Monday, 27 February 2012

The Irish Sun on Sunday - How shit was it really?

In the sparkling sun of July last, a glorious event unfolded. An event that every virtuous person in the land will regale to their grandchildren as the slaying of an abhorrent institution. After putrid details of phone-hacking within the corporation was revealed, News International, owned by that devious shit Rupert Murdoch, were forced to close down the wretched News Of The World. As the ink dried on the last copy there were celebrations on the streets, worldwide displays of revelry and joy and the burning of a massive, 30ft effigy of Rupert Murdoch, lizard tail, fangs and all included. Or at least that's how I pictured it in my head. It might have worked out differently in reality, I was too busy being happy.

Anyway, 7 months later and NI have gotten round to releasing their brand-spanking new replacement to NOTW, creatively titled The Sun on Sunday. To be honest, I always saw the NOTW as The Sun, just on a Sunday. The SOS (haha, funny acronym) is being branded as more family orientated than the NOTW with less emphasis on sex and celebrity scoops. To investigate whether or not they were telling porkies, I picked up a copy of The Irish Sun on Sunday to assess for myself.

At first glance, it's just your standard The Sun newspaper really. No new design or free toy or anything. Bit of a let-down actually. After the build-up that preceded its official launch I expected the front page to at least carry a picture of Rupert Murdoch's chiselled face with the caption 'YOU CAN'T KILL WHAT ISN'T ALIVE BITCHES' emblazoned across the front but The ISOS have instead opted for some banal story about Brian Kennedy implying that Jedward are shit. That's not news. But of course this is a family paper and families love Jedward so by running a story about them they're relating to families. Them considerate chums. That whole family claptrap is down the drain though as soon as the first page is turned. Page 3 features a charming picture of X Factor judge and Beyonce botherer Kelly Rowland clasping her bare breasts. A sight for all the family to behold of course.

Having leafed through the first few pages I begin to ponder to myself, "What kind of warped family are The ISOS writing for?" Page 5 features a story on "Sex killer" Michael Bambrick "back on the prowl" in West Dublin. Page 19 and 20 feature a two-page-spread on the Tallifornia "Hotties" all holding their bare breasts in a pose not too different from Kelly Rowland's way yonder in Page 3. Page 25 is on Stephen Ireland's wife "exclusively" telling The ISOS that her husband could be the next Ozzy Osbourne. Don't ask me why, I didn't read it after the first two lines. Page 31's main story is a quite remarkable piece of journalism actually. It tells of "porn peddler" who "ballsed up" by selling "dodgy dickie medicines." Now guess where he's from. Go on. Kilcock. The fact he's from Kilcock is emphatically highlighted  by way of block capitals as if to suggest the writer is pissing himself silly like a 13-year-old boy whilst typing up the article. To make the piece even more jocular and humourous, the writer peppers the article with some horrendously funny erection puns (in block capitals of course) including, the convicted man not doing "HARD time" and dodging a "STIFF prison sentence". It's possible that the family orientated SOS is reserved only for the British editions of the paper and that the Irish paper does not fall under the same bracket. This would qualify the sex stories as suitable. Well, not really but it gives them an excuse.

The new columnists The ISOS has to offer range from passable to Katie Price. Passable being Jennifer Maguire, Katie Price being Katie Price. Enda Kenny even is afforded his own column in the inaugural toerag, I mean paper, but I just hope a grown-up helped him write his little propaganda piece. Roy Keane gets an entire two pages in the sports section to wax lyrical about Man City, this of course having nothing at all to do with his ongoing feud with Sir Alex Ferguson. Not a bad piece though in fairness, he seems quite the erudite writer. Oh God, I just read Katie Price's column. In one of her stories, she informs us that she recently attended a debate on feminism at Cambridge University and won the debate. This leads to the question, who was she debating against? Hugh Hefner? Larry Murphy? She claims it was Boris Johnson's sister. That woman is an editor of a magazine. I refuse to believe Katie Price beat her in a contest that involved structuring sentences. 

The "less emphasis placed on celebrity scoops" method seems to have been a figment of Murdoch's imagination as articles on celebrities form the backbone of The ISOS. A massive two-page spread on pages 6 and 7 is dedicated to a "World Exclusive" with Amanda Holden  divulging information on her recent caesarean section scare. No complaints here actually, it's a good story that fits in nicely with that "family orientated" spiel they were stringing out last week. Some of the other articles however are the conventional, NOTW-like celebrity nonsense. Besides the aforementioned Stephen Ireland, Tallafornia and Kelly Rowland articles, there are two celebrity sections, one written by the amiable Jennifer Maguire and the other charmingly entitled Bizarre. The rest of the paper is peppered with more celebrity junk including humdrum stories revolving around Mark Wahlberg, Blake Fielder-Civil (Amy Winehouse's former husband), Adele, Holly Willoughby and "TV3 beauty" Anna Daly (Nope, me neither). I simply loath this soporific bile but if you do enjoy your "CELEB GOSS" then you'll probably love The ISOS. If you're an idiot basically.

I could carry on with my review or diatribe, whichever way you look at it (I prefer diatribe) but I feel I've said enough. I feel dirty for buying The Sun, seedy for reading it and downright repugnant in the knowledge that I've given Rupert Murdoch money. If you do like The Sun, you'll like this. It's the same old rigmarole, horribly biased reporting and shoddy celebrity stories being de rigeur, in much the same vein as normal, weekday The Sun. I would urge everyone not to buy it though. Buy the Guardian and inform yourself. 

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