Your cut out and keep guide to avoiding internet dross from hacks about Arsenal
Like most of us who should know better your humble scribe was as guilty as the next gooner of trawling the web looking for stories of Arsenal salvation in the form of megastar signings in the last two weeks of August.
What is more apparent in the hit-whore dominated sports websites of nowadays is that stock phrases that are supposed to entice the Arsenal surfer to click on a link are instead beginning to wind me up.
Such give away signs that reveal you should give the “story” a wide berth include:
1. “Carlos Kickabout snubs Arsenal to stay at Real Spanish club” – the image the hacks who use this phrase are trying to conjure up is that of Wenger and his side kick Stan, humbly approaching said Senor Kickabout (ok it doesn’t have to be a Spanish player, just any player with an agent trying to bump up his sale price) cap in hand asking for him to join only to be rejected causing said Arsenal duo to hold their heads in their hands and, with much wailing and gnashing of teeth, wend a “Trail of tears”- like passage back to Highbury House.
Yeah, of course, that’s exactly what happens because a hack has said so, nothing to do with a player using our clubs name to encourage interest and inflate the selling fee and thereby his agents fee.
2. “Player X is said to be unhappy at AFC” – “is said to be” !! Said to be by whom? By an unnamed anonymous(and probably made up source) by a reporter who can’t think of any actual reporting to do rather just fit in the name of any player they think of to their template for an AFC player angling for a move.
3. “It’s being reported that….” – so the hack with this opening line now has no news of their own they are actually just presenting the reporting of news as actual news. That smacks of a journalistic version of regurgitation and subsequent ingestion.
4. “Arsenal fight to be top 4” – now how many times have we heard every so called expert confidently predict that we would drop out of the top 4 – I’m thinking especially of a certain ex footballer who, on a audience discussion programme on the short lived Setanta UK channel. When asked by gooners in the front row if they would be in the Champions League the next season replied with relish “No chance, no chance at all”. If you think that is a recent phenomenon think again – it was at the beginning of the 2007-08 season. And who was the early purveyor of such agenda driven, inane detritus ? Step forward Stanley Victor Collymore, the gracious expert who saw fit to mimic Wenger on the radio in a manner he wouldn’t dare to for a certain Caledonian ex Aberdeen manager with a burgundy proboscis.
5. Anything by Mihir Bose (not cricket related)
There are many examples of key phrases which flag up the bullshittometer’s red zone and I’m sure there’ll be great examples in the comments below.
Charybdis1966 (on twitter and you tube)