Friday, 13 November 2009

Page 3 Propaganda (Video Does Contain Boobs)

This is a great piece of work by Tim Ireland of Bloggerheads, a short film that exposes the long history of using the Page 3 girls as mouthpieces for political propaganda; brainwashing their readers with boobage, as Tim calls it.

You may laugh but this insidious tactic sums up the back hand way The Scum works to spread myths and whoever's political agenda it is currently backing, as Tim says:
"Since 2003, the Page 3 feature in The Sun has carried an item called 'News in Briefs' instead of the usual pun-filled caption of days of yore. Even the title itself is a lie; this 'news' item rarely carries news, and instead carries an editorial/opinion (an important distinction to make, especially when dealing with media owner Rupert Murdoch, the father of FOX News).
We are not saying that a young woman with her tits out is not allowed to have an opinion; far from it. We are instead asking, if Page 3 is as 'empowering' as some people claim, then why aren't these women allowed to choose which issue(s) they discuss and/or express their own opinion about that when appearing on Page 3?
At present, they are clearly often (if not always) compelled to echo/repeat the opinions of Rupert Murdoch, Rebekah Wade, Dominic Mohan, Graham Dudman, or whoever else is calling the shots that day. This is not empowerment; rather, it is exploitation.
We challenge The Sun to allow Page 3 girls to use their paid appearance(s) in that tabloid as a personal/political platform, just as they do for columnists such as Jeremy Clarkson, Jon Gaunt, Lorraine Kelly and Jane Moore.
If there is to be editorial content on Page 3, then it should be clearly labelled as opinion (not news) and it should always be the heartfelt, unprompted opinion of the woman whose name, face and tits are being used to sell the idea. End of.
Any standard less than this exploits these women and cheats the readers."

Page 3 :: Girls + Words from Tim Ireland on Vimeo.


  1. As with the Guido blog I wrote about earlier (where you left a comment), I have no doubt that all of this has some sort of effect and reaches the places that other methods cannot reach.

    I really don't claim to know the answer as I think this is alla bit insidious. With page 3 you are caught between a rock and a hard place. If you criticise it, then the Sun portrays you as "out of touch with the working man" and if you buy into it, well you buy into it.

    Interestingly enough a few Guido fans emailed me to say I was spot on and he has lost his Mojo of late. Job done, Heh heh Heh

  2. Tim Ireland is a twat.

    The "News in Briefs" section of Page 3, would you believe, is a joke. Many of the readers appreciate that these women probably don't have these opinions and that they are "made up". The likes of Tim Ireland and other puffed up media watchers automatically take the stand-point that the Great British PublicTM is thick and stupid, and actually believe everything they read in the papers.

    As someone who comes into contact with said public and sells them the papers on a daily basis, I know the truth. The truth is people are cleverer than that and they can see this for what it is - the same goes for a lot of the stuff published in the Sun and other newspapers. You see, the age of newspaper propaganda has passed and those little pricks who waste their time haranging the likes of the Sun or the Mail are usually just preaching to the choir and pissing in the wind at the same time. Our multimedia culture means that the newspaper no longer holds the power it once did (everyone uses the Neil Kinnock/Sun/Election example, so shall I), but would such a plea work again?

    If the Sun publishes a similar front page on Election Day 2010, it won't be the paper that brings Gordon "Gawd what's he done now?" Brown's reign to an end. People have already made their choice and formed their opinion not because of one newspaper but through a multitude of media outlets as well as actually talking to their peers. (Yes, people do still talk politics over a pint).

    The likes of Tim Ireland do the Great British PublicTM a great disservice with their ultra-PC, right-on, look-at-me-I'm-the-clever-one routine. The "News in Brief" section is a joke and meant to be taken as one. I've been reading them aloud to The Missus since their inception and they always raise a smile. Sandi Toksvig, when she had her daily radio show on LBC, even made it a feature on her show - five years ago! Wow, this is current stuff, ain't it?

    Now here's a secret. Whenever there's a new editor of the Sun sworn in, the Page 3 girl of the day is specially commissioned so that she share's their name. Wow, man. It's a conspiracy...

    Me? I just like the tits. Boobs are fucking great.

    PS. Sorry for the ramble. Hard day - taking my frustrations out on your comments section. Have a good weekend! (I won't)

  3. "The "News in Brief" section is a joke and meant to be taken as one."

    Perhaps, but just as in the case of something like The Daily Show, it still carries persuasive power, if only through its memorableness... if that's a word.

    @ DHG: I had this idea a while back where I would take porn images and provide the "players" with word bubbles carrying conservative policy statements (the idea being that the GOP was both obscene and fucking us silly).
    I still think about this, but I suspect my wife would disapprove.

  4. DHG: Thanks for the link support. You may wish to change your embedded version to the Vimeo update; YouTube have decided to be wankers.

    Darren: On your acceptance/adoption of the line that this is a harmless joke aimed at people who typically don't read this newspaper:

    1. Just had this conversation. Rebekah Wade took it pretty seriously when Blunkett's career was in dire jeopardy.

    2. Had this conversation a year ago; Keeley Hazell comments on the Large Hadron Collider


  5. Rog:

    The Internet political community is its own world to a degree and has its own memes and events that can pass the real world right by.


    Sorry mate but please don't call Tim a twat, he is a good man and not a twat at all and I agree with this, so no doubt that makes me a twat too but in your desire to dismiss the impact of the Scum's words and play up the skills of its readership, first off, this isn't about the readers being at fault, it is about the newspaper and the kind of tactics and behaviours it uses.


    I wouldn't buy that it is a joke Dave, it is not meant to be one and not taken as one, it is a device of propaganda.


    Apologies for Darren's rant, you know that I don't share those views at all otherwise I wouldn't have put the post up about it. And I have switched to the new vimeo video.

  6. That is just so tremendously... weird. From an American standpoint, it's almost alien.

  7. Saur:

    Agreed, from an American perspective it must be very odd, the idea of the most popular UK newspaper having boobs in it and then the boobs being used as a political mouthpiece.

    It's alien to many Brits to be honest.

  8. My Brother in law is a yank, who's dad was a pentecostal minister. I will never forget the day he bought the Sun to read on the train and was confronted by Page 3. He was totally bemused and kept lookin at the front page to check if it was a paper. Then he asked why they had pornography in a newspaper. "To sell it". He didn't get it

  9. That Rog, is as good a description of the bizarreness of the Sun to foreign readers right there as we are likely to get!

  10. DHG: Don't sweat it.

    Rog T: The Sun managed to have their cake and eat it when the conservative born-again Christian George W Bush made his controversial visit to the UK. The only British newspaper to get an interview was The Sun.

    (The Washington Post reported that this was done "on the recommendation of Tony Blair" and that "officials at the White House acknowledge that it was a reward to the Sun for its unstinting support of the United States regarding the war in Iraq.")

    The interview appeared on Monday 17th Nov 2003, in a rare edition that did not include a topless model on Page 3 (normally it takes an earthquake or explosion or some other form of massive death toll to shift it, which was a fitting tribute to Bush when you think about it). The next day, Page 3 was back, and presented the following next to the photo of their topless model for the day:

    Page 3 Idol Krystle says President Bush's visit is a boost for Britain. She adds: "He is the most powerful man in the world and it's nice to welcome him to this country. I think his first state visit will symbolise America's special relationship with us. I hope he enjoys Britain."

  11. I wish I had known about this when I was taking journalism classes in college. Page 3 is a dissertation waiting to happen. I'd love to see a satire of topless women revealing their actual opinions. As weird as it is, this artificial mouthpiece barrage vaguely reminds me of the American "God Speaks" billboard campaign. Absurd.

  12. Absurd indeed, a tedious bit of the past being trotted out for political purposes.


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