James Murdoch’s testimony to UK parliament today was largely lacking in revelations.
However, there was one small point that got us worried.
Responding to allegations that The Sun, the daily paper that ran counter to the Sunday-only (and now defunct) News of the World, could too have been involved in phone hacking, Murdoch refused to rule out closing down the paper.
It’s not hard to imagine the shutting of The Sun would prove to be the beginning of the end of the Murdoch’s involvement in the British newspaper industry (at that point only the more upmarket, and deeply unprofitable, Times of London, would remain).
However, even more so than the News of the World, The Sun is the living, breathing heart of the UK’s tabloid industry. Less scandal heavy than the News of the World, less hypocritical than the Daily Mail, and simply better than the majority of other rivals (possible exception, The Mirror), The Sun reveled in the absurdities of modern life, reading half newspaper, half comic strip.
Nowhere was this better evidenced than The Sun’s front pages, a notorious mixture of alliteration, wordplay, huge pictures and vicious insults that essentially taught the New York Post everything it knows.
So yes, reform The Sun. But please don’t take it away.
A classic, displaying a nickname for a sports player (Wayne Rooney) and three rhymes in one sentence.
RBS head Fred Goodwin 'Fred The Shred' was unlucky that 'banker' rhymed with a popular British insult.
Sports, graphics, and slogans come together here for a typical nationalistic front page.
'Here's hopin' that England United shoot some totally awesome strikes past the goaltender in the soccerball world series today' (2010)
The World Cup provided an opportunity for the paper to mock America.
One of The Sun's most famous political headlines was longer than usual.
Following the previous headline, The Sun claimed credit for winning an election (using a typical and deliberate misspelling).
A typical Franco-phobic headline (in the UK, two fingers are the equivalent of 'flipping the bird').
The paper used the headline to combine a long standing aversion to Germany with a distrust of the Catholic faith.
Using a common theme, the paper combined a great headline, a great subhead, and an unusual picture of Gordon Brown in some toast to create a 'breakfast election special'.
A famous headline argued that mid-level comedian Freddie Starr had eaten a fan's pet hamster. The story was later found to be completely false.
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