John Coles and the Theme of Terrorism

As has been widely blogged, UK Sun hack John Coles has caused disgust across the Brit blogosphere with a nasty hachet job aimed at Steve Nutt, a young man of no interest to the wider public. This is because Nutt’s father is David Nutt, who until recently was the government’s main drugs advisor before being sacked after suggesting that some of the risks around drug taking had been overstated in comparison with other potentially dangerous activities. This prompted Coles to bring all his investigative skills to bear for a background piece – which in his case meant accessing the Facebook accounts of Nutt’s children for a shocking exposé:

THE youngest son of Professor David Nutt – sacked as government drugs adviser – has posted pictures of himself on Facebook apparently smoking dope…

…It was not known if the professor at London’s elite Imperial College has been privy to his daughter Lydia’s Facebook pages.

Photos show her and girl pals cavorting with a bottle of spirits in hand – and were uploaded two years before she turned 18.

Meanwhile older lad Johnny, 26, has posted photos of himself prancing NAKED in the snow in Sweden.


Steve Nutt thinks his dad is probably more famous than he’ll ever be, BARRING A TERRORIST ATROCITY THAT IS… “

Terrorism is a theme that regularly crops up in his messages.

Shockingly, instead of sticking a portrait of himself in his “profile” photo slot like most Facebook users, his image is of an orange labelled “product of Israel” – one half of which is a GRENADE.

But terrorism is also a theme that “regularly crops up”  in Coles’ lazy hackery; let us remember this Guardian article:

On 7 January the Sun’s front page splash, under the headline “Terror Target Sugar”, quoted claims by “anti-terror expert” Glen Jenvey that online Muslim forum was being used by extremists to target leading British Jews in revenge for Israel’s invasion of Gaza.

The Sun subsequently removed the story, which carried the bylines of John Coles and Mike Sullivan, from its website.

Coles and Sullivan were spoonfed bogus information that had in fact been generated by Jenvey himself (see here); in fairness, it came to them via a news agency, and Jenvey had an endorsement from Patrick Mercer MP (which still needs further explanation), but they took responsibility for the Sun piece with their bylines – and the story fell apart thanks to a bit of on-line digging by Tim Ireland that put the hacks to shame. So now we’ve twice seen Coles trying to puff up fears over “terrorism”; in the first instance by using material that a competent journalist would have rejected, and in  the second by absurdly over-egging a non-story about a private individual using material found on Facebook.

Of course, Facebook offers endless fields of easy gleanings for hacks looking to cobble together easy copy – see Paula Murray.

One Response

  1. When you can’t attack the message, savage the messenger always works.

    David Nutt made a brave and principled statement about drug use as related to booze and cigs and for that, he gets fired.

    Can’t have the lumpenproletariat thinking about serious matters, just keep shoveling sports, sex and government propaganda into their brains to keep them docile and pliable.

    The SUN is just another disinfo outlet owned by Murdoch whose idea of journalism is to promote lascivious stories about shapely, big-breasted women.

    Which works well, as the SUN is the UK’s best selling rag and the world’s 2nd largest English language yellow sheet.

    You’ll never go broke appealing to the lowest common denominator.

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