Last night, as ever, I tuned into BBC Sports Scotland to see how they would cover the weekend’s games. I thought it might be a particular joy since there were obviously two good results and a few different incidents to go over. It was an oddly frustrating experience.
The match at the home of our rivals was first; the footage was badly skewed. One of the most serious talking points of the match – a knee high challenge which resulted only in a yellow card – was wholly absent from the highlights package.
I found this incredible coming after the acres of odium that were poured onto a Hibs player who was sent off for a far less violent tackle. Indeed, I think the complete absence of that incident in the highlights is suspect. It poses questions maybe the media doesn’t want to ask and which others sure as Hell don’t want to have to answer.
You know, we all know that the media has been replaced by the bloggers in the realms of making and setting opinions and trends. But they still have command over the “national conversation”, because they can decide what subjects are “worthy” of discussion, and when a high profile incident like that is left out of that discussion we are entitled to ask whose interests are being served. Not those of the football public at large, that’s for sure.
Another incident that was ignored – although it was, at least, shown and is an obvious debating point – was an early penalty claim for Hearts.
Now you see how much attention is being drawn to the handball incident at Fir Park. Isn’t it curious that the one at the home of our rivals was almost completely brushed aside as being of no consequence at all? That was a highly contentious moment in the match, one that could – unlike ours – have changed the whole nature of the game.
Finally, the incident at the end where a home player wrapped his hand around an away player’s throat, the incident for which Robbie Neilson was sent to the stand, was a clear red card and how the ref deemed that a yellow is something he ought to be asked to explain.
BBC Sports Scotland deemed that unworthy of further discussion. You got the impression they only showed it to explain why Neilson was fuming at the end and why he wasn’t on the touchline to watch his team get their equalising goal.
Three major incidents, who’s outcomes favoured one side, the home side. None of them given the microscopic scrutiny which a single incident at Fir Park got. Let’s talk about our game now, and the way the BBC chose to cover that.
Let’s start with how they opened the segment on Celtic. We’d just won a second tough away match on the bounce, and closed the gap at the top of the league. Their anchor opened the segment after the highlights by asking if Kyogo was a hatchet man and should Motherwell have had a foul in the run up to Celtic’s opening goal.
What a nasty, spiteful little thing to start the discussion about the game with. What a disgrace. None of the two studio panellists agreed with that characterisation, and both dismissed the incident out of hand. But that the anchor chose that to start with is telling.
As has been discussed already, the debate over the Motherwell penalty claim is entirely false, conducted on a premise that is thoroughly dishonest.
The Motherwell manager thinks VAR would have changed the game; not that much, as it would have afforded Celtic a free-kick for their player’s handball a second before the one with Bolingoli.
Even with the benefit of TV evidence, the BBC chose not to highlight that at all, and it was entirely airbrushed from the discussion. Which is remarkable.
There was, of course, a third highly contentious incident in that game, involving a shocking tackle on David Turnbull, which I forget to include in the article earlier on but which I’m happy to include in this one.
You can add this one to the list ?? pic.twitter.com/o9HbaYSdzw
— AM ??????? (@annemarie6377) October 17, 2021
This was also not deemed worthy of a proper examination.
We’re talking here about six incidents, all treated in very different ways from some of what we’ve seen in the past. One penalty claim was debated although it was groundless. The other was ignored although it was much closer.
Three violent incidents were either ignored completely or mentioned in passing and there was talk of whether our opener should have counted.
That was the BBC’s coverage of the two big games over the weekend.
In our game the highlights were put together and debated so that Celtic was denied a proper shake. Nobody in their right mind can claim that the Hearts game got proper scrutiny and we all know who benefited from that.
It is not – it cannot be – a coincidence that these matches were covered in these ways, there’s too much leaning in one direction for that not to be down to editorial prioritising.
So we’re entitled to ask who put that together, and how those choices were arrived at.
We’re entitled to wonder who had final say.
Who did Celtic up, and denied Hearts the examination their own incidents warranted?
The Loyalist PR across the city, or one of the many, many EBT recipients who have trooped through the doors of the BBC over the years … or someone else?
I suggest that someone else is working in the wrong building.
If the tax-payer funded organisation is going to shill for these Peepul, Celtic fans are fully entitled to consider our expensive satellite and streaming subscription packages as the final word on what we have to pay.
Celtic fans certainly ought not to have to pay for this.