Accused over their front-page splash revealing confidential details on the health of Gordon Brown’s disabled son, The Sun has resorted to invoking its relationship with a charity in a desperate bid to stem the backlash. But a source from the Cystic Fibrosis Trust has described allusions to a formal relationship as “misleading”.
Yesterday, Brown spoke of his shock at seeing his youngest son Fraser’s details plastered across the paper’s front page:
“[We were] in tears … Sarah and I were incredibly upset about it.”
As News International shifts to a more bullish posture against allegations of invasion of privacy, The Sun has denied that any hacking took place and has credited its own “responsible, sympathetic and informative coverage” with an increase in donations to the Trust.
But in a statement given to Political Scrapbook this morning, a spokesperson for the charity hit back at the paper’s tactics:
“The release of any medical information to the media or anyone else is a decision for patients or, in the case of children, their parents to make. The Cystic Fibrosis Trust does not condone the release or publication of such information, without express permission, regardless of their motivation.”
Another page on the paper’s website boasts about increasing “national understanding” of the condition by working “in partnership with the Cystic Fibrosis Trust”. But describing The Sun’s claims as “misleading” the charity denied any formal partnership and emphasised that the same information on the disease was provided to other media outlets.
“The story about the Browns wasn’t published with our co-operation. We had nothing to do with the breaking of the story.”
Murdoch Morality: It’s acceptable to publish confidential medical details of a four month old baby — provided your paper can take credit for an increase in charity donations.