The Sun doesn’t care about justice, it cares about gossip and winning
Or... why Dan Wootton is a terrible human
|Mic Wright||Nov 3, 2020||3|
Yesterday was a good day for The Sun and its parent company, News Group Newspapers, as they and The Sun’s executive editor, Dan Wootton — who was personally named in the case — were vindicated by the High Court in a libel battle against Johnny Depp.
The legal success meant The Sun was able to crow about what it says is its long history of supporting victims of domestic violence. The Sun putting itself up as a champion for justice is a bit like a Shark signing on to promote Meat Free Mondays.
Depp brought the case after Wootton wrote an article headlined “GONE POTTY How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife-beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?” The contention by Depp was that he is not a wife beater and that The Sun had libelled him in saying that he had attacked Amber Heard.
Mr Justice Nichol, the judge in the case, said:
“The claimant [Depp] has not succeeded in his action for libel. Although he has proved the necessary elements of his cause of action in libel, the defendants have shown that what they published in the meaning which I have held the words to bear was substantially true.
I have reached these conclusions having examined in detail the 14 incidents on which the defendants rely as well as the overarching considerations which the claimant submitted I should take into account.”
Of course, Wootton — essentially just a free-floating ego with a spray tan — celebrated the ‘win’ with all the class of a Made In Chelsea cast member rolled in glue and fired through a glitter factory. While making an encomium to Amber Heard on his TalkRadio show, his dewy-eyed performance had all the emotional truth of Kaa in the Jungle Book trying to eat Mowgli.
In both his Sun columns and TalkRadio show Wootton is shit-stirrer supreme. He focused on Depp and Heard’s marriage not because he cares about Amber Heard or Depp, but because celebrities sell papers. Wootton feeds on controversy, pain, and division. Without that witch’s brew, his radio show would be entirely free of content.
It was Wootton, himself gay, who was instrumental in pushing Phillip Schofield out of the closet and onto the front page of The Sun. It was Wootton who wrote a ‘story’ headlined ‘Hollywood HIV Panic’ in 2015, which was condemned by the Terence Higgins Trust. It is Wootton who was exposed as a conspiracy theory pushing danger by Labour MP, Chris Bryant, last month 👇🏻
The Sun has shown over decades that it is a homophobia, racist, misogynist endeavour. A quick flick through the newspapers archives throws up numerous examples — notably its knowingly false reporting — along with its shuttered Sunday sibling The News of the World — about AIDS in the 80s — and it cannot be allowed to position itself as a champion of social justice.
The Sun is a regressive, ultra-conservative publication and exists purely to push the agenda of its owner Rupert Murdoch. Domestic violence is a huge problem in the UK and across the world. It must be reported on more throughly in the press, but The Sun isn’t the hero here, whatever its mouthpieces might tell you.