THE NEWSDESK: Hold the front page - he wants an apology
NEVER has a man been so sinned against than former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie.
There he was, duped into runnning a front page headlined "The Truth" which wrongly alleged that Liverpool fans stole from the dead, and obstructed and urinated on police at the Hillsborough disaster. Misled. And continuing to be misled for more than 20 years.
Poor, poor Kelvin. To be so duped and misled for so, so long.
His reputation has been left in tatters - it has been urinated upon - and he's even afraid to walk the streets of Liverpool.
What an ordeal this man has been through.
Get him an apology from those authorities who duped and misled him right now.
Because I am sure that the families of the 96 feel he deserves it. I am sure that they will be starting a petition for him to to have a statue at Lime Street station, so badly has he been duped and misled.
"Now I know - you know, we all know - that the fans were right.
"But it took 23 years, two inquiries, one inquest and research into 400,000 documents many of which were kept secret under the 30-year no-publication rule..." he wrote in The Spectator.
"Where does that leave me?"
Strangely, Kelvin did not get a sniff of this in August 1989 when the Taylor Report revealed that the Liverpool fans had not done the things which MacKenzie's front page claimed.
Strangely, he did not think then that he had been duped and misled and refused to apologise for his newspaper's stance.
Having seen the orginal news agency copy sent to The Sun, my newsroom antennae would have been quivering an earthquake warning had I received it.
One-sided, one-sided, one-sided. Journalism 101 - get both sides of a situation, don't present allegations as fact, or publish at your peril.
And those of us in the business know full well where the buck stops in a newsroom. With the editor.
Here's what Margaret Aspinall, whose 18-year-old son James died at Hillsborough, thinks of MacKenzie's plea for an apology: "What does he want an apology for? An apology is exactly what the families wanted 23 years ago, but he failed to give it.
"He's an absolute disgrace. To even ask for one is ridiculous.
How can he have the temerity to do this?"
Poor, poor Kelvin. Go lick your wounds some place these grieving families don't have to watch.
SO...Cameron on Letterman....
Left me thinking this: Cost of an Eton education: in excess of £30,000 a year. Knowing that Ma and Pa Cameron forked that out for little Dave not to know what Magna Carta was: priceless.
But, still, compare that with the USA's usual political fare. A gem from presidential candidate Mitt Romney: "I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in America that's the America millions of Americans believe in. That's the America I love."
Suddenly, Cameron seems like Stephen Hawking.
THE Great Summer Washout of 2012 could soon lead to the Great Pumpkin Shortage of 2012, farmers say.
The pumpkin crop is down 20 per cent on last year and many are still green as Halloween fast approaches.
Experts (Really? Pumpkin experts? Why wasn't I told about that job?) are predicting price hikes and sellouts.
Europe's largest producer, David Bowman of Lincolnshire, said the race is on to harvest his pumpkins before sharp autumn frosts.
"It's terrible. Pumpkins don't like the wet and cold and we've had it all summer," he said.
OK parents, it may be time to go old-school and go back to the Seventies for some turnip lanterns.
And if your little darlings complain, blame the weather and the recession and tell them to thank their lucky stars they aren't bobbing for apples in ice cold water wearing crimplene.
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