We should all boycott 'The Sun' newspaper
they'll print any story just to make a quick buck. the amount of hurt and pain they've caused the families and friends of the hillsborough victims makes my blood boil.
On the Wednesday following the disaster, Kelvin MacKenzie, then editor of The Sun, a British tabloid newspaper with national distribution owned by Rupert Murdoch, used the front page headline "THE TRUTH", with three sub-headlines: "Some fans picked pockets of victims"; "Some fans urinated on the brave cops"; "Some fans beat up PC giving kiss of life".
The story accompanying these headlines claimed that "drunken Liverpool fans viciously attacked rescue workers as they tried to revive victims" and "police officers, firemen and ambulance crew were punched, kicked and urinated upon". A quote, attributed to an unnamed policeman, claimed that "a dead girl had been abused" and that Liverpool fans "were openly urinating on us and the bodies of the dead". These allegations openly contradicted the reported behaviour of many Liverpool fans, who actively helped the security personnel to stretcher away a large number of victims and gave first aid to many injured.
In their History
of The Sun, Peter Chippendale and Chris Horrie wrote:
As MacKenzie's layout was seen by more and more people, a collective shudder ran through the office [but] MacKenzie's dominance was so total there was nobody left in the organisation who could rein him in except Murdoch. [Everyone in the office] seemed paralysed, "looking like rabbits in the headlights", as one hack described them. The error staring them in the face was too glaring. It obviously wasn't a silly mistake; nor was it a simple oversight. Nobody really had any comment on it—they just took one look and went away shaking their heads in wonder at the enormity of it. It was a "classic smear".
Following The Sun's report, the newspaper was boycotted by most newsagents in Liverpool, with many refusing to stock the tabloid and large numbers of readers cancelling orders and refusing to buy from shops which did stock the newspaper. The Hillsborough Justice Campaign also organised a less-successful national boycott that still impacted the paper's sales, which some commentators have given as a cause for a constant drop in price, introduction of free magazines, videos and free DVD offers.
MacKenzie explained his reporting in 1993. Talking to a House of Commons National Heritage Select Committee, he said "I regret Hillsborough. It was a fundamental mistake. The mistake was I believed what an MP said. It was a Tory MP. (This MP has subsequently been identified as Irvine Patnick). If he had not said it and the chief superintendent [David Duckenfield] had not agreed with it, we would not have gone with it." MacKenzie would repudiate this apology in November 2006, saying that he only apologised because the newspaper's owner Rupert Murdoch ordered him to do so. He said, "I was not sorry then and I'm not sorry now" for the paper's coverage. MacKenzie refused again to apologise when appearing on the BBC's topical Question Time on 11 January 2007.
The Sun issued an apology "without reservation" in a full page opinion piece on 7 July 2004, saying that it had "committed the most terrible mistake in its History
". The Sun was responding to the intense criticism of Wayne Rooney, a Liverpool-born football star who still played in the city (for Everton, now for Manchester United) who had sold his life story to the newspaper. Rooney's actions had incensed Liverpudlians still angry at The Sun. The Sun's apology was somewhat bullish, saying that the "campaign of hate" against Rooney was organised in part by the Liverpool Daily Post & Echo, owned by Trinity Mirror, who also own the Daily Mirror, arch-rivals of The Sun. Thus the apology actually served to anger some Liverpudlians further. The Liverpool Echo itself did not accept the apology, calling it "shabby" and "an attempt, once again, to exploit the Hillsborough dead."
Some other newspapers also detailed the same allegations on the same day, which apparently originated from a source within South Yorkshire Police attempting to divert blame, but The Sun attracted particular opprobrium for its use of the huge "THE TRUTH" headline and its subsequent refusal to issue an apology, something the other newspapers were quick to do.
On 6 January 2007, during their team's FA Cup defeat to Arsenal at Anfield, Liverpool fans in The Kop held up coloured cards spelling out "The Truth" and chanted "Justice for the 96" for six minutes at the start of the game. The protest was directed at Kelvin MacKenzie and the The Sun, and at the BBC for employing MacKenzie as a presenter.
To this day, many people in the Liverpool area refuse to buy The Sun as a matter of principle, and the paper's sales figures within Merseyside have been very poor since the day the original story was printed. As of 2004, the average circulation in Liverpool was still just 12,000 copies a day, 200,000 fewer than before the controversial article was published.