Hodgson headline was just plain nasty ridicule

Don't worry children, it won't hurt a bit...

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This column is about The News rather than other newspapers, but it’s also about things that might affect us, and on that basis I thought I’d speak my mind on The Sun’s headline last week after the appointment of Roy Hodgson as England football manager.

For those of you who missed it, consider yourself lucky and my apologies that I need to repeat it here.

Stating Bwing on the Euwos! (We’ll see you in Ukwaine against Fwance) it gained its ‘inspiration’ from Mr Hodgson’s slight speech impediment.

I’ve always admired The Sun as the national paper most likely to excite, entertain, surprise – and sell.

But when it gets it wrong, it usually does so spectacularly, and this was the case here. I had a day off last Wednesday and bought The Sun for once, distractedly picking up a copy for its excellent racing pages. But as soon as I saw the front page, my heart sank.

The headline was surely nothing more than nasty ridicule. Even one of the paper’s former editors described it as ‘pointlessly cruel, pointlessly hurtful.’

The actions of national newspapers do help shape the public’s view on journalists in general, which is why I highlight this issue today.

The Sun has sprung to its own defence, saying its approach was light-hearted.

I think it would have done a service to journalists in general – and the public – by instead saying sorry, with the two rs underlined for effect.