Media Watch: Sun newspaper launches biased election website to mock Labour

The Sun's election guide is a childish hub of anti-Labour propaganda

Sun Nation

 

‘Britain’s best-selling newspaper’ the Sun has launched a free website to guide its readers through the general election campaign.

Not surprisingly, given the paper’s biased political coverage, the Sun Nation website is a patronising hub of anti-Labour propaganda.

Today’s print edition of the paper, which sells to around 3million people every day, encouraged readers to “check out our fantastic new election site”, which it says will feature “top video exclusives, fun games and quizzes, and hot issues of the day”.

As Sun editor David Dinsmore says:

“Sun Nation is an exciting new project for the Sun that offers us the chance to bring the paper’s witty and irreverent take on UK politics to a wider audience ahead of the general election. […]

“We’re confident that Sun Nation will become essential reading for everybody interested in the outcome of May’s big vote.”

So, what do we find on the website that bills itself as “politics without the boring bits”?

Well, we have a quiz called ‘Balls or Bollocks?’, where readers can guess if a wacky quote from Labour shadow chancellor Ed Balls is true or made up by the Sun. Each ‘quote’ comes with a picture of Balls pulling a silly face. What japes! The quiz is introduced with the suggestion the shadow chancellor ‘ballsed up’ the economy during Gordon Brown’s government.

Balls or bollocks

There’s a game where readers can try to parallel park Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman’s pink bus – a dig-in-the-ribs sexist joke about Labour’s much-derided appeal to female voters. (Women drivers, eh? etc.)
Pink bus
And then there’s ‘Macho Mili? No chance!’, a Buzzfeed-style string of 20 pictures and videos of Labour leader Ed Miliband looking silly. Five of them feature a bacon sandwich. 
How ‘witty’ all this is I’ll leave to readers to decide. But ‘irreverent’ it most certainly ain’t – at least, not when it comes to the Tory party.
The website’s homepage has a charming story about Boris Johnson’s dad saying he should be Prime Minister. There’s a long video diary with David Cameron: “Cam Cam: See life through PM’s eyes in our World Exclusive video”.
Sun hearts Cameron
There’s even ‘five reasons’ why Cameron shouldn’t debate with Ed Miliband or anyone else. (‘Five reasons why Cam is mad to do even one debate’.) And then, if your stomach can take it, you can read why Katie Hopkins would like to marry the Tory Prime Minister. 
What you won’t find is the same level of ridicule and hostility being applied to the Conservatives, or anything positive about Labour. As its editor says, the Sun plainly hopes to influence a ‘wider audience’ using these pathetic online tactics. This is politics without the serious bits – and without the journalism that informs a reading public. 
Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter

23 Responses to “Media Watch: Sun newspaper launches biased election website to mock Labour”

  1. CGR

    Well done The Sun !!!

  2. Matthew Blott

    Yeah, it’s great a foreign owned media empire is using everything at its disposal to affect a UK election.

  3. Ivan_Denisovich

    I only scored 6 out of 10 on the Balls game. I mostly erred in favour of Ed being reasonable and having a sense of humour. To my dismay, It cost me points.

    There are few people in the UK more sexist than Harman. I have the greatest admiration for anyone who makes fun of her and it is the minority who take her seriously who worry me.

    The Tories are pretty target rich when it comes to figures of fun so I am sure that the Mirror could be persuaded to reciprocate. That rag is hardly above such behaviour.

    The credibility of and support for both major parties are in terminal decline and we must hope that something worthwhile emerges from the ashes. Until then, making fun of them is about all that keeps the majority of us sane.

  4. wj

    Oh, please – are we going to ban all other newspapers selling alternative party lines?

  5. Ken Bell

    I got 8/10 for Balls and 9/10 for deciding if a given set of knockers belonged to Karen Danczuk or some other Z-lister.

    This is where the modern left goes wrong. It fails to realise that most people are not political anoraks, and have better things to do with their lives that debate the issues along lines set out by people like the writer of this piece.

  6. Captainllama

    TV and Radio broadcasters in the UK have a duty to be accurate, fair, and impartial. There is no reason the same should not apply to print, and the licence be withdrawn from any news organisation that wasn’t at least reasonably so. The only reason these vested interests are able to pump their propaganda so widely and insidiously is by calling it “news”. That word could be much more narrowly defined and still be pretty broad.

    News organisations could still disseminate their opinions so long as it was clearly separate and labelled such, not news. Websites such as this would still function but, if connected to a news organisation, would be considered in the assessment of the organisation’s impartiality.

  7. Guest

    Why am I not surprised you’re agreeing with him…

  8. Leon Wolfeson

    Oh yea, those evil issues –

    The Economy
    Sexism
    Food
    Marriage
    Etc.

    Doesn’t affect the majority, right.
    You apparently mean your 1% Rich White Males have more workers to profit off the back of.

  9. Cole

    I’m sure you’re happy to allow foreigners like Murdoch to interfere in our election

  10. Cole

    Ah, a self appointed man of the people. Like that former Sun editor who used to fly to Venice for lunch.

  11. edwardowen

    Now people know why the gud people of liverpool would not wipe their arse with the SUN as its a comic.

  12. Ken Bell

    Sorry, that jibe doesn’t work with me. I’ve never had a job that was ever anything more than a pay packet, nor an employer that I haven’t wanted to see dangling from a tree. My health collapsed a while ago and I now live on ESA (Support Group). I lift a glass to all the hard working families who pay their taxes, and I even gave up smoking so that I can live longer to toast them for another couple of decades yet.

  13. Ken Bell

    As I said in my first comment, most people are not anoraks.

  14. Guest

    But the fact that you claim to be one excuses all. I see.

    You can’t dispute anything I said, I note.

  15. Guest

    So basically, you’re collecting your dividends and ESA. Nice life.

  16. Ken Bell

    I’m under no obligation to reply to someone who just trots out a meaningless list that he pulled out of his bum.

  17. Ken Bell

    Are you the wally who calls himself Bikerboy? He seems to be following me around, dunno why.

  18. Guest

    No, you’re under no requirement to reply to yourself. Or to my post, which was a list of some of the issues which you see as insignificant.

    In fact, you chose to reply about your bum at all. Go figure.
    Meanwhile, those issues concern plenty of people.

  19. AW1983

    I think ‘the left,’ if that is how we refer to ourselves (our inability to stick together is another of our faults) should listen to Ken Bell. We spend too much of our time using anger instead of humour to point out our disgust at exploitative politicians. For example, whilst anger is the right response to a Conservative Government who sold a nuclear power station to investors from a nation who hacks our national databases (China) and guaranteed an income of twice the current price of electricity for the next thirty years, costing the taxpayer billions of pounds (so much for austerity), maybe it isn’t getting the point across?

  20. Rogue

    A man dependent on sickness benefits who spends his time in newspaper comment sections defending the people who will eventually cut his benefits and leave him dependent on the whims of churches and the rich.

    You’re a genius, mate. A solid gold genius.

  21. Ken Bell

    Tell me, Oh Oracle of Delphi, who I shall vote for…

  22. Rogue

    Why the hell are you asking me?

  23. Ken Bell

    Because you said that I spend my time “defending the people who will eventually cut his benefits.” That’s nonsense, but never mind. I’m still curious to know which party you reckon I defend and will, therefore, vote for.

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