Sun-watch: How journalism works.
Apart from whether Jane Moore will ever manage to free her hand from her face, the main question recently regarding the Sun is why Wayne Rooney is currently getting such nice coverage from the Scum. The reason? You might remember that not so long ago Rooney had been getting ready for a legal battle against the newspaper, after both the News of the World and the Sun had printed stories alleging that he had hit his girlfriend, and then told her to "fuck off home" in front of other Manchester United players. The Sun, realising that a possible legal battle over libel with England's wunderkid might not be very good publicity for it during the World Cup campaign, as well as possibly leading other players to give interviews and exclusives to its rivals, settled the case for a cool £100,000. That doesn't include the costs of the action, which are estimated to have run to £500,000 for Rooney and £300,000 for Screws (sorry, News) International. Since then the Sun have run headlines such as "MAKE OUR DREAMS COME TROO" (geddit??) and today has been very sympathetic all over its front page about the fact someone took a hammer to Rooney's cars. Even so, why such a story is front page news when there was by no means a dearth of news yesterday raises eyebrows at just how arslikhan the Sun is going to become to him.
That Rooney has since broken his foot must be causing Wade worries. Wasting £800,000 of Murdoch's money seeing it's unlikely he's to play in the World Cup will not go down well with the Dirty Digger. That said, all may be forgiven if Rooney does by a miracle make the cup, or if even more dream-like, England somehow manage to win. Hunter Davies, who is currently ghosting the first part of Rooney's autobiography, was supposedly meant to be phoned by Rooney every day during the event with his thoughts on what was happening. The publisher which Rooney chose to sell his story to? HarperCollins, owned by one Mr Rupert Murdoch. It perhaps goes without saying that the Sun or Times may well get first rights to the serialisation, which would be expected to boost circulation and help get Murdoch's hard-stolen (surely earned? Ed.) cash back.
Not that Rooney's legal problems with the newspaper are all finished. Patricia Tierney is suing the Sun after it printed her photo and named her as the older prostitute that Rooney slept with after his notorious visits to brothels with other footballers. Tierney maintains that she had only ever worked as a part-time receptionist at the massage parlour, and that her life has been ruined by the article. Rooney may yet be called as a witness.
In other Sun-related news, the parents of the murdered teenager Rochelle Holness are furious at a story which the newspaper published about the circumstances in which she was killed by John McGrady. The Sun, probably informed by a police-source who was completely and utterly wrong, splashed that she was strapped to a table and then dismembered while still alive. The toothless Press Complaints Commission is investigating their complaint, and her parents have said that the paper has been as cruel to them as the murderer was. Not very good publicity for a newspaper which screams for tougher and tougher punishments and removal of rights legislation but falls victim to its own lust for lurid stories about death and sex. Perhaps that's why the Sun has offered a £10,000 reward to anyone who comes forward with information which helps catch the killer of Nisha Patel-Nasri, a police special constable who was apparently murdered outside her own house with one of her own kitchen knives. That bit of information made the commentators who were screaming for anyone caught with a knife in public to be sent to prison look rather stupid.