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A Silent Assassin?

Gordon Brown appeared on BBC News today to talk about amongst other things how he was devastated to read a news report in The Sun newspaper about his son Fraser having cystic fibrosis. He had never wanted these details to be in the public arena, he said, and wondered how someone had got hold of the medical records of his entire family.

Watching him on TV brought back that Sun Front Page that depicted him as a squatter in Downing Street the day after last year’s inconclusive election result.

The Sun had of course devoted much of its front page and back page that summer to the cricket fixing scandal that was broke in her sister paper, The News of the World. The venom that was deployed against the Pakistani cricketers had clearly spread to its coverage of the general election with Brown now in her sights.

They did not hold back, and after Brown made his departure, some wondered who would next. So, it is indeed ironic that we are now into the second week of a scandal surrounding News Corporation. Already, we have seen the closure of the News of World, with an annoucements by Rupert Murdoch that he would be putting his bid for BSkyB on hold which was followed by the Culture Secretary telling the House of Commons that he would be referring the bid to the Competition Commission. The word ‘contagion’ which is still widely used when financial markets refer to Greece, has now become coinage when broadcasters refer to the Rupert Murdoch and his vast media empire.

And Brown, that figure from the not so distant past has just put another of his titles into the frame, namely that of The Sunday Times.