Former England footballer and (now former) Mail on Sunday columnist Gary Lineker has quit the newspaper over its “very damaging” entrapment story on (now former) head of the (now former) England 2018 World Cup bid Lord Triesman.
His article appealed to the media to stop running negative stories that could hamper England’s chances of hosting the tournament. There seems to be some sort of thirst in the press for negative stories about our squad and our management going into a major competition.
Whatever you think, it will not help. I think it might be a time that we can perhaps reflect on this as a nation and perhaps think of the responsibility our newspapers have. They all seem to champion the national side and show patriotism but when push comes to shove and they have the opportunity of selling an extra few newspapers, at times I think they will make errors of judgement in stories that are basically just private issues.
Asking Mail Group newspapers to “stop running negative stories”? Whatever next?
Inviting Man United fans to stop being arrogant? Begging the Pope to stop being catholic? Imploring Julius Malema to stop being… Julius Malema?
Keep dreaming, Gary. It’s not going to happen. And despite the widespread condemnation of the Triesman story, the methods used to get it and the implications of publishing it, people will still keep buying the trashy tabloids, because the public are as hypocritical as the newpapers themselves.
I’m actually not a huge fan of the England 2018 bid. I haven’t followed it with great interest, but from what I have seen, it seems that some big mistakes and dodgy decisions were made when they were putting it together. So if it goes to Russia or Spain and Portugal, I won’t be sad. But I would rather it go to one of those other countries because their bid was better, than because the Mail on Sunday published some half-cocked nonsense.
Still, I think enough damage has probably been done to say “it was the Mail wot lost it!” if England don’t get the nod on December 2 2010.
More reading: The Guardian on three Mail on Sunday articles that didn’t make Lineker resign.
Number 2 is particularly amusing.