21 January 2013

Media Monday with the Gruesome Twosome

by Andy McKellar | CRO Deputy Editor

The students at Edinburgh Napier University were treated to the delightful news that two top quality journalists were set to visit their campus to discuss journalism and in particular the reporting of the Rangers’ story that has filled so many column inches in the past year. Unfortunately for those in attendance though, Alex Thomson and Mark Daly turned up instead.

These two “reporters” should be no strangers to most readers of this article, firstly because of their impeccably ridiculous coverage of our club and secondly because we’ve ripped them both a new one here at CRO previously. Apparently however that is the best that the media world could offer to the poor undergraduates at Napier University but, nevertheless, Media Monday continued.

Channel 4’s Alex Thomson began the proceedings in typically pompous fashion, rambling on about the apparent failings in the Scottish sports media all the while trying to appear as some form of brave journo who tackled the story in a fearless, favourless fashion. He highlighted the fact that the media did not do their job in questioning David Murray or Craig Whyte and of course couldn’t resist hinting that Charles Green could be yet another shameless shyster lurking in the shadows of the Ibrox corridors.

Talking of not doing a job properly, it is quite fitting that he was accompanied by Mark Daly from the BBC. Mark of course was the terrific investigative journalist who was hailed by all and sundry for uncovering the Rangers’ scandal as he told the story of our illegal remuneration scheme and how we defrauded the tax authorities of millions of pounds in the process. How his heart must have sank when his propaganda programme was blown right out of the water when news broke that Rangers had won the First Tier Tribunal against HM Revenue & Customs. I’m sure his reaction is something that we all would have loved to have witnessed.

Facts never seem to be something which either of these two journalists prioritise when researching or indeed reporting on Rangers and this was again apparent in Thomson’s ignorance when stating that the SPL bent over backwards to keep Rangers in the league. Next he’ll be telling us all that Stewart Regan is doing a marvellous job at the SFA or that the SPL is in fact “booming” without us. Then again, Alex is prone to the odd lie or two, isn’t he?

The event is something which I would have perhaps considered attending due to the obvious interest in the reporting of Rangers in recent months but of course, as a member of the thriving Rangers’ underclass, I would have been immediately blacklisted, denied entry and most probably arrested. Well, that and I quite frankly couldn’t contemplate listening to any more of the inane ramblings of these two bumbling idiots who have made a mockery of their profession and embarrassed themselves in the process. Rumours even have it both were sporting some quite fetching and rather dapper brass necks to the event, although I’m still awaiting confirmation.

Media Monday though was not a complete and total waste of time and energy for the hopefully hard-working students at Edinburgh Napier University. Today would have allowed them to witness at first hand just how little effort and quality is required to make it in the world of journalism and that all the best practice that they have been lectured on is in fact irrelevant once you get a job in the real world. Seeing Thomson and Daly in front of them will have given each and every one of them hope that, despite the current financial difficulties in the economy, there may well be a job for them out there somewhere, most probably at Channel 4 or within BBC Scotland. And for that they should be thankful to the Gruesome Twosome who turned up today.

It is a sad indictment of the Scottish media that these guys are widely regarded as the individuals who took the lead in the reporting of the Rangers’ story and that they are allowed to claim credit for work that is nothing but substandard propaganda. Believe it or not we actually have some decent journalists out there but unfortunately it seems to be that it is those who shout the loudest that rise to the top. And my goodness it is hard to shut some of these guys up.

The media in this country certainly didn’t cover themselves in glory throughout the months when the apparent scandal was unfolding. In fact it could be said that many journalists were responsible at one level or another for stoking the fires of hate which have been all too apparent since our great institution fell to its knees. I can only hope that aspiring journalists such as those currently studying at the Napier University are capable enough of learning from the countless mistakes from individuals such as those lecturing them today. If so then perhaps the careers of Thomson and Daly have unintentionally served some purpose. We can only hope.

Oh by the way, Mark, you can hand that tainted award of yours back now too.