Who exactly has a hand up Keith Jackson’s backside this morning?
Or is this him again trying to climb up the posterior of Steven Gerrard whilst still being banned from the environs of the Ibrox press box? His article this morning, and his paper’s continuing effort to keep on banging the drum for Dave King and the conspiracy theorists of the Sevco board, is disgusting.
And the feeling grows that he, too, is heading into dangerous waters where he’s getting close to the edge of libelling people. But Jackson knows where the edge is, I think. He’s skirted it this morning with the finesse of a pro.
Some part of his on-job training has paid off even if there is no sign that we’re going to see journalism from him any time soon.
I read a lot of investigative reporting. This is a great era for it.
You know who that’s down to? Donald Trump.
Over in the States, the sleeping beast of the American media has slumbered into wakefulness at exactly the moment they were needed most. They are going after this corrupt President and his bent family in a way that’s kind of awesome. Not since they smelled blood over Watergate have so many media outlets over there been working so hard, often in unison, towards the goal of holding the powerful to account.
We have great investigative reporters working over here too, like the American Glen Greenwald at The Guardian and those naughty under-cover boys and girls who are always busy with their video cameras surreptitiously filming those in positions of power and who are seeking to abuse them.
The mark of good investigative reporting is that it asks specific questions after making specific allegations. The Watergate stories were built like a brick bunker, starting with the first one, which concerned the burglary at the Watergate Building and the fact that one of the men arrested had worked for the CIA. Another had an address book with the name E Howard Hunt in it; he, too, was an ex-CIA man, who had once worked in the White House and was linked to Charles Colson … Special Counsel to Richard Nixon.
The Watergate guys weren’t fishing.
They started with a crime that had been committed and they were able to link that crime to the Nixon White House from the very earliest stage. As they uncovered new threads they published them, and each led to specific questions being put to those involved so that they could uncover more.
I read Jackson’s article several times.
It contains not one specific allegation.
It contains not one example of wrong-doing that MacLennan is alleged to have committed.
There is no smoking gun, no actual decision he’s made which any person has named as an example where he even might have acted in a manner that was biased or one-sided.
Jackson is stirring through a big pot of shite.
He has nothing. This isn’t even a fishing expedition, it’s an attempt to blow smoke to obscure the fact that there’s no charge here. Jackson and others have manufactured a crime scene without telling us what the crime is supposed to be.
Does he really think he’s smart mentioning Campbell Ogilvie and Gordon Smith?
Because if I were going to allege tit-for-tat those are two names I’d keep well away from the debate.
He talks about this creating “a toxic air of Whatabouttery” but this is either disingenuous of him – in other words, a deliberate attempt to mislead thick people who read him – or it’s woefully stupid and a complete failure to comprehend the issues surrounding those men.
And my money is on the former; Jackson is a stupid man but it would take one to be wholly dense not to understand those matters by now. This is a deliberate attempt to put those situations and this one on a par with one another, and they are not in any way alike. Jackson is at it. He’s wilfully misrepresenting the seriousness of those matters and this one.
The Internet Bampots have specific grievances as regards to both of them. Smith once publicly defended Rangers fans over sectarian singing during a UEFA investigation, and he went so far in that defence that he was called out by, of all people, Jim Traynor himself.
He alleged, in writing, that the organisation he was to become chief executive of had been biased for years against the club – offering not one word of proof of that. His hiring was baffling, because he ticked not one single box against the SFA’s criteria for the post.
People were perfectly entitled to ask hard questions about his appointment, not that anybody in the media bothered to do it. He also left office under conspicuously suspicious circumstances which only the Internet Bampots ever appeared interested in.
And Campbell Ogilvie was the most corrupt SFA President of all time, and I can write that with no equivocation whatsoever. The documentary evidence which proves that he signed the very first EBT contract, setting the whole train in motion, exists, has been published and has been verified as a real by a court. He presided over a scandal in which he was up to his neck, and no amount of obfuscation is going to change that simple fact.
Jackson thinks it suspicious that the SPFL brought in lawyers after King’s second statement; why wouldn’t they? It’s a perfectly logical step. That’s what a legal department is for. For offering advice when raving lunatics are shouting allegations. Jackson may well find that himself and others will be hearing from lawyers before too long if this keeps up.
What about this paragraph, for a start?
“The truth of the matter is MacLennan’s CV and background in media would most probably have had him on the shortlist for a role at a company like INM whether he was head of the table at the SPFL or not.”
That’s the closest Jackson dares come towards a specific allegation, and it’s rather an incredible one. The whiff of paranoia and even insanity comes off that line in disorienting waves. Jackson is suggesting, it seems to me, that MacLennan was hired by INM specifically because he had been appointed to the SPFL board and that he was only sought out so that Dermot Desmond and Denis O’Brien could gain some sort of hold on him, and thus the governing body.
That is just … there are words that I could use, but the Newsnow filter would chew this article up like a bacon sandwich if I did.
We’ll call it lunacy.
We’ll call it bug-eyed fantasy land tinfoil hat wearing craziness.
If Jackson really does believe that he needs to seek professional help, and I don’t mean from a proof-reader and a good editor.
This has gotten beyond a joke. Jackson and his paper actually contacted every club represented on the board – and for all I know every club in the game – to see if anybody would comment on this and not one did. He seems to think that, too, is proof that something is wrong here. He’s right, of course, because something is. But it’s him and King and others who are on the crooked path and nobody with a right mind wants anything to do with this.
Every person who serves on the boards at the SFA or the SPFL has links to one club or another; Jackson and others are suggesting that only Celtic-minded people can’t be trusted to act for the good of the game. It is a disgusting suggestion coming after over a decade of cheating from Ibrox.
It is a suggestion we should not allow to take root anywhere.
But it’s not an allegation.
Because to actually allege something would mean needing to back it up with proof, or run the risk of dire legal consequences.
And there’s no proof. Because there’s no crime. Just a perceived “conflict of interest” manufactured by a desperate man at a desperate club who is mired in real controversy and real scandal and real turmoil which the media has gone out of its way to ignore.
The Internet Bampots were not born out of paranoia.
We were created by events.
We had specific allegations to make against specific people.
We knew what we were getting in a strop over.
The issue was never about “Rangers minded”, the issue was that Scottish football governance shouldn’t be conducted on that basis. And I personally don’t have a clue what Stewart Regan or Neil Doncaster’s football allegiances are and couldn’t care less; I care what they did with their influence. Stewart Milne and Rob Petrie aren’t particularly disposed towards Ibrox, but by their prior actions and their decision to side with Regan instead of investigating the SFA’s conduct over a long period of time – an investigation the hacks, by and large, didn’t support – represent part of a nexus that has worked to the detriment of the game.
And with each of those are specifics. There are actual allegations of corrupt practices and arse covering. We didn’t invent them out of thin air. There is no resemblance between this and that. Nothing has been alleged here, only suggested.
And that is not journalism.
It is bin-raking.
It is shit-stirring.
It is mud-slinging.
It is gutter trawling.
It is a smear-job.
Neither Jackson nor his paper should pretend otherwise.