The setting Sun

by Stephen Tall on June 5, 2006

Cristina Odone has an interesting take on The Sun’s current little local difficulties in today’s mediagrauniad:

The paper failed to expose the scandals surrounding Prescott, from his romps with Tracey Temple (a Mirror scoop) to croquet on the lawn at Dorneywood (Mail on Sunday). Kate Moss’s coke habit (Mirror) and Heather and Paul McCartney’s split (Mirror again) were also missed opportunities.

Such failures to lead the news agenda are, apparently, placing Rebekah Wade, the paper’s editor, in some jeopardy:

“After the Mirror got its Prescott scoop,” one hack remembers, “there was a sense of ‘batten down the hatches, boys, she’s coming to get you’.”

Of course, all newspapers are under the kosh right now. The red-tops are haemorrhaging readers, both to the Internet and to the mid-market Mail; the middle-brows are eyeing nervously the invasion of the former broadsheets onto their terrain; while the Torygraph, Times, grauniad and Indy are all leading on a Mail-plus news agenda.

However, I cannot help but feel that Ms Odone over-eggs the pudding just a little when she claims The Sun’s readers

are finding the paper’s politics increasingly perplexing: does the Sun want Blair out now? Does it support Brown over Blair? Cameron over both?

I accept media commentators may find the paper’s political positioning “increasingly perplexing”, but its readers…? In any case, sorting this out will not be down to Ms Wade:

The editorial team admits the decision is not Wade’s to make: [Rupert Murdoch] calls the shots.

As if we were ever in any doubt.