The Sun scored an own goal rather than a moral victory today after running a rallying call for people to stand up to racism.
Rupert Murdoch’s red top rag overlooked several years of divisive reporting by running a “powerful message of unity” by protest hero Patrick Hutchinson.
They splashed: “It’s not black versus white, it’s everyone versus racists”, but the reaction came in thick and fast soon after.
One Twitter user said pointed out that “not a single person at The Sun falls under the category ‘everyone'”, while several others expressed their dismay at past coverage.
Not a single person at The Sun falls under the category “everyone”. pic.twitter.com/6qApMFFySM— lewis (@ivelostlewis) June 15, 2020
The Sun was singled out for ‘fuelling prejudice’ in a report released in 2016 investigating hate speech” and discrimination in the UK.
The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) took aim at some British media outlets, particularly tabloid newspapers, for “offensive, discriminatory and provocative terminology”.
It cited Katie Hopkins’ infamous column in the paper, where she likened refugees to “cockroaches” and sparked a blistering response from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the same newspaper’s debunked claim over “1 in 5 Brit Muslims’ sympathy for jihadis”.
“ECRI urges the media to take stock of the importance of responsible reporting, not only to avoid perpetuating prejudice and biased information, but also to avoid harm to targeted persons or vulnerable groups,” it concluded.
What have we become
Yesterday the Mail, which was also cited in the report, asked ‘what have we become’ in response to the violent protests at the weekend.
Irish actor and comedian Chris O’Dowd compared the remarks to a raging bull asking ‘what became of the China shop?’