Oh wait. He really does.
Ex-Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie wants South Yorkshire Police to apologise for the “vilification” he received in the wake of the Hillsborough tragedy.
His lawyers have contacted the force asking for an apology over his “personal vilification for decades”, the BBC’s Ross Hawkins reported.
Mr MacKenzie printed a front page story about Liverpool fans, shortly after the 1989 disaster, headlined “The Truth”.
From Anfield Road, Don’t Buy The Sun, in 2007:
So just four days after their loved ones had died, four days after they had narrowly escaped death themselves, Liverpool supporters were confronted with those headlines. People actually believed those headlines. Those who were there did not believe the headlines of course, nor did those who knew people who had been there. Unfortunately though a lot of people did believe those headlines; people who were not Liverpool supporters, perhaps supporters of another team or people who did not follow football at all. The headlines sewed seeds in so many people’s minds that the 96 supporters died at the hands of their own kind. All lies, all proven to be lies, yet never put right by that publication.
“And he said ‘Why not?’ and I said ‘because we don’t know that it’s the truth. This is a version of ‘the truth’.
“And he brushed it aside and said ‘Oh don’t worry. I’m going to make it clear that this is what some people are saying’.
“And I walked away thinking, well I’m not happy with the situation.
“But the fact is reporters don’t argue with an editor.
“And in particular, you don’t argue with an editor like Kelvin MacKenzie.”
When the Sun came out with the story about Liverpool fans being drunk and unruly, underneath a headline ‘The Truth,’ the reaction on Merseyside was one of complete outrage. Newsagents stopped stocking the Sun. People wouldn’t mention its name. They were burning copies of it. Anyone representing the Sun was abused. Sun reporters and photographers would lie, telling people they worked for the Liverpool Post and Echo. There was a lot of harassment of them because of what had been written. The Star had gone a bit strong as well but they apologised the next day. They knew the story had no foundation. Kelvin MacKenzie, the Sun’s editor, even called me up.
“How can we correct the situation?” he said.
“You know that big headline – ‘The Truth’?” I replied. “All you have to do is put ‘We lied’ in the same size. Then you might be all right.”
Mackenzie said: “I cannot do that.”
“Well,” I replied, “I cannot help you then.”
That was it. I put the phone down. Merseysiders were outraged by the Sun. A great many still are.
When I met Kelvin MacKenzie at his large home in Surrey, he was hard at work on the article in which he will disclose he’s instructed his lawyers to demand an apology from South Yorkshire Police.
His lawyers will claim Mr MacKenzie has suffered “personal vilification for decades” as a result of what they say are the mistakes of South Yorkshire Police. He will claim that police patrols around his home have had to be stepped up and speaks of the physical danger he faces in the city of Liverpool.
When Channel 4 News called at his home recently we saw no sign of any police patrols at his home.
The material information in the story Kelvin MacKenzie published came from Yorkshire Police doing a cover-up. But it was MacKenzie’s decision to run with it as “THE TRUTH” and his decision not to back down when it was clear he’d got it so very wrong.
Dear Kelvin. First rule of journalism. Two independent sources….. #JFT96
— HelenBLaRouge (@Harryb22) September 26, 2012