The Scum Sticks the Knife in!!!!!!!!!

#2
A Scum story mentioning the SAS without the using 'elite' - amazing! Otherwise, the usual rubbish we have come to expect from this nasty rag.
 
#5
To$$ers. How is that news. Can't they have a more sympathetic approach?
 
#6
c*ck jockeys
 
#7
Tom Newton Dunn's own words:

The Sun's response to the 'Boycott The Sun' Arrse debate:

We’re delighted to take up the opportunity given to us by the site moderators to answer a few of the criticisms leveled at us over the last few weeks on these pages. A couple of points to begin with.

First, of course we care about what you think - that's why we have bothered to enter this debate.

Second, to the likes of Aunty Stella - I can assure you we have absolutely no interest whatsoever in boring our readers with what SOME (infact a very small minority of very warped-minded) Arrse contributors have to say about us. Sorry Aunty Stella, but you aren't actually that interesting.

Third, if you want to have a debate on our military coverage, let's keep it to just that shall we? Hillsborough is an entirely different matter, and an issue that we have repeatedly addressed and indeed apologised for in the paper, and as recently as last year.

Now, I make this argument here not to defend us, as I think our record more than speaks for itself. But since a very few of you seem still keen to fill Arrse's pages with mindless ranting about us, we in turn are very keen for the average and somewhat more level-headed reader to be given the other side of the argument.

Quite simply, anyone who has actually signed this petition to call for a boycott for our paper I cannot believe for a single moment is a regular reader of the paper.

For the record, The Sun's editorial policy is indeed to offer broad and warm support to 'Our Boys' in all their endeavors. It has been that for many years and will continue to be so for many more. To say that we ignore troops' good acts to concentrate on the bad is quite simply ludicrous.

Neither do we report in a sensational fashion, we report in a manner that is accessible to our readers - some 10 million Brits, by the way. Do not confuse the two. The former is to print excitable and untruthful versions of real events, the latter is to stick to the facts but highlight the ones of most interest to the readers. That I am afraid is our perogative, and it does not for a single second contradict our long-standing policy to back 'Our Boys'.

Writing nothing but slavish platitudes about the troops is actually the last thing the vast majority of right-thinking servicemen and women would want.

As I'm sure you'll be the first to admit, the forces is not an entirely perfect organisation. So we must be allowed to make criticism where criticism is necessary. I often think some people misinterpret our role in life - we are not a propaganda rag for HM Forces (read Soldier or Sixth Sense for that), but a public newspaper for the whole country. Yes, we choose to ally ourselves strongly with interests of the ordinary hard working men and women of the other ranks (rather than officers or civil servants). But we would not be much of a friend if all we publish is compliments. If that's what you want (as some of you have said), go and live under a dictatorship - I'm sure Iran would welcome such fascistic bigots.

On the occasions that we do offer criticism of the forces - from shagging, to drug taking, to kit short falls and bullying - it is well expressed and specifically targeted. We run them as matters of public interest because we don't believe any of this should go on in such a highly prized and important profession, and exposing it almost always has the effect of stopping it.

More often than not, criticism actually has even more positive effects than just eradication or punishment. I could offer a plethora of examples from improved boots that don't melt in the sand, to armoured Land Rovers shipped out to Basra when they were really needed, to the bettering of training procedures at Deepcut. The list is actually almost endless.

So to say we "change sides" when we run negative stories is to totally misunderstand our friendship with the forces. Those of you who want just positive flattery out of us don't want a friend, but a slave.

Actually, you will be amazed to find out how many stories we turn down - I'd say almost one a day on average - that knock the forces in one fashion or another because we are simply not interested in heaping on abuse for the sake of it.

Yes, negative stories and scandals sell papers, but so do positive ones about great acts of heroism, sacrifice or patriotism. And crucially, we run more of those than the negative versions.

Is that really true, you ask? Allow me to show you.

Not only would I argue our coverage of the forces is indeed fair, but slightly biased TOWARDS servicemen because we believe you are a GOOD thing.

Don't take my word for it. Ask the MoD if they believe we are supportive of 'Our Boys'. Their press office will tell you that in their annual count of pro and negative reports about the forces, The Sun regularly airs more favourable articles than any other media outlet by a very long way.

Or even - heaven forbid - actually look at the paper.



By total coincidence, today we've run a good story on page 6 of the paper about an SAS sergeant picking up a top medal from the Queen today for an extraordinary act of heroism (which was cleared by Director Special Forces before the rants start coming about Op Sec).

And yesterday, we gave almost all of the front page over to a great cocaine bust in the Caribbean by the crew of HMS Cumberland, which continued all over pages four and five.

Not representative enough? Then look back over the past month of October. Below is every forces-related story that we ran in the paper under my byline (because I normally write all the forces stories):

The Sun, Monday October 31, 2005 Guard replaced ill colleague;Exclusive (286 words)

The Sun, Saturday October 29, 2005 Soldiers snorted coke on exercise;Exclusive (230 words)

The Sun, Friday October 28, 2005 Army's blunders killed our hero Anthony;Scandal over soldiers' kit (437 words)

The Sun, Friday October 28, 2005 Betrayal of our boys;Scandal over soldiers' kit;Commentary;Opinion (186 words)

The Sun, Thursday October 27, 2005 Hero hands (191 words)

The Sun, Friday October 21, 2005 Sergeant Christian's sacrifice;Exclusive (305 words)

The Sun, Wednesday October 19, 2005 Sarge leaves his rifle on hillside (375 words)

The Sun, Friday October 14, 2005 Found: Iran's killer bombs (368 words)

The Sun, Friday October 14, 2005 Army's secret Pounds 1m for bully victims;Exclusive (200 words)

The Sun, Thursday October 13, 2005 Iran's bombs in bits;Exclusive (229 words)

The Sun, Wednesday October 12, 2005 Trained in Iran...To kill our boys;Army facing new peril (369 words)

The Sun, Wednesday October 12, 2005 Insult to war heroes (388 words)

The Sun, Tuesday October 11, 2005 'Sex & bully hell' of army spy girl (223 words)

The Sun, Saturday October 08, 2005 Iraq cops 'bombed our boys' (311 words)

The Sun, Thursday October 06, 2005 Iran's bombs kill our boys (338 words)

If you do a tally, out of a total of 15 stories 11 are positive or supportive of service personnel, and 4 negative. October was a pretty average month I'd say.

One more quick fact if you look at the paper over the last year - the words 'soldier' and 'hero' have appeared in the same article together on no less than 187 occasions.

Tell me this too. If the MoD or the single services care so strongly about our appalling coverage, how many letters of complaint have we received in last year? And how many legal suits for libel from forces personnel have tumbled in? I'll happily tell you - not a single one. Other newspapers get both by the wheelbarrow load.

To sum up - I'm also afraid to say that the most sensible verdict on the boycott campaign was delivered by Arrse's very own readers, who ignored it in their droves. To quote Goku, "Considering that to date ARRSE has 11876 members and god knows how many readers who aren’t members, the Boycott The Sun campaign has only collected 345 signatures. That is a poor result".

Actually, by total coincidence, our sales have gone up marginally in the last couple of months since this campaign started.

If you have sensible issues you'd like us to look at, then please do e-mail me directly - I'd be delighted to hear from you; I can always be reached at tom.newtondunn @ the-sun.co.uk.

We have repeatedly highlighted many of the issues you've mentioned in these pages already, such as the Telic medals delay or Gulf War Syndrome. If you actually read the paper, you would know that. But if there are issues that we haven't been able to get in, then our apologies, we have limited space. But I can assure you we do try our best.

To all Arrse readers, thanks for reading this far - and please keep on reading the paper if you do. Thanks to the vast majority of you also for taking the trouble not to sign the potty petition.

And to those of you who still think we're the worst thing since the serpent in the Garden of Eden, please feel free not to read our paper ever again. I promise you will not be missed.

Yours,

Tom Newton Dunn
Defence Editor
The Sun
The emboldened quotes have been highlighted by myself. Can we sticky this thread so we can continue to reconcile Tom's erudite words with the realities of his newspaper's reportage?
 
#8
I'm (almost) speechless. Reading about this over the past couple of days ( and to be honest, after hearing the bare facts, I didn't go any deeper, I really didn't want to), I've just been struck by how bloody sad this story is all round. It's one of those stories that really make you appreciate the sound of your own kids laughing and playing, makes you appreciate the fact that we do really take so much for granted and makes us realise the hell that some people have to go through.

There was no silver lining to this story, it was just tragic and heartbreaking.... So what do the press do? (I'm not singling out the Sun here, all the tabloids are as bad) They shovel the dirt onto a family who are lower than any of us have probably ever been just to sell a few more papers. This isn't a 'celebrity' being caught with powder up her nose, or a footballer arrested in a brawl, this is a normal family absolutely in bits. Don't these people have any bloody humanity at all? What sort of heartless and cruel lowlife pulls that proposed story up on to a PC screen and says 'Lovely, that'll do"?

I would use the 'C' word here if I thought it was strong enough, but I honestly think it isn't. And that has to be a first.
 
#10
THE parents of tragic Jacob Wragg led a tumultuous life fuelled by passionate sex, heavy drinking, drugs — and bitter rows.

Former SAS soldier Andrew Wragg was a boozer with an eye for the ladies.

Mary was a loving and devoted mum but took drugs and drank heavily too as she tried to cope with caring for her terminally ill ten-year-old son.

Following her arrest after Jacob’s death, detectives found traces of cocaine in the couple’s home.

Mary admitted it belonged to her.

A blood test also showed she had been taking amphetamines.

But Wragg, 38, had developed an even heavier dependency on alcohol. By his own admission he could down seven pints and two bottles of wine in a session.

The couple had met in Worthing, West Sussex, in 1990 while Wragg was working in the Merchant Navy.



Mary ... took drugs



Mary, an assistant pub manager, had been married before. At 17 she wed Gary Nicole, in June 1981. The blonde, a fashion model at the time, was divorced three years later.

She and Wragg — who by that time had joined the Army — married in March 1992 at Worthing Register Office.

Wragg was later posted to Catterick, then to Harrogate — and eventually joined the SAS based in Hereford. But he was away for long periods and their relationship was on-off from the start.

But even greater complications were to follow with the birth of son Jacob in November 1993.

At first they thought he was fine, but 18 months later the tot was diagnosed with the incurable genetic disorder Hunter Syndrome.

Victims rarely live beyond their teens. For long periods Wragg was never there to look after Jacob.

He was serving in either Bosnia, Germany or France. But with Jacob’s condition deteriorating all the time, he was finally forced to leave the service and was discharged on compassionate grounds.

But there was more heartache. Mary fell pregnant again and their unborn child was diagnosed with Hunter Syndrome too. They decided on an abortion and the pregnancy was ended at seven months when Wragg held Mary’s hand as a needle was inserted into her stomach.

Two miscarriages followed as Mary tried for another child before their son George was born in 1998.

The couple then moved back to Worthing. Wragg worked at a video shop — and after three years he set up his own business. But his marriage was crumbling.

Wragg — who was nicknamed Shag — moved out of the marital home in Worthing in 2000.

During a three-year split he enjoyed relationships with two women. One, Shelley Ancell, stayed with him for a year.

Eventually, in 2003, Mary and Andrew began to see each other again — and once more their on-off, stormy relationship was back on.

Divorce papers which had been served were torn up as the couple tried to patch things up. Then lured by the promise of a bumper salary of £80,000 he decided to go to Iraq to work as a bodyguard and left for Baghdad in April 2004.

When he returned home, Wragg stayed out all night drinking. The marriage was suffering, and Jacob’s condition was deteriorating badly.

The defence claimed that at this time Wragg was “at breaking point”.

He was said to be stressed by the horrors of Iraq, the marital problems — and Jacob’s condition.



Jacob ... had Hunter Syndrome



It all came to a head on Saturday July 24 last year. With his marriage heading for the rocks, Wragg went out and spent at least five hours at a social club then a pub.

Several phone calls were made to Mary, 41, where he spoke of Jacob’s illness. He is said to have told her how he had looked into the boy’s eyes and saw he had no future.

Wragg also claimed Jacob pleaded with him to end his suffering.

Mary left the house, taking George with her, and Wragg, fuelled by at least four pints and four double vodkas, returned home.

He walked into his son’s bedroom, gently laid down beside him and pulled a pillow across his face. After, Wragg said he phoned Mary to say he had “done it” and she returned home.

The couple were then said to have toasted the dead boy with wine. Then they called the police.

The pair were arrested. Mary was later released and Wragg was charged with murder. He went on trial in February this year but a jury failed to reach a verdict.

Mary — who denied any knowledge of her husband’s intent — then agreed to become the main witness for the prosecution in a retrial.

It was to end their stormy on-off 12-year marriage once and for all — and the couple divorced.

Wragg left court yesterday with new girlfriend Zuhre Butler, 38, a law student he plans to marry.

They spent last night at his parents’ home in Sussex and are expected to return to the home they share in St Albans, Herts, today.

Tragic Jacob was stricken by many of the symptoms of Hunter Syndrome. It leads to progressive mental retardation, deafness, loss of sight and can enlarge the spleen and liver. Skin lesions and skeletal problems are other effects as toxins ravage the body.

The syndrome is caused by the absence of an enzyme which the body needs to break down complex carbohydrates.






Truly a sad story. I am amazed even the scum could lower themself to publish this.
 
#11
Awol said:
I'm (almost) speechless. Reading about this over the past couple of days ( and to be honest, after hearing the bare facts, I didn't go any deeper, I really didn't want to), I've just been struck by how bloody sad this story is all round. It's one of those stories that really make you appreciate the sound of your own kids laughing and playing, makes you appreciate the fact that we do really take so much for granted and makes us realise the hell that some people have to go through.

There was no silver lining to this story, it was just tragic and heartbreaking.... So what do the press do? (I'm not singling out the Sun here, all the tabloids are as bad) They shovel the dirt onto a family who are lower than any of us have probably ever been just to sell a few more papers. This isn't a 'celebrity' being caught with powder up her nose, or a footballer arrested in a brawl, this is a normal family absolutely in bits. Don't these people have any bloody humanity at all? What sort of heartless and cruel lowlife pulls that proposed story up on to a PC screen and says 'Lovely, that'll do"?

I would use the 'C' word here if I thought it was strong enough, but I honestly think it isn't. And that has to be a first.
Well put that man.
 
#12
If that was not sensationalism at it's lowest then I'm a monkys' uncle.
 
#14
^Not news worthy though is it?
 
#16
Not saying I don't agree with you (I do), but you don't have to read it; surely if you do, you are pandering to the same sensationalism. :?

Cue the mad ravenous onslaught of 'Scum lover' as well as Panda lovers also giving me a dig...... :wink:
 
#17
I have never bought the scum. I read the Express.
 
#18
Awol said:
I'm (almost) speechless. Reading about this over the past couple of days ( and to be honest, after hearing the bare facts, I didn't go any deeper, I really didn't want to), I've just been struck by how bloody sad this story is all round. It's one of those stories that really make you appreciate the sound of your own kids laughing and playing, makes you appreciate the fact that we do really take so much for granted and makes us realise the hell that some people have to go through.

There was no silver lining to this story, it was just tragic and heartbreaking.... So what do the press do? (I'm not singling out the Sun here, all the tabloids are as bad) They shovel the dirt onto a family who are lower than any of us have probably ever been just to sell a few more papers. This isn't a 'celebrity' being caught with powder up her nose, or a footballer arrested in a brawl, this is a normal family absolutely in bits. Don't these people have any bloody humanity at all? What sort of heartless and cruel lowlife pulls that proposed story up on to a PC screen and says 'Lovely, that'll do"?

I would use the 'C' word here if I thought it was strong enough, but I honestly think it isn't. And that has to be a first.
Brilliantly put...
The simple fact is, the Sun Journalists cannot write. Expressing the complexity of this story is beyond them, so they fall back upon their usual 'shock, horror and shame' style. No hint of shade or colour - not because, as some imagine, that their readers wouldn't understand it - but simply because the Journalists can't do it......
We shouldn't despise them, we should pity them.
 
#19
im sorry but the reason why we have apathy in this country is beacuse of our bone population that read this utter tripe along with the news of the world ..we suffered the same , i was told the sun had a picture ready of a squaddie in a body bag and a fireman in a sleeping bag ..not really palatable even to the most hardened arrse contributor i hope ...dont read the poxy thing ..it is ihe only trash that blair and co rely on to sow us utter crap ...apart from a few; most contribute to arrse because they have fears and concerns and something to say ..banter aside it shows that sqauddies are not all bone and that they actually see past the spin ..dont even give the sun the time of the day is my advice
 
#20
RTFQ said:
Tom Newton Dunn's own words:

The Sun's response to the 'Boycott The Sun' Arrse debate:

We’re delighted to take up the opportunity given to us by the site moderators to answer a few of the criticisms leveled at us over the last few weeks on these pages. A couple of points to begin with.

First, of course we care about what you think - that's why we have bothered to enter this debate.

Second, to the likes of Aunty Stella - I can assure you we have absolutely no interest whatsoever in boring our readers with what SOME (infact a very small minority of very warped-minded) Arrse contributors have to say about us. Sorry Aunty Stella, but you aren't actually that interesting....

...Yours,

Tom Newton Dunn
Defence Editor
The Sun
The emboldened quotes have been highlighted by myself. Can we sticky this thread so we can continue to reconcile Tom's erudite words with the realities of his newspaper's reportage?
Go on, stick it to him. Even his snotty email is grammatically flawed and full of sh1t!

PS, i have emailed him to express my disgust with the sun's treatment of the family, and their general shoddy reporting standards
 

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