The tabloid obsession with paedophilia and death has always been tawdry and prurient.
Why can’t they stop thinking about it? It’s more concerning when one considers the seeming lack of genuine care for victims beyond the degree that suffering can be exploited to shift copy, or revel in sanctimony.
The Sun’s sister rag, The News Of The World, spied on at least one victim of a child murderer and her family. Tabloids daren’t face the complex and awkward issues behind the horrid subject – too much detail (yawn), not exciting or “sexy” enough in their own parlance.
All they want to know about is dirty pervs having sex with kids, so they can go on and on about how dirty and pervy it is.
This Sunday could have seen a new low. Lacking a dirty pervy child abuse story of note, the front page of Murdoch’s festering “news” paper still reads : BULGER KILLER GROOMED ME FOR SEX.
A couple of decades ago, a ghastly murder guaranteed tabloid vultures endless headlines. Not only was the murder of the child horrid beyond belief with some sexual undertones, but the murderers were kids too! Brill!! So the sequels will be endless.
Tabloids adore death, especially the death of a child if it turns out to have been carried out by a vile sexual predator. When a child goes missing you can almost sense the thrill among the editorial teams, and the comedown if the little mite shows up alive and well…oh well, twiddle your thumbs till the next time and cook up some hatred of migrants or C list gossip instead…
The headline in question is so disgusting because the word “groomed” has long been associated with the practice of seducing children for sex. The story has it that John Venables flirted with someone on the internet, starting around 5 years ago, with conversation about films and bands and the occasional bit of explicit photography. The supposed target of his desire was an adult. The headline leads us to reasonably think it was a child, deliberately. It is fantasising about paedophilia where it doesn’t exist. The Sun is now a home to the child abuse fantasist. The defence of their stories is usually that they are giving people what they want. The Sun thus thinks we are a nation of child abuse fantasists too.
Venables has had a child porn conviction, a sheer delight to the lynch mob of itself, but in the absence of further offences, or some vigilantes hunting him down, this kind of story will do.
A suprising number of people have had their lives ruined, including to the point of suicide, through being mistaken for the likes of Venables and Maxine Carr. That needn’t bother Murdoch or his “journalists”. It’s a price worth paying for keeping the stories alive, if they are aware of the price at all.
So, the real story is “bloke tried to chat up woman online”. But the bloke had a nasty past that excites tabloids, so she thought she’d flog the story. Now “bloke tried to chat up woman online” is front page news of our biggest selling paper.
In the past week we’ve had “Alleged murder victim on other side of world got in car” as a front page, because the poor woman, Reeva Steenkamp, was attractive and married to a famous athlete and someone had found some low quality shots of her shortly before her death.
Lots of rags also delighted in showing lots of pictures of the dead woman in her bikini. Sex and death: Sexydeath? Deathsexy? Maybe a shame she wasn’t a child into the bargain really, but hey-ho, at least she was female. You don’t get endless pictures of dead blokes in their underwear. These publications ain’t just for paedophile fantasists, but mysoginists too – such a broad church!
There are other instances of tabloids being a paedophile delight – the “All Grown Up” articles about 14 year olds that The Mail Online site was famous for, with lurid text about “figure hugging” clothes; The “phwoar” type pictures of Charlotte Church and others printed on their 16th birthday, but clearly taken before. The Charlotte Church item was in The Star, a paedophile paper owned by pornographer Richard Desmond.
Please post with any more such instances. It’s high time we alerted ourselves and others to the full child-abuse menace of the popular paedophile press. They feed a culture of sexualisation of children, then they feed off it. But as in so many instances, the press will blame so anyone but themselves for social ills.
The Sun is now one step closer to being a full-on paedophile news sheet, serving the consumer desires of paedophiles, propagating the myth of the “stranger” paedophile, as opposed to the truth of the family based majority of offenders, thus to the latter’s benefit. The Sun is the paedophile’s friend.