The Sun stoops to conquer.

John Naughton was the (unintended?) recipient of this

A copy of an intriguing email just popped into my inbox:

Please do let me know if you think you can help.

From: [redacted]
Sent: 27 April 2010 11:15
To: [redacted]
Subject: request from Jenna Sloan, The Sun

If you have relevant information for the media professional concerned
please click this link to reply:

Request deadline: Thursday 29 April, 2010, 4:00 pm

Contact me by e-mail at

My request: I’m looking for a teacher and a nurse to be case studies in The Sun next week.
This is for a political, election feature and both must be willing to say why they feel let down by the Labour Government, and why they are thinking about voting Conservative.

We’ll need to picture them, and also have a chat about their political opinions.
We can pay the case studies £100 for their time.

Is this genuine, I wonder? If so, interesting, ne c’est pas? First of all in terms of the implicit journalistic ’standards’, but also in terms of chequebook journalism. It just shows you what they think of teachers and NHS Staff — assuming that they’d be willing to pimp themselves for £100. Max Clifford’s clients wouldn’t blow their noses for that.

It says a lot about the regard in which we hold the fourth estate that we do not entertain for a moment the possibility that either Jones or the Sun is above this kind of “dirty trick”.


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