Saturday, December 13, 2008

Drug dealers are OK, providing they're dealing to Amy Winehouse

The Sun doesn't like drug dealers. They're scum and something must be done:

Now defeatists are raising their hands and calling for drugs to be legalised.

That is a recipe for disaster and an even bigger explosion in drug-related death.

The only solution is a total war on importers, dealers and users.

They should be locked up and keys thrown away:
High crime rates and hard drugs go hand in hand. A few years ago, Chicago forced every deskbound cop back on to its streets. They targeted drug dealers and locked them away - and the crime rate plummeted.

It's unequivocal in its line: drug dealers ruin lives and must be dealt with by the full force of the law.

Oddly, though, when the now-convicted dealers Johnny Blagrove and Cara Burton came to the paper's offices, rather than "waging war" on them, or calling the police to have them "locked away", the paper cut a cheque for thousands of pounds.

The paper could, of course, argue that it was necessary to buy the video to expose Winehouse's drug use, and that it was working for a greater good - but you'd think, then, that the paper would mention how far deep into Murdoch's pockets it dug for the greater good. Instead, while the New York Times and the Mail happily handed drug dealers fifty thousand pounds, the paper is coy about its own role. In fact, it neglects to mention paying at all:
The pair handed the footage to The Sun but the paper later passed it to police.

By 'handed', you mean 'sold', surely?

Still, to be fair, the paper's "Staff reporter" doesn't quite duck their employer's responsibility:
The judge added that the sentence was passed solely for Blagrove’s offer to supply drugs, not for the sale of the video footage.

He told the court: “A more public spirited person would have handed it to the police, rather than making money from it.

“But it would be quite wrong to punish him for that.”

Or perhaps the staff reporter didn't register that this is as much a criticism of a world in which newspapers would be prepared to give dealers cash in return for videos of famous people on drugs.

No word on what the pair did with fifty grand of News International money, though. Perhaps they invested it in Icelandic banks, eh?