One of the tricks of the modern political liar is to get the lie into the mainstream media where it will be repeated, verbatim, no matter how ridiculous it is. It doesn’t matter that some of these lies will eventually collapse. They do a job in the moment – whether as a deflection or smokescreen – and that’s all that matters.
I have been watching this stuff for years, and I have seldom been more amazed at the success of one of these moves than I was this week to see the ludicrous Malik Tillman story make its way into the media from a handful of Ibrox fan sites. It is clear that the club first fed this story to its bloggers and then to select journalists. All swallowed it whole.
Yet that story was blatantly ludicrous. How can a club get a sell on clause for a player it didn’t own? Why would Bayern Munich cancel an option when Ibrox had no intention of activating the clause in the first place, and lacked the funds to? Why would they do it when the option itself was either expired or within ten or so days of expiring?
Most importantly, and this is the big one; why would they bother anyway if, as was being reported, the player himself didn’t want the move?
Today the story has utterly collapsed.
The Ibrox club is apparently still “in talks” to sign him – yes, a completely pointless, and ludicrous effort to convince their fans that they did everything they could – with the player being blamed for the move not coming to pass.
But it should be blatantly obvious that if the player didn’t want the move then it was dead, and Bayern were under no obligation to pay Ibrox any sort of break clause, far less give them a preposterous and un-necessary 10% “sell-on fee.”
Nobody in their right mind should ever have accepted a story like that in the first place … but now that every outlet which ran it is now also running the story that Tillman didn’t want to come then you have to wonder how any journalist can push this without feeling a deep sense of shame for pushing a blatant fiction into the news cycle.
It’s perfectly clear now that the story has no merit and that these people were given a proper using by the Ibrox club. There was a time when this would have mortally offended these people, and they would have raked the club over the coals for it.
But those days are over with. Some of these outlets actually paid the club to cover the news not that long ago, so their gullibility and cowardice is already a matter of fact.
I shouldn’t be surprised by any of this anymore, but this is bad even by their lack of standards.