AS a general philosophy for life, I never try to attribute to malice that which can be attributed to carelessness.

We all have our own things going on that can distract from the world around us – whether that’s cutting someone off on the road or missing an important social cue. Small mistakes are a part of life. This is not a doctrine that I apply to the British tabloid newspaper The Sun.

Since the newspaper came under the purview of Rupert Murdoch (below) in the late 1960s, the tabloid has been a cesspit of anti-working-class rhetoric, bigotry and misogyny.

Most famously, its concocted coverage of the Hillsborough disaster means Liverpool stores refuse to stock it to this day – but Hillsborough is hardly the only example of the paper prioritising cruel sensationalism over fair reporting. It was never the intent of the tabloid to be anything else.

The National: Rupert Murdoch has held an annual party (Victoria Jones/PA)

The paper has, in no particular order: contributed to the AIDS crisis by sharing misinformation over how the disease spread; published an unhinged conspiracy theory about Jeremy Corbyn being at the centre of a hard-left extremist network, sourced from the neo-Nazi organisation Aryan Unity, among other antisemitic websites; fabricated quotes from an American psychologist to try to discredit left-wing Labour politician Tony Benn as “insane” and published a front page article titled “I slapped JK and I’m not sorry”, featuring an interview with the author’s former abusive husband.

As a trans person, I have neither love nor respect for JK Rowling – but she at the very least can still expect me to call out any newspaper that would platform such an intimidatory glorification of domestic abuse.

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Between phone hacking scandals and columnists that refer to migrants as “cockroaches” and go to great lengths to describe their tooth-grinding hatred of Meghan Markle, it’s remarkable the paper has the standing it still does today.

This latest scandal, brewing over its deeply irresponsible reporting on BBC presenter Huw Edwards, is, frankly, part of a long line of reckless and irresponsible writing it would be generous to describe as journalism.

Since it first published the accusation that a high-level BBC presenter had allegedly paid quite a sum of money for sexually explicit images of a teenager, The Sun has been in crisis mode.

In the days that followed, key information has been revealed that calls the integrity of the paper further into question, including the fact that the alleged victim of Edwards themselves called the story nonsense – a comment The Sun chose to omit from its coverage of the so-called scandal. Their mother, who brought the story to The Sun in the first place, is also estranged from them. Now the police have ruled that no crime has taken place.

Since publication, a few allegations not connected to The Sun’s initial story have been made that must be taken seriously, but they do not serve as post-hoc justifications for the tabloid’s decision to run a story on such questionable premises in the first place.

So let’s get to the heart of it. Rupert Murdoch – and the media empire he controls – hates the BBC. His newspapers and television channels are all little soldiers in his fight for total media dominance.

Murdoch allegedly told Boris Johnson while dropping by Chequers for a catch-up that he had to get rid of the state broadcaster.

According to his sister Rachel Johnson, Murdoch said “it’s eating my lunch” – though she later claimed she “was joking”. Presiding over an $8 billion personal fortune as he does, it’s questionable just how much of his lunch Murdoch thinks the BBC is eating.

One does get the sense, however, that Murdoch would view even a crumb as too much, if the ideological bent of his British newspapers is anything to go by.

It’s hard to see this attack on Huw Edwards as anything but a particularly overzealous twist of the knife from a newspaper whose intent is not to inform, but to eradicate the competition – especially when the tabloid’s own inappropriate coverage of young people is taken into account. From a newspaper that regularly published pictures of topless 16-year-olds, the hypocrisy is pretty blatant.

During the Leveson Inquiry, The Sun alongside the Sunday Sport were specifically called out for “counting down” to the 16th birthdays of actor Emma Watson and singer Charlotte Church. Even The Sun’s political editor semi-recently had to delete a series of deeply sinister Tweets about young girls, including one where he described a Starbucks as being full of “jailbait”: a sexualised term used to describe girls under the legal age of consent. And that’s just the tip of it.

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All of this is to say that I don’t believe for a second that the interests of the young person at the heart of this story played any role at all in the decision of The Sun to publish.

The Sun has been in significant-seeming financial trouble these past few years. The consequences of its phone hacking scandal – and the respective payouts that accompanied it – appear to have hit the paper hard. I don’t believe it would be any great loss if Huw Edwards popped round to finish it off himself.

The entirety of the British Isles would be better off without such hateful and ignorant content polluting it on the regular – and it certainly doesn’t behove any journalist to close ranks to protect such a stain on the media landscape.