The left-wing news website The Canary proved today that it’s not above using the same tactics of misinformation and misleading as the right-wing tabloids it attacks.
An article was posted by editor-in-chief Kerry-Anne Mendoza attacking The Sun for its front page headline yesterday in the wake of the terrible Manchester suicide bombing on Monday night.
MANCHESTER SET TO BECOME THE SECOND CITY TO BAN THE SUN AFTER ITS APPALLING RESPONSE TO THE CONCERT BOMBING, yelled the headline.
Great, you might think. It’s no less than the awful Murdoch-owned rag deserves. Reading the Canary‘s story, it appears as if the paper has been up to its usual opportunistic shit-stirring tricks.
As the country awoke to the dreadful news of 22 dead at a pop concert at the Manchester Arena, The Sun ran with a front page headline having yet another desperate ‘friend to the terrorists’ pop at Jeremy Corbyn. This time it was a supposed ‘Labour exclusive’ claiming that an ‘ex-IRA killer’ says Corbyn has ‘blood on his hands’ due to past associations with Sinn Fein leaders.
Several on Twitter were quick to condemn The Sun for what they saw as a despicable and cynical attempt to associate the Labour leader’s name with terrorism at a point when the emotions of the nation were running high. The Canary capitalised on this sentiment, accusing the tabloid of ‘naked manipulation of tragic events to serve its own political purposes.’
Now, far be it from me to defend The Sun. The article, like much of its Corbyn-centered output, is a half-baked one-sided character assassination designed purely to derail the Labour election campaign.
But the paper hadn’t been quite as callous as to try and cash in on the terrorist attack on Monday night. It had already gone to print by the time the bombing occurred. Its second edition front page yesterday morning carried the story of the atrocity (in typically sensationalist style which generated another Twitter backlash).
The Sun had actually published no fewer than five articles about Corbyn and the IRA on the night of the Manchester attack. But they had all been published online BEFORE the attack took place. Yes it’s true the paper was trying to stick the knife into Jeremy Corbyn yet again. But it was cashing in on an anti-Corbyn article written for the paper by ex-IRA man Sean O’Callaghan. The timing was coincidental.
A little bit of basic research from Ms Mendoza could have told her that, and only she will know whether it was a sloppy journalistic slip-up or a deliberate attempt at tabloid tactics. But her case isn’t helped by the fact that The Sun contacted the website to inform of the error. Rather than take the article down or amend accordingly, the article now carries an IPSO-lite correction at the end.
It’s a pity because The Sun can be adequately and accurately criticised for both the Corbyn/IRA articles and the crass and sensationalist way it covered the Manchester concert bombing, without misleadingly linking the two.
Some may say, who cares, it’s The Sun, the excuse for a newspaper deserves all it gets and is due a taste of its own medicine. But if you’re gonna take a critical stance against the likes of The Sun and the Daily Mail, you should hold yourself to a higher standard than them rather than sink to their level. Not something that seems to bother The Canary. It calls itself the alternative but, just like the tabloids, is quite happy to lie about its enemies.
Tabloid Corrections Facebook page: here.