The Daily Record is combing through weekend hangover sick again today with a shameful headline over a complete non-story about Celtic defender Dedryck Boyata.
This ludicrous piece, entitled “Celtic star Dedryck Boyata snapped out in Glasgow’s west end clutching a shisha pipe” would be called gutter journalism if the second of those words even remotely applied to it, but it doesn’t.
This isn’t journalism of any standard whatsoever, fitting no definition of that word at all.
It’s celebrity click bait, sheer soup stirring, written for no other reason than to generate hits for a website and have a wee dig at a Celtic player as a tossed in benefit.
The meat of the story – not that there’s much of it – is this; Dedryck Boyata and one his countrymen, Andrea Mutombo of Inverness, were seen in a trendy West End bar where the patrons smoke pipes similar to those used in the hashish cafes of Amsterdam, but where they contain flavoured tobacco.
Did he take a hit? The writer doesn’t know and freely admits it.
But he goes on to say that doing so is the equivalent of smoking 100 cigarettes (a dubious enough claim) and that it’s the kind of pursuit Deila would frown on.
And this is news? Really? Seriously?
What the Hell next?
One of our first team stars photographed standing outside an off-license with the headline “Celtic Player Caught Maybe Possibly Buying Beer”?
You know, there are a lot of fans who argue that banning certain publications and journalists from Celtic Park would be wrong, but there are times when the behaviour of these people and their papers is simply indefensible and indulging them by pretending they are serious outlets for news is giving them more credit than they deserve.
This is exactly the kind of story that belongs in a celebrity magazine, not a newspaper.
It is the “journalistic” equivalent of ambulance chasing, something that discredits the profession as a whole, and not simply the particular rag that runs it.
If that’s what these people and their editors want the publications they work for to be, then so be it.
That’s a perfectly valid commercial decision.
But we ought to simply leave them to that.
If they want to treat their own business and their own paper with such cavalier disrespect and bring it into disrepute like this then great.
Let them write whatever trash they like, and play the ratings and hits game as they will.
But let’s, the rest of us, stop treating them as if they are more, and credential them, or not, accordingly.
The writer of this trash doesn’t belong at press conferences or media events.
He’s a hack, nothing more.
He should be sitting in a cheap hotel lobby waiting on some D list celebrity coming out of a room with a prostitute.
They only get away with this only because no-one holds them to account.
It’s time we, as a club, started to.