Those of us who believe Michael Stewart to be the best journalist on the telly got another vindication of it last night on the BBC highlights show where he gave co-commentator Neil McCann a gentle slapping down for his idiotic cup final comments on Odsonne Edouard.
McCann was a bitter and angry man last weekend and there wasn’t even a half-hearted effort to disguise that fact.
It may well be that he’s a bit embarrassed by his own incontinent ranting; Michael Stewart certainly wasn’t going to let him off with it.
McCann’s issue with Edouard’s penalty last weekend was quite ridiculous.
To call a player disrespectful for executing a fantastic piece of skill was about as dumb as anything we’ve heard in a while. Big Craig Gordon might have been a bit put out, but everyone else should have been celebrating a piece of artistry. Instead, McCann went off the deep end.
Last night, Stewart couldn’t resist having a wee dig at him over it. When they played the highlights of the game from yesterday, and Eddie’s penalty in particular, the ex-Hibs and Hearts man couldn’t resist asking if it wasn’t disrespectful that he blasted it into the top corner.
The faintest trace of a smile crossed McCann’s face.
To be honest, I think he took it about as well as he could. He couldn’t make a song and dance about it without embarrassing himself all over again, so he did the only other thing that it was in his power to do and he kept his gob shut for once.
Stewart is a smart and funny guy, whose value to the BBC is in the fact that he’s likeable but also knowledgeable.
That’s what differentiates him from the McCann’s and the Boyd’s; as I said about Boyd the other day, it’s only the truly brainless who think they need to be controversial for its own sake and that viewers want to see sycophancy and partisanship.
Stewart doesn’t do any of that, and he has no problem shining the spotlight on those who do.