Now “around 3,600” complaints have been filed with the UK Press Complaints Commission because the News Corp.-owned Sun ran the naked Prince Harry photos, the PCC’s Jonathan Collett told iMediaEthics this afternoon.
The complaints have been piling up fast. Over the weekend, we reported that “more than 850 complaints” were made with the PCC over the pictures. The day before the Sun ran the photos, against the Palace’s wishes, the PCC hadn’t received any complaints about the pictures, first run by TMZ. As we wrote, the PCC told iMediaEthics last week that the Palace “contacted the Press Complaints Commission and used our pre-publication services to pass on their concerns about the potential publication of the photographs to Editors.”
We asked how the PCC handles this many complaints, and what the most number of complaints the PCC has received over an article or publication. Collett wrote that “The Commission will now consider these complaints under the terms of the Code of Practice so that is the process” and that “A column by Jan Moir about the death of Stephen Gately in 2009 drew 25,000 complaints.”
We wrote at the time about that case, when the Daily Mail’s Moir commented on the “sexual orientation” of Gately, a recently deceased Irish boy band member. The November 2009 column,“A Strange, lonely and troubling death,” argued that “I think if we are going to be honest, we would have to admit that the circumstances surrounding his death are more than a little sleazy” and suggested Gately’s death was related to his sexual orientation.
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As we wrote in 2009, “Moir’s column is heavy on speculative and inflammatory comments,” and was “trying to set-up an alternative and factually unsupported storyline for Gately, who was 33 years old when he died suddenly on October 10, 2009 while on vacation in Majorca.”
Moir later wrote that “to my horror” her column was labeled “homophobic” and “hateful” and that “I regret any affront caused.” Moir added that she is “sorry if I have caused distress by the insensitive timing of the column, published so close to the funeral” and that “the point of my articles was to suggest that, in my honest opinion, Stephen Gately’s death raised many unanswered questions.” Ultimately, the PCC dismissed the complaints.
Hat Tip: The Guardian