The media loves a controversial headline, and I understand that.
I also understand that they need to sensationalise everything, although I think they would serve their audiences better if they didn’t do that.
But the media is not allowed to just Make Stuff Up.
Today, every outlet is sensationalising the words of the Hibs chairman on whether he would support points deductions for breaches of health protocols set up by the leagues and overseen by the Scottish Government.
The agendas of some are obvious, but no paper has twisted his words more than The Herald, who have actually changed their own initial headline on the story, but still manage to make a wholly false suggestion.
Their suggestion, initially, was that he spoke in favour of deducting points from Celtic and Aberdeen.
Even their revised version has a headline built around that contention, and other papers have done similar. But the man could not have been clearer on what he was supporting, and what he was supporting is actually the opposite of sanctioning those two clubs.
“I would not be opposed to that,” he said of the imposition of sanctions, but he went out of his way to make it clear that he did not support it in this case.
“I think there has to be somewhere you draw the line,” he said, and then added, crucially, “It needs to be proposed before you could actually implement it, but I believe there would be support around the league for that. Everyone needs to chip in and behave.”
It needs to be proposed before you could actually implement it …
Which part of that was difficult for the headline writers to understand?
Which part of it was unclear for those pushing out the articles?
He would be in favour of regulations being written, but he is clear that such a thing could not be implemented without them.
It seems plain to me that he’s suggesting that even the new regulations are weak, and he’s voicing his opposition to retrospective punishment at the same time.
The media has chosen a very different interpretation.
If I were on the Hibs media team I’d be furious about what looks like a blatant effort to turn the words of their chairman into an attack on two member clubs, with their logo stamped on it. It is outrageous and they ought not to be allowed to get away with it.
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