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  1. The Staggers
16 February 2023

Kelvin MacKenzie’s underwhelming return

Running the Sun seems to be easier than launching a news website.

By The Chatterer

What is missing from the UK media landscape? The unlikely answer, at least according to the former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie, is: a populist, right-wing news website. The 76-year-old recently launched a new venture called the Daily Disclosure.

For younger readers who might not be familiar with MacKenzie, allow the Chatterer to provide you with a brief CV. He edited the Sun between 1981 and 1994, a period in which its circulation peaked above 4 million. The Sun’s infamous headlines from this period included “FREDDIE STARR ATE MY HAMSTER” (this, it turned out, was probably untrue), “GOTCHA” (which commemorated the sinking of an Argentine ship during the Falklands War), and “THE TRUTH” (the Hillsborough front page that the Sun’s current editor has described as “the biggest mistake in tabloid history”). 

MacKenzie’s post-editorship life has included a stint running TalkSport. He also briefly wrote columns for the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph. The Sun dropped him as a columnist in 2017 after he was suspended for an article that compared Ross Barkley, a footballer of mixed race, to a gorilla. MacKenzie later said he was not aware of Barkley’s family background. 

So… what can we expect from the Daily Disclosure? Thus far, the website seems to be made up of a random selection of catchy news articles and culture-war issues that can be found in just about any other news outlet. The real action seems to be taking place on social media, where MacKenzie is apparently attempting to establish himself as a TikTok sensation. His recent offerings include: “Scrap the NHS now!”, “Lock out the communist union workers” and “If you can’t afford a toothbrush don’t have a child!” 

At the time of writing, the Chatterer regrets to report that, while the Daily Disclosure has attracted a few thousand TikTok fans, its Twitter following currently stands at 28 and its Facebook page has just one follower. Who, we wonder, could that be?  

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[See also: Journalism’s dirty secret isn’t nepotism – it’s luck]

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