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

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


‘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
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