’s not buying it, but it’s an imperfect report to start with (the ridiculous SOCPA law bans all forms of protest at many locations, not just those pertaining to Iraq… and it’s pretty much left up to the police to decide what gets targeted and what doesn’t).

I’ll reserve judgement until the move is clarified or actually made.

Besides, this morning we have a far more important issue to deal with… will Brown call a snap election? will Brown be as reliant on Murdoch as Blair?

It’s no fun watching your PM getting bitch-slapped by a foreign media owner over crime/immigration/EU/etc. – and that’s the price for collusion with Murdoch.

And, of course, the not-quite-a-leak about the possible lifting of protest restrictions comes to us via a Murdoch publication.

Now, where was I?

The Sun: Page 3 - 25 June 2007Oh, yes… will Brown call a snap election? will Brown be as reliant on Murdoch as Blair?

Well, let’s ask the girl on Page 3, shall we?

Today, Nikkala (24, from Middlesex) looks positively startled as she congratulates Gordon Brown on becoming leader, expresses ‘her’ view that a snap election is a great idea and says; “An election victory would be the ideal way to stamp his authority on the country.”

Remarkably, this opinion matches perfectly with the following front-page article:

The Sun – Brown: Election within a year: Gambler Gordon Brown will call a General Election inside a YEAR. The most likely date is next June, but he could shock the nation with a snap poll this autumn. Mr Brown was crowned Labour Party leader yesterday before he takes over from Tony Blair as PM on Wednesday. But he already wants to secure a fresh mandate from the British people within 12 months.

Sadly, the Sun Says editorial is reserved for some Harriet-bashing, but at least they used the word ‘fresh mandate’ in their lead article.

It was fun watching the Tories run around insisting that Brown had no mandate when they knew very well that they had to abandon their ‘Vote Blair, Get Brown’ campaign slogan when they realised that this was exactly what Labour activists were saying on doorsteps around the country during the 2005 election.

[Also today in the Sun… the red menace goes green, as promised. If I were paranoid, I would assign significance to their using a winking loggerhead turtle as one of the three cuddly endangered animals in the relevant TV advertisements for the campaign.]








Posted by Tim Ireland at 15 June 2007

Category: Page 3 - News in Briefs

Blimey, I almost missed a whopper of a Page 3 yesterday:

Page 3, June 14 2007

Septicisle has a good piece on the relevant paedo-targeting initiative, and you might also want to scan this old conference diary entry for a curious item involving Rebekah Wade and four past and present home secretaries.








Posted by Tim Ireland at 1 May 2007

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

It’s [almost] 10 years to the day since Tony Blair first walked into Downing Street with the help of that lovely man Rupert Murdoch. And here is today’s news:

Independent – Blair’s bloody legacy: Iraq: On the 10th anniversary of Tony Blair’s election as Prime Minister, an exclusive poll reveals 69 per cent of Britons believe that, when he leaves office, his enduring legacy will be the bloody conflict in Iraq.

Independent – Revealed: how London bombers slipped through MI5’s grasp: As mainland Britain’s longest-running terror trial finally came to an end, the success of police and the security services in smashing an al-Qa’ida plot to bring carnage to Britain was overshadowed by the disclosure that MI5 also missed several opportunities to identify Mohammed Siddique Khan, the leader of the London suicide bombers.

Guardian – July 7 victims deliver inquiry demand: Survivors of and relatives of those killed in the July 7 terror attacks today delivered a letter to the Home Office calling for an “independent and impartial public inquiry” into the attack. The letter, addressed to the home secretary, John Reid, called for a wide-ranging investigation into the communication between government, police and the security service. The move, by the 7/7 Inquiry Group, came a day after it was revealed that MI5 had come across July 7 ringleader Mohammed Sidique Khan and his right-hand man Shehzad Tanweer while investigating another group of plotters but let them slip through the net.

And now, here is today’s news from the primary propaganda outlet of the Blair/Murdoch dream team:

Be proud, Tony

TEN years ago today, Britain overwhelmingly put its faith in a young politician to guide our nation into a new era. And despite all the moaning, Tony Blair is entitled to feel pride today at his historic decade as Labour PM. Three times the Tories have tried to beat him. Three times they failed. After ten years at No10, Blair is one of the world’s senior statesmen. At home, however much has gone wrong, he has kept his pledge to provide massive extra funding for the NHS and schools. His government has delivered 58 quarters of unbroken economic growth, low inflation, the minimum wage and millions of new jobs. In Northern Ireland, which for so long defeated politicians of every party, the PM is about to seal what looks like permanent peace. And, despite Iraq, he can claim moral victories abroad in Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. No leader expects total success. Blair has admitted that some things have gone wrong – things he knows should have gone better. But despite looming defeats in Thursday’s elections, he should raise a glass in quiet celebration. As Gordon Brown writes of today in a remarkable personal tribute to Blair, their own inevitable personal ups and downs should never be allowed to disguise their comradeship and pride in Labour. Sometimes it’s too easy to knock politicians without sufficiently appreciating that a man like Blair has dedicated his life to serving his country – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for ten gruelling years. If the boyish grin of May 1 1997 has been replaced by greying hair, is it any surprise? When you look at the burdens a PM has to carry, it seems a miracle that anyone wants to take it on. Now it looks like Gordon’s turn to take the strain. His first duty should be to buy Blair a drink. He has earned it.

We’re in peril

IT would be nice to think we can sleep easier after putting five al-Qaeda bomb plotters behind bars for decades. But there are plenty more where they came from here in our midst. Hundreds of al-Qaeda cells are planning attacks and grooming suicide bombers. MI5 is stretched to the limit tracking at least 2,000 known extremists in Britain. The lesson from yesterday’s verdict is clear, and we cannot ignore it. Britain must now move much more quickly and firmly to clamp down on Muslim hotheads ranting on our streets to attract new recruits. We cannot wait until London or Manchester is blown to bits before acting to protect the British people.

The only hint of criticism? Two words; ‘despite Iraq’…. which is somewhat overshadowed by a repeat of the all-too-familiar assurance that we had best start appreciating this regime and stop asking difficult questions lest we all get blowed up.

Amusingly, they also bring two boobs out for some ‘united front’ propaganda on Page 3… and yet place the information down by the panties to tell those ‘in the know’ that it’s really a pile of knickers:

page 3 today

Related bloggage:
Rachel North – Update from me
Obsolete – Forever delayed
The Nether-World – July 7: The Truth Starts To Emerge
Craig Murray – The Missing Links: MI5 acts to limit damage over 7/7 failure
Chicken Yoghurt – Two things

UPDATE – More from Rachel (who has had a very busy day).








Posted by Tim Ireland at 23 February 2007

Category: Page 3 - News in Briefs

Today’s Page 3 is a dream ticket. (Note – borderline NSFW… there is slight underboobage.)








Posted by Tim Ireland at 21 February 2007

Category: It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely!, Page 3 - News in Briefs, Tony 'King Blair

Page 3Remember, children… there is no right-wing propaganda on Page 3.

Today, the lovely Vikki (18, from Essex) expresses her joy at the news that up to 3,000 troops are due to head home from Iraq by Christmas by saying; “Our boys have done a great job out there, but it’ll be brilliant to see them back home with their loved ones.”

By a strange coincidence, this view totally corresponds with today’s front page news item and editorial:

The Scum Says – Heroes return: Tony Blair will today announce that British troops are coming home from Iraq. By the end of the year, almost half the 7,000 fighting men and women based in Basra should be back with their families. They have fought valiantly and taken many casualties to give the Iraqi people a chance of a decent life free from tyranny. Whatever the fears or doubts over this conflict, these brave soldiers deserve a heroes’ welcome as they return to base.

There is no right-wing propaganda on Page 3.
There is no right-wing propaganda on Page 3.
There is no right-wing propaganda on Page 3.
There is no right-wing propaganda on Page 3.
There is no right-wing propaganda on Page 3.
There is no right-wing propaganda on Page 3.
There is no right-wing propaganda on Page 3.
There is no right-wing propaganda on Page 3.

PS – Well done, Mr Rent-A-Quote.

UPDATE (22 Feb) – Typically, those filthy leftists at the Indy have failed to get the message. Perhaps they don’t read Page 3 because they’re a bunch of queers or something…

Independent – The retreat from Basra
Independent – The Sketch: A load of bunk from the PM’s bunker
Independent – Leading article: A foreign withdrawal for advantage at home








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