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Monday, December 04, 2006 

Scum-watch: Maniacs and hypocrisy.

The Sun is back to its old trick of speculating on and sensationalising serious crimes again today:

COPS are probing whether a deranged maniac may have used his BARE HANDS to batter tragic Laila Rezk to death.

Tests failed to show a weapon was used on the mum of two — suggesting the beast used his FISTS.

The actual meaning of "tests" in this article seems rather ambiguous, for later on the report makes clear:

Cops were sickened by the attack and assumed a weapon was used. But a search found nothing near the house in Kingston Vale, South West London.

Tests are being done to see if Egyptian-born Laila was sexually assaulted.

Presumably both tests would have been conducted at the same time, if they had taken place, although any forensic examiners are more than welcome to correct me if I'm wrong. Rather more probable is the fact that since the plod have failed to find a weapon, they've either briefed/been paid by the Scum that the murderer was unarmed. Seeing as both the Mail and Sun have referred to the murderer of Laila Rezk as "a deranged, stalking maniac," when it's unclear whether the actual assailant is any of those things, the leak that he used his fists is very helpful towards the story they've already weaved.

Elsewhere today in the Scum:

A WOMAN cop off sick with “stress” is topping up her salary as a soft porn photographer.

WPC Gillian Mooney, 49, took the saucy snap of professional model Emma.

Ho-hum, typical Scum story. Or so you think. Until...

The Sun booked Emma for a photo-shoot with Mooney.

Emma paid the £150 fee and posed for the WPC in a studio built into the living room of her semi. Emma was asked to sign a form allowing the snaps to be sold on.

Emma, 23, said: “I got the impression she wanted me to do some artistic nude shots. She did say most of her work was weddings and children.”

Right, so a WPC on the sick happens to be a part-time photographer as well. Big deal, plenty of police officers and firefighters do other jobs on the side. Obviously it raises the question of whether she is actually still stressed or not, but having a national newspaper splash on it is bound to do wonders for her nerves.

More interesting however is that the Sun describes what she does as soft pornography. The photograph from the shoot the Sun booked, but notice didn't pay for, so they can't be accused of adding to her bank balance (although I'd almost be prepared to wager a small sum that the Sun provided the money) is quite clearly a glamour shot, but not one containing nudity. According to "Emma", whose word we have to take at face value, she got the "impression" she wanted to do some artistic nude shots. Impression suggests that Mooney didn't actually infer that she could additionally do full glamour shots, if Emma so wanted.

All of which is beside the point however. If what Mooney is doing is soft pornography, then what, pray tell, is Page 3 Idol (warning: nudity) and Page 3 itself? Not only are those submitting their photographs not being paid for the privilege, they're competing for the wonderful prize of a whole £5,000. The Sun has always and continues to justify page 3 as a "bit of fun". What's the difference between Mooney's "soft porn" shoots and the Sun's bits of fun? Nothing, except for the Sun's contempt and disdain for its own readers. When it comes to smearing and booting people when they're down, ala "Lady Mucca", pornography is distasteful and even shameful, but when they're doing the same thing it's quite different. As I've stated before, I'm no puritan and certainly wouldn't ban page 3 given the chance; I just think it has no place in a publication that calls itself a "newspaper".

P.S. Just to be fair and balanced (® Fox News), here's David Cox on Comment is Free telling us why Murdoch is actually the greatest thing to ever happen to Britain.

P.P.S Here's Five Chinese Crackers taking apart another of today's Sun's stories, this one on the scandal of a school having a Carribbean theme Christmas.

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