By the time this newspaper passes through your hands, you’ll have witnessed the birth of a new newspaper. I use the word “new” here, but I shouldn’t. It’d be like if I’d said that Vince Vaughn had a “new” movie out. Yes, it may be “new” in the sense that I’d not have seen it before. But, I’d already know exactly how it goes, from lazy Vince sitting lazily in his apartment being lazy, to Vince winning over the girl, roughly five minutes from the end.
In that same way, we saw a “new” newspaper last Sunday, creatively titled ‘The Sun on Sunday.’ But we’ve seen it before.
Just seven months since the ‘News of The World’ was sent to its grave, Rupert Murdoch announced NOTW 2.0, his “new” Sunday extension of The Sun, a paper under investigation and with 10 members of its staff recently arrested.
One might ask how Murdoch could let this “new” paper hit the shelves amid such investigations and less than a year since the phone-hacking scandal. What I want to know is how we, the public, let him…
Cast your mind back to Star Wars Episode IV. Yes, the good one. It finishes with a party, albeit a very organised party, with the Rebel Alliance stood there in straight lines as Han, Luke and Chewbacca receive medals for destroying the Death Star. The party lasted around 98 seconds, then they got back to work. When the NOTW closed we also had a party. Again, it was very formal and organised, with all the attendees having to take an oath before answering some questions from Lord Leveson. It has lasted four months and continues.
Whereas the Rebel Alliance were able to set up a snow base, navigate the insides of an asteroid monster, defeat Jabba the Hut and still destroy the new Death Star before it was even finished, we were all busy partying at the Leveson inquiry, leaving Emperor Murdoch and Darth Mohan to put together the plans for their new Death Star, The Sun on Sunday.
While any inquiry into media ethics is clearly important, perhaps we should also have been recruiting our own set of Lando Calrissians to defend the nation from an extension of The Sun. As much as any new publications must be welcomed to at least some extent at a time when digital media chases print journalism down a back alley pointing its rusty virtual sword at what’s left of it, The Sun is one of a few newspapers we could probably do without. As well as its bullying, enemy-making and generally pissing off all women, you’d probably find more culture in a yogurt than in a copy of The Sun.
But we found no Lando, there was no father versus son lightsaber duel between Rupert and James and Lord Leveson and his team of Ewoks at the Leveson enquiry have failed to stop the NOTW rising from its ashes.
The Sun on Sunday is already out. We’ve lost. As Chewie would say, Gnnnnarrrggghh.