Leaving aside the Sun, what this post exposes quite nicely is the attitude the Mail has toward the BNP, which can sometimes be confusing.
Here we have two stories totally sympathetic to Nick Griffin's point of view. The Mail reported on the story before the verdict with 'The day BNP leader Nick Griffin 'became a VICTIM of race hate'', (which was previously headlined 'Muslim man 'racially abused BNP leader and threatened to shoot him' court hears' and the page still has that at the title - minus the 'court hears' at the end of it). It's so clearly and obviously on Griffin's side that it's not necessary to fisk it thoroughly. It's enough to point out that Griffin's side of the story takes up the first thirteen paragraphs, he's referred to as 'Mr Griffin' while the defendant is just 'Khalid' and Mr Khalid is never directly quoted and a paraphrase of what he had to say of himself is left until the final paragraph of the story.
The follow up of the verdict is not much better. 'Asian man cleared of racially abusing BNP leader Nick Griffin' does refer to the defendant as 'Mr Khalid', but the article only manages to get past one sentence before pointing out:
The politician complained the jury was wrong to acquit Tauriq Khalid --but faced accusations of hypocrisy after it emerged that he admits breaking race laws himself.Ooh. A 'politician'. Swanky.
But, less than a week later the paper reports 'BNP leader Nick Griffin tries to hijack homecoming of six British soldiers killed in Afghanistan'. It's not as critical of Griffin as the headline suggests, but it's not exactly a puff piece for the dough-faced loser. (Seriously, his face looks like a lump of dough that someone's pushed two buttons in for eyes, but one side's started to collapse).
This sort of thing - one minute calling the BNP 'vile' and the other banging on about 'legitimate concerns' and completely agreeing with Griffin's appalling reasons for why he thought Question Time was a 'lynching' can be incredibly confusing. Does the Mail hate the BNP, or support them? Even the BNP themselves are confused. Google 'The Littlejohn Syndrome' and you'll find a confusing mess of an article that seems bewildered about why columnists like Richard Littlejohn go so far toward supporting the BNP and then, mysteriously attacking the party. It says:
So every now and again the ‘acceptable extremists’ make a token effort to distance themselves from the conclusion that their writing points to. In the case of Richard Littlejohn a good half a dozen times a year he launches into an absurd tirade against the ‘knuckle-dragging BNP’, presumably in the hope that somehow it will erase the fact that much of what he says is compatible with much of what the BNP says.Even the BNP don't understand.
The thing is - it's not that the Mail supports BNP policies. Who could even know what they are, with the party being so deliberately vague and evasive about them? The Mail's approach to the BNP is the same as its approach to everything else - the party must fit with the preconceived narratives the paper has decided its readers want to hear. Unfortunately, those preconceived narratives are almost exactly the same as the ones the BNP wants to push too. The BNP thinks that immigrants are scrounging, criminal, violent chancers who strain the system while attacking it and hating everyone here and getting special treatment and jumping queues and the government has been inventing figures and lying about it. So does the Mail.
When the paper covered the trial of Mr Khalid, it had to fit it in with its narrative of immigrants and non-white people being allowed to be racist against white people and getting away with it, which is dangerously close to the BNP's concerted 'Racism cuts both ways' campaign. In that campaign, the BNP took loads of crimes with white people as victims and pretended they were all racist to push its agenda.
The Mail does very similar things all the time to push its own 'immigrants are violent criminals' agenda, whether it's pretending figures that show immigrants commit a disproportionately low number of crimes show the opposite, conducting completely dishonest investigations designed to show that immigrants commit more rape and murder than anyone else or reproducing stats for the number of black people involved in knife crime and white people who are victims, and presenting them out of context to make it look as though knife crime is overwhelmingly black on white. And that's before we get to exaggerating figures, misrepresenting reports and utter dreck like this comment piece.
Paul Dacre would no doubt argue that it isn't his paper's fault if the news it reports creates support for the BNP (that is, if he wasn't busy denying it did at all), because all it does is report uncomfortable truths. But, of course, it doesn't. It reports pre-prepared narratives that sometimes leads it to manipulate the truth until it fits. The BNP is used both as a pawn to help push these narratives, or a boogeyman to scare real political parties into being nasty to immigrants.
At the end of the day, you couldn't fit a fag paper between the BNP's reasons for concocting its policies and the Mail's for attacking immigrants at every turn and churning out hateful rubbish.
The thing to remember is that when the Mail talks about 'legitimate concerns', it probably means 'concerns that foreigners are filthy, nasty murderous scroungers who are ruining the country for everyone else'. And those concerns - not really very legitimate, huh?