Leading article: The dark side of The Sun on Sunday

 

Share
Related Topics

This weekend, it is hard to avoid the launch of the new Sun on Sunday.

The publicity blitz heralding its creation has been exceptional, if unsurprising – Rupert Murdoch knows all about striking the first commercial blow and does not do things by halves.

What is perturbing, though, is the way in which The Sun appearing on a seventh day has prompted a revision of history. The impression is gaining ground that Mr Murdoch is behaving like a saint, bestowing beneficence on a troubled Fleet Street and a Britain desperate for The Sun's brand of journalism, its Sundays blighted by the loss of the News of the World.

True, jobs are being created, and true, the opening of a newspaper in these hard times is a cause for celebration. But the cynicism of the exercise should not be ignored. Arguably, the phone-hacking scandal merely hastened the News of the World's demise rather than sealed its fate. The paper no longer fitted with News International's desire for uniformity across its titles online. The more profitable Sun was always going to become a seven-day publication – the question was not if, but when.

Having seen his bid for BSkyB dashed, his political influence shattered, and his good name and that of his company severely damaged, Mr Murdoch was able to salvage something by seizing the moment to kill the News of the World and welcome The Sun on Sunday. The company has also avoided embarrassing legal trials by settling with 59 hacking victims.

So, justifiable high-fives all round at Wapping and whistles from Mr Murdoch's fawning admirers? Hardly. The fallout from the appalling behaviour of some of his employees continues. On Monday, the day after the Sunday Sun's vaunted birth, details of the settlement between News International and the singer Charlotte Church will be disclosed in court. Next week, too, the Leveson Inquiry will begin exploring the links between the press and the police, with much of that attention focused on News International. Meanwhile, a second wave of those who believe their private voicemails were accessed promises further payouts and apologies. And Scotland Yard investigations are ongoing. Ever present is the possibility that shareholders in Mr Murdoch's parent News Corporation may signal "enough" and order an exit from UK newspapers. The Sun may rise tomorrow, but make no mistake, Mr Murdoch's star is setting.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £60,000

£25000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Care Workers Required - The London Borough of Bromley

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This homecare agency is based in Beckenh...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Polish minister Rafal Trazaskowski (second from right)  

Poland is open to dialogue but EU benefits restrictions are illegal and unfair

Rafal Trzaskowski
The report will embarrass the Home Secretary, Theresa May  

Surprise, surprise: tens of thousands of illegal immigrants have 'dropped off' the Home Office’s radar

Nigel Farage
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas