The English tabloids pride themselves on having the ‘pulse’ of the nation. In truth, they are opportunists, shamelessly using exaggeration and false morality to paint themselves as whiter than white (NOTW ‘undercover’ agents investigating prostitutes and drug dealers always cracks me up).
Sometimes they step over the line, as NOTW have done several times in the past (the Guardian has done it as well – a tabloid dressed up to look pretty is still a tabloid) and have been reprimanded for it.
But there’s no way you can take the tabloids to task for being mindbogglingly stupid – witness the Daily Mail’s treatment of the ‘Clattenburg’ case.
Mark Clattenburg was suspended as a referee before the start of the season because he was under investigation for debt and the PGMOL and FA did not want the integrity of their active referees being called into question. He’s still suspended as the investigation goes on, with the Daily Mail ‘exposing‘ the core of the dispute.
The email at the centre of the storm read: ‘You are missing the bigger picture. Check you can use our companies (sic) money to fund your legal crusade against me. If not, taking me to court might cause your family some pain.’
The Mail presented it as a ‘threat’ by Clattenburg to his business partner’s family. Now I don’t know about you, but to me it seems like Clattenburg is implying that his business partner cannot afford to pay for a legal battle and that would cause his family financial difficulties. Bah, what do I know about English, right?