Celtic’s Standoff With The BBC Will Not Be A War Of Attrition, But A Message Has Been Sent.

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On Friday, the BBC was banned from attending Rodger’s pre-match press conference, but yesterday at Celtic Park they were out in force interviewing him before and after the game and covering the match from the commentary box. So this is not Celtic adopting an Ibrox style scorched earth policy or a war of attrition. This is a warning shot.

Whatever the issue was, Celtic have hammered the point across without necessarily wrecking any fruitful working relationships.

I am 100% behind the club on this, as I suspect strongly that most of us are.

The BBC is not just another organisation, and if Celtic appears to be holding them to a higher standard than we do the gutter rags that’s because the BBC should be operating at that higher standard, as the national broadcaster, unbiased, without fear or favour, and if we are slapping them around a little you could argue it’s for their own good.

They really have forced some righteous trash on us over the years. Their promotion of Kenny Miller to where you can’t seem to be rid of him is one of their many, many sins in this regard. The nagging suspicion that you only need to have played at Ibrox to get a gig there is reinforced when you hear Miller prattling on; that guy hardly has a functional brain cell in his head, and I cannot imagine what merit they thought giving him that job had.

So he’s a national team icon. Big deal. He is shamelessly biased.

The minute he talked the other day about his “heart said Rangers” for the league but that he couldn’t square it with his head and then, on Clyde, found a way to do it through some mental gymnastics, that should have been the moment he was rendered useless to a broadcaster that by its very nature should be asking for more from one of its analysts than a predisposition of that sort.

How are we supposed to take any “analysis” he offers seriously if it’s through that blue tint? The BBC has always drawn the line at giving Boyd a platform because they know The Village Idiot is little more than a cartoon character; Miller and others like him are actually not that much better, and if the BBC stops hiring them we’ll stop moaning about it.

Whatever caused this, a message has been sent and not just to the BBC.

This is people at Celtic making sure that some in the media know that if they’re going to take the piss that this will have consequences.

I only wish they’d impose even greater discipline on the hacks, in the manner I suggested in my piece on an involuntary “code of conduct” and the introduction of a “three strikes policy” for individual hacks and a five strikes one for outlets which either can’t or won’t get a grip on their writers.

Holding the BBC to a new standard is an important step forward, and it should have the support of the entire fan-base.

It’s a positive, and that we haven’t burned the relationship to ash or banned them from Celtic Park completely should not be taken as a sign of weakness; in fact, it’s a show of force. If they mess us about again I have little doubt that a harsher penalty will be imposed on them. It is not before time.

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