The Sun will enjoy a huge publicity boost by continuing to publish its trademark feature, but has it gone too far in mocking its detractors?by Josh Lowe / January 22, 2015 / Leave a comment
Earlier this week, despite a lack of official denial from the newspaper, most of the British media reported that controversial news/boobs feature “page 3″ had been scrapped from The Sun. Feminist campaigners who opposed the prominent picturing of half-naked women in a news publication celebrated, while others weighed in to defend the feature.
Late last night, both groups got a shock as the paper published an edition with its trademark glamour model slot reinstalled, under the tongue-in-cheek headline “clarifications and corrections.”
— The Sun (@TheSunNewspaper) January 21, 2015
The paper, in true red-top style, is delighted to have infuriated so many prominent liberals and broadsheet journalists. The story of page 3′s disappearance appeared in other Murdoch publications The Times and Sky News, raising questions about whether this was a co-ordinated prank by News UK or The Sun pulling the wool over its own stablemates’ eyes. The Sun‘s press officer Dylan Sharpe was foremost among the triumphant voices:
— Dylan Sharpe (@dylsharpe) January 22, 2015
But when does a spirit of “I told you so” become something more sinister? Well, right here, according to a lot of angry people who think that tweeting a gloating picture of bare breasts at feminist campaigners and high-profile women is possibly a step too far:
— Kay Burley (@KayBurley) January 22, 2015
@dylsharpe The way that you’re using a 22 year old girl to make a point is predatory and creepy and ruining my morning.
— Rebecca Reid (@AFTRebecca) January 22, 2015
@dylsharpe you’re tweeting pictures of topless women to politicians and journalists. You’re a grown man.
— Jess Brammar (@jessbrammar) January 22, 2015
And others who claim that using a model to score points over rivals is offensive for reasons apart from the debate about page 3′s day-to-day operation:
That actually makes me way more angry than p3 itself. It’s objectification of the absolute most hateful kind.
— Caroline CriadoPerez (@CCriadoPerez) January 22, 2015
@CCriadoPerez using women’s bodies to get cash, publicity & as pawns in their game. Classic old fashioned misogyny- women aren’t people.
— sianushka (@sianushka) January 22, 2015
In any case, it seems as if this plea from BuzzFeed’s Jim Waterson will go unheard:
In the name of sanity, can we limit the number of Page 3 thinkpieces tomorrow to two? Liddle can do the one in favour, NoMorePage3 t’other.
— Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson) January 21, 2015