Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

PCC rules that The Sun was wrong to smear Prof Nutt's children

Just seen on Lib Con that The Sun has been forced by the Press Complaints Commission to publish a letter from Stephen Nutt regarding the disgraceful smear published by the paper late last year about him and his siblings purely because they are related to former government drugs advisor Professor David Nutt that I blogged about here.


Here is Stephen's letter:

FURTHER to your article about photographs of me on my Facebook site, (November 14) I would like to make clear the pictures were not posted by me and while I had been drinking I was smoking a rolled-up cigarette which did not contain cannabis as the article insinuated. My younger sister Lydia was not intoxicated, so was not drinking under age.

My older brother lives in Sweden where it is custom to use a sauna followed by a ‘romp’ in the snow in winter. He was neither drunk nor under the influence of intoxicants. Innocuous photographs were taken out of context in an attempt to discredit my father’s work.

Whilst the retraction of the original article online and The Sun publishing Stephen's letter is welcome, it hardly seems like much of a punishment or deterrent.

The original article was very prominent in both the paper version and the online version. Surely the apology should be given equal prominence rather than buried in the letters section which will not be read by anywhere near as many people who saw the original article.

I can't imagine anyone at The Sun will have lost too much sleep over this and this outcome is unlikely to give them pause for thought the next time they decide to run a smear story about the family of someone they have taken a dislike to.

The PCC needs to do much, much better than this.

2 comments:

Cardinal Richelieu's mole said...

The PCC getting stroppy is like being ravaged by a dead sheep.

If it was ever fit for purpose, it has not been for a long while.

Niklas said...

Surely the apology should be given equal prominence rather than buried in the letters section which will not be read by anywhere near as many people who saw the original article.

Actually, isn't the letters section usually one of the most-read parts of any newspaper? Though I entirely agree that the Sun should have been forced to print a grovelling apology, rather than just the rebuttal.