Chris Bascombe, dedicated correspondent on all things pertaining to Liverpool Football Club for the Liverpool Echo, has caused a stir recently, as highlighted this week by Roy Greenslade on his Media Guardian blog:
Bascombe's decision to leave his job at the Echo & join the News of the World has provoked a lot of criticism, some of it disturbingly threatening. Bascombe's "crime", in the eyes of some, is that by joining the MOTW, Bascombe is pallying up to its sister rag, the Sun, whose obscenity after Hillsborough is known to many on Merseyside.
Greenslade rightly condemns the threats made against Bascombe. However, he mistakenly suggests at the end of his piece:
"But I wonder if this is the appropriate moment to ask whether they are also wrong to continue to ostracise The Sun? Is that boycott justified any longer? It is almost 18 years since the lies, headlined as 'The Truth', were published. None of the journalists directly involved in putting together the disgusting front page --accusing fans of being responsible for the tragedy and for hampering rescue operations-- now work on The Sun's staff."
Greenslade, however, does contradict his own point when he concedes that Kelvin MacKenzie, then Sun editor, is now employed as a columnist on the paper.
For this reason, though there are a few others, in my book, it is only right that the boycott continues.
I also recall the badges worn by many on Merseyside in the aftermath of the disaster, calling for a boycott of ALL News International titles.
I realise that Bascombe, an ostensibly unassuming, personable hack, is entitled to work for whoever he wishes. However, his air of wounded innocence at even the milder posts of criticism on the messageboards & blogs suggests that he is pretty naive not to expect at least some flak for his decision to work for a Murdoch paper.