For the last couple of years now, I’ve been pretty solid in my view that the worst “journalist” in Scotland is Joel Sked of The Scotsman. His turnover of articles is vast, and contains almost no pieces of quality, which is remarkable.
In a crowded field, where the likes of Keevins still has an accreditation, Sked excels for the clickbait element of much of what he puts online. Some of it would not meet the standards of the average blog editor, and yet even he is not wrong all of the time.
After the Ross County game, he came very close not only to writing something that hit the bullseye, but to doing his profession enormous credit. He was one of the few, the very few, to stand up and be counted over the abhorrent Tommy Burns chant.
This is what he put in his after match report, split into segments so as to appeal to an audience with the lowest possible attention span.
I actually hate reading articles that turn out to be made up of smaller articles, a couple of paragraphs on a specific subject within a subject … this is the ultimate version of dumbing down, believing your audience won’t read through anything longer than 200 words, and it’s just plain wrong.
Still, he comes close to the mark, in his segment entitled “Singing cringe.”
“Merry Christmas, Tommy Burns”. A festive ditty loudly sung by many (Ibrox) fans within the two-thousand-plus travelling support. Designed for one purpose, to annoy and get a rise out of others, namely Celtic fans. Beyond embarrassing and cringeworthy.”
Look, I’m not going to give a hard time to a guy who basically tackled this, because almost all of his colleagues ignored it completely. But I still think he blew a chance here to do a real number on those scumbags who were involved in that chant.
He mentions “many” which is a gold star, because the easy way to have done it would have been to call it “a small minority” which is the shameless way the media handles these things even when you can clearly hear that it’s not small at all and may not even be a minority. A lot of their fans sung the Burns song.
Almost all were up to their knees in fenian blood all through the game.
And those songs were not merely embarrassing and cringeworthy, they were disgusting and hateful. He’s wrong too to think that they were only about offending people; there is a section – a large section – of the Ibrox support which simply hates others and no longer even feels like it needs to hide or justify that fact. It’s simply part of the “culture” now.
I think Sked came very close to his finest moment as a Scotsman writer here.
Had he devoted a full piece to this subject and hit it hard I would have given him all the credit in the world.
As it is, he falls some way short … but I do want to thank him, from the bottom of my heart, for at least bringing the subject up, especially when even Andy Walker didn’t bother.