Terrible tabloid scum paper The Sun has a long and ignoble history of fabricative journalism.  It’s quite a feat, for example, to get pretty much an entire city to boycott  your publication.

Liverpool-supporting Scousers are right to snub the Scum (as it is popularly known) because it printed appalling distortions of reality about them.  It was the Sun what done this to others as well, with Elton John perhaps being the most famous example of someone who managed to extract due tribute for halfbaked journalism.

There are numerous other reasons to not actually buy a copy.  However, from a purely socio‑linguistic point of view, they also fabricate headlines that are the stuff of legend, I noted while reading over the shoulder of a fellow DLR passenger late last week. (Delay in publication caused by loss of memory stick… well, loss of memory over Bank Holiday weekend… anyway) 

Casting the mind back, I savoured the banner for a report in the Scottish Sun’s sport section in 2000, on Inverness Caledonian Thistle’s surprise 3-1 victory over Celtic in a cup match, which may go some more years before being bested:

SUPER CALEY GO BALLISTIC, CELTIC ARE ATROCIOUS

However, 22 May 2009’s effort was impressive.  The story: after a long campaign, British army veteran Gurkhas win full rights to settle in the UK. 

The headline:

GURKISH DELIGHT.

I was so tickled by this that I texted some pals in an attempt to generate the most preposterous headline thread possible.  We eventually managed to work up this diseased offering: the Sun-friendly tale of the shame of an ex‑soldier who settles in the UK, converts to Islam and begins claiming benefits while running an illicit pubic wig factory… the story to be accompanied by a photograph of the unrepentant villain laughing at the photographer:

SMIRKING FORMER GURKHA

BURQA LURKER

MIRKIN MAKER SHOCKER

And then it was the Bank Holiday weekend and we all went home for tea.  The guy reading the Currant Bun chucked it in the bin as he got off the train.

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