Tabloid muck-raker Kelvin MacKenzie received a taste of his own medicine yesterday afternoon, as he was confronted at his own home by Channel 4 News reporter Andy Thomson over The Sun’s coverage of the Hillsborough tragedy in 1989.
As editor of The Sun from 1981-1994, MacKenzie oversaw the irrefutably odious “The Truth” article, which claimed Liverpool fans “picked pockets of victims”, “urinated on the brave cops” and “beat up PCs giving the kiss of life”.
Thomson doorstepped MacKenzie over recent statements made by the writer of the original article, Harry Arnold, who insisted he had written the story in a “fair and balanced way”, stressing claims of “mass drunkenness” and criminal behaviour were just “allegations”.
He said that MacKenzie had applied the headline “The Truth”, and then dismissed Arnold’s objections to the way the story was being presented.
MacKenzie, usually in possession of the self-satisfied smugness of someone who enjoys the smells of their own farts, was visibly disturbed by the encounter and locked himself inside his house, refusing to answer any questions.
Unable to get a response, Thomson later approaches MacKenzie as he attempts to get in his car. The ex-tabloid hack slams the door against Thomson as he tries to drive away.
Asked about what he would say to the people of Liverpool, a flustered Mackenzie adds: “I have already said how sorry I am.”
When he accuses Thomson of being “not reasonable”, the Channel 4 News presenter counters: “That’s pretty rich coming from you. I think the public are going to love that, Kelvin.”
MacKenzie is no stranger to controversy. Last week a vicious 1988 editorial titled “Town of shame” circulated around social networks, in which The Sun alleges that “Brighton has become a nasty town of drugs, gays, AIDS and drunks.”