Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Just For the Record

Not so long ago it was BBC Scotland apologising to Ally McCoist over a piece of selective editing in a deliberate attempt to suggest that the Rangers manager took a flippant view on sectarianism.

This week it is the Daily Record that has been forced to apologise. This time to Celtic boss Neil Lennon after Saturday's back page headline read “Who’s More Hated at Ibrox (is it Lennon or the Taxman). Celtic informed Scotland’s one-time leading daily that it would be withdrawing all cooperation with troubled tabloid until it received “a suitable and substantial apology”.

In fact it is a bit of a surprise that Rangers didn’t have a go at the rag as well.

The Monday edition of the Record offered an apology for using the word “Hated”. In a desperate attempt cover their arses the Record admitted that the headline was “a misjudgement and not intended to stoke up feelings before ahead of yesterday's match.”

The cringing continued with an apology for any offence that it may have caused Lennon, his family and supporters saying that “The Daily Record has a long history of condemning intolerance in all its forms.”

Well it does have a long history. And as such, people expect the editorial team to have better judgement. Its hard to imagine that those responsible for this headline underestimated the affect of the words that were used.

It was done for affect. That's what headlines do. Or at least thats what they're supposed to do. They tell the reader what the story is about. In this case the Record told all who read it that this story was about the “hatred” felt at Ibrox for the Parkhead boss. It was a typical tabloid headline for a typical tabloid story. Absolutely no evidence that anyone at Ibrox “hates” the taxman, let alone Neil Lennon, was offered in what was a tawdry piece shit-stirring.

However, like the BBC, the Record was quick to realise that it needs access to both halves of the ‘Old Firm'. Losing the support of either side would see the paper's sales drop even further. 

Just as in the case with McCoist, the media in Scotland have been found guilty of attempting to fan the flames. Only to get their fingers burned in the process.