One of the funniest pieces in today’s papers wasn’t a story, an opinion column, a letter or a photograph – it was an apology.
And like so many things in The Sun it was done quite brilliantly.
Poor old Army Sergeant Peter Fitzsimmons must have taken umbrage with some salacious report in the Currant Bun about his sexual shenanigans – and demanded that his legal team get him an apology or a retraction.
But like many ill-informed punters he must have have reckoned that The Sun is a badly researched tabloid, full of gossip, half truths, Chinese whispers and rumour and so it would be easy to coerce a clarification.
It never ceases to amaze how many people think this is the case – when in fact the tabloids in general go to extraordinary lengths to make sure their stories are legally bombproof. And The Sun is the Daddy of all tabloids – not just in the UK, but globally.
So when The Sun’s lawyers told Sgt Fitzsimmons the newspaper would be carrying a clarification, the good soldier must have been rubbing his hands together. I’ll wager that what he wasnt expecting was this:
We have been asked to point out Army Sergeant Peter Fitzsimmons, who sent emails to nine women regretting his sexual behaviour, had affairs with two of them not 10 as we reported on June 14.
We are also pleased to make clear both he and his third wife have been given the all-clear for any sexually transmitted dieseases. Our apologies for any misunderstanding.
Whoops! Back to boot camp for the sarge for some extra weapons training – that request for an apology turned out to be a spectacular shot in the foot.