Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Daily Star: 'shamelessly looking to cash in'

From 6 June to today, the Daily Star has put the word 'Giggs' in its main front page headline every single day (this excludes the Daily Star Sunday, which has stuck with Pippa Middleton for the last two weeks). The first twelve of these front pages are available on the Media Blog.

Yet on 17 June - the 11th day - the paper's editorial was criticising the people involved in this tawdry story for forgetting there are:

little children at the centre of this scandal.

And for:

shamelessly looking to cash in


Today, the 14th front page claims that 'Sex addict Giggs gets therapy':

It's another story that the Star calls an 'exclusive' and states that Giggs is in some kind of therapy. Is he?

Here's how Jerry Lawton begins his article:

Manchester United have signed up God to keep bedhopping stars like Ryan Giggs on the straight and narrow.


Club chaplain Rev John Boyers revealed his job now involves teaching players about “sexual ethics”. The morality lessons come after the club has been rocked by a series of sex scandals...

Now club bosses want Rev Boyers to lecture rising stars on sexual morality in a bid to stop future scandals.

So Giggs isn't actually 'getting therapy'. The Star's 'exclusive' is that Manchester United FC has a chaplain. But this isn't really an 'exclusive', or even news, as Boyers has been doing that job since 1992.

But the Star tries to pretend there's something new here. Lawton says Boyers is 'now' teaching about 'sexual ethics' 'after' recent 'sex scandals' - as if this is somehow linked to the Giggs case.

It isn't.

He quotes Boyers saying:

“I do some work with the academy teaching them life skills – situations in life they may encounter and how they might cope.

“Things like friendship, sexual ethics, bereavement, bullying and prejudice, racism. I try to help them prepare for adult life.

But compare that to something Boyers wrote in a June 2010 article called 'Prayers for the players' (pdf):

I do some educational work with younger academy players. SCORE has some ‘Life-skills’ teaching material which looks at issues such as friendships, bereavement, bullying, sexual ethics, decision making, prejudice, privilege and responsibility etc.

Lawton goes on to quote Boyers saying:

“I also do general pastoral support and spiritual support work right across the club...

“We’ve had many situations in football ranging from drugs scandals to financial scandals and behavioural scandals which show there is real worth in having a chaplaincy.’’

And compare that to a quote from Boyers found in an Independent article from November 1995:

"Clubs are seeing the value of the chaplaincy as a pastoral and spiritual safety net...

"We've had many situations in football ranging from drugs scandals to financial scandals and behavioural scandals which show there is real worth in having a chaplaincy."

It could be the Boyers has said the same things then and now. But it appears that Lawton is copying previous statements from Boyers that he's found on the internet and is making them out to be both new and related to Giggs.

Lawton adds:

The minister will not discuss individual cases.

Which sounds a bit like the Independent's:

Rev Boyers won't discuss individual cases...

Lawton then relies on the anonymous sources he's so fond of using, claiming:

But club sources say Giggs has come under his wing during his 21-year career with Manchester United.

“I guess some people heed advice more than others,’’ the source said.

“Rev John is a highly regarded member of the team and does his best to help set our young players along the right path. Handling fame and all that goes with it is not easy.’’

Note that the 'club source' doesn't actual back up the contention made in the sentence before it.

So the story is nonsense, dubiously assembled and almost completely fictitious.

And so have most of the Star's front pages 'stories' about Giggs over the last few weeks, including the 'sexy girlie romp' that turned out to be a trip to an estate agent and the joke that was treated as fact. And many of them carry the byline of Jerry Lawton, the man behind the infamous Grand Theft Auto: Rothbury article.

For example, yesterday's front page stated:

The 'lover' in question is not Imogen Thomas, who is pictured in her underwear, but Giggs' sister-in-law Natasha. 'Sex romp revenge' sounds like a set of random Daily Star buzzwords, thrown together to sell papers. It's also an 'exclusive'. It says on the front page:

Ryan Giggs's sister-in-law lover will romp with EIGHT celebrity hunks to make the footie love cheat jealous.

This shows, of course, that the Star is deeply concerned about the:

little children at the centre of this scandal.

Lawton's article goes on to reveal:

Natasha, 28, has revealed to Facebook pals the names of eight stars she drools over.

So: woman tells friends that she fancies some celebs. It's not quite the same as saying she 'will romp' with them all in some 'sex revenge plot'.

Saturday's front page story claimed:

'I dressed a French maid', plus the word 'exclusive' and the photo all make it appear as if this was an interview, or at least an actual statement from a woman involved (Natasha, again).

The article by Lawton and Aaron Tinney began:

Ryan Giggs liked his sister-in-law lover to dress up as a French maid.

The Star's 'proof' for this claim:

Naughty Natasha, 28, donned a pink frilly micro-skirt and black G-string with white spots to thrill him.

And she was so proud of her cheeky look she showed it off on her Facebook site. Although her snap showed only her bottom she assured friends it was hers.

Pals said the fantastic figure she reveals in the photo explains why married Manchester United legend Ryan, 37, was tempted to play away from home for eight years.

So: woman posts picture of her bum on Facebook. Neither the anonymous pal who is quoted nor anyone else says anything about dressing as a French maid - except Lawton.

The day before, the paper was claiming 'another great Daily Star exclusive':

Once again, the headline makes it sound as if this is something that has actually been said. In this case, by Kym Marsh. 'Giggs bedded babe in my home'? Well, here's Lawton again:

Coronation Street beauty Kym Marsh fears Ryan Giggs romped in her bedroom with his sister-in-law... Kym, 35, and partner Jamie Lomas, 31...believe the lovers got it on in their posh pad.

So no actual proof then? And did Marsh actually say that?

One of Kym’s pals told the Daily Star: “Kym believes they could have been using her bedroom for their affair."

Ah, of course - another anonymous pal, who reveals that someone thinks something might have happened in their house before they moved in but since they weren't there don't really have any idea whether it did. Or not.

That's 'another great Daily Star exclusive'.

The day before that, the Star came up with this 'exclusive':

A 'baby bump'. 'Who's the daddy'? Here's Jerry 'the Pulitzer's coming soon' Lawton again:

Ryan Giggs was in shock last night after his sister-in-law lover flew home proudly sporting a mummy tummy.

Since Giggs isn't quoted, there's no way of knowing if he's 'shocked' or not. That's assuming she's even pregnant:

Natasha Giggs, 28, sparked speculation she might be pregnant as she jetted back to Britain looking rounder than normal.

Since she's only been in the public eye a few weeks, it's hard to know how the paper can claim to know what her 'normal' shape is.

But 'sparked speculation she might be pregnant'? That's a bit different to a definite 'baby bump'. Who was speculating?

One onlooker said: “The terminal was buzzing with talk that Natasha is pregnant again. She might just have been comfort-eating but if she is expecting, it will be yet another nightmare for Giggsy.”

So the speculation is from the all-seeing anonymous 'onlooker' who may or may not be someone in the Daily Star 'newsroom'.

The Mail website carried the same photos of Natasha Giggs at the airport. They didn't mention any 'speculation' and their pictures don't really show any noticeable 'baby bump'. But claiming someone is pregnant when they aren't is something the Star has done several times before.

Despite churning out this inaccurate, misleading, utterly tedious drivel day after day, the Daily Star still manages to be the fourth best-selling daily newspaper in the UK. But is the 15.9% fall in sales between April 2010 and April 2011 a sign that their readers are getting tired of being treated like fools?


  1. Well to be honest I never buy those rags, but sadly if you run around knocking off your brothers wife and a few others what the hell do you expect. Then spout about playing so long because I have a good solid family life, eat the right food and do not mess around out side of the game, then this happens , keep your shorts up and your trousers zipped.

  2. Lordy. Jerry Lawton must cry himself to sleep every night.

  3. I get the impression that this is the Star's rather childish revenge for Giggs' super-injunction.

  4. I suspect you may be optimistic about the possible limit of the taste of the Star's readers for this sort of twaddle. It's a frightening thought but can you imagine them all gathered together?

  5. The John Boyers quotes in the Daily Star are actually lifted from the latest issue of United We Stand, a Manchester United fanzine, whih has a good, in depth article with the chaplain at Old Trafford. Needless to say, the Star fail to attribute these quotes to the fanzine.


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