How low can the Sun stoop?

drugs-alcohol

So I’m sure you’re all aware of the recent sacking of David Nutt. His name may not be familiar, but I’m sure his story is. To tell it briefly, he was the Government’s chief drugs advisor. In his role, he stated that there needed to be better ways to classify both legal and illegal drugs. He went on to state that due to recent scientific research, alcohol and tobacco ranked as being more harmful than Cannabis, LSD and Ecstasy. He was promptly sacked under the official line of “damaging efforts to give the public clear messages about the dangers of drugs”. In my opinion, the fact that Mr Nutt, who was appointed to advise the government on their drugs policy, was sacked for doing just that seems to be quite ridicolous. However I’m sure you’ll have your opinions on the matter.

However, since this decision, another war has been waged, by tabloids against the Nutt family. Started by the Sun and continued by the Daily Mail, they have now taken photos of David’s son Steve from Facebook, apparently taking drugs, in a pathetic attempt to slander David Nutt’s character. For me this is quite personal, as I know the Nutt family well, and can’t see how a slanderous piece such as this can be beneficial to the Sun’s readers. The simple verdict is it’s not, and is a quite outrageous piece of low level ‘journalism’ in an attempt to sell papers. More worringly is the fact that images have been taken from a profile on facebook without prior consent of the owner or publisher, and used in a way in which they portray the subject negatively. And that’s putting it mildly. To be honest, there’s very little Steve can do about his images getting into the public domain. Facebook offer’s little protection against that. However, there is a lot he can do about the Sun et al and the story they’ve printed, as it borders on rank libel.

Saying that this piece goes against the Code of Practice is putting it lightly, as it portrays Steve as a joint toting, drug abusing fiend. This portrayl is then used to suggest that Mr Nutt is ill-equipped to advise the government on their drugs policy, due to not being able to control the use of drugs in his own home. Having known the family from when I was young, I can quite confidently state that this is both wrong and completely mis-leading, as all the Nutt’s are both intelligent and intellectual. On the basis of all the above, I have submitted a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission. If you value both accurate and informative journalism, I advise you do the same.

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