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Thursday, 7 January 2016

Top Gear, The Sun, And Gerald Ford

The desperation of Rupe’s downmarket troops at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun to put the boot in on BBC car show Top Gear has reached a new low, with the accusation - unproven, as with all the other accusations - that new host Chris Evans “can’t talk and drive at the same time”. Those of a certain age will recognise this insult as one which first appeared in the public consciousness some decades ago.
Sorry Jezza, you're out of it now

In the US Presidency’s darkest days, after Richard Milhous Nixon had been prevailed upon to leave the White House before being hit with almost certain - and terminal - impeachment proceedings, it was soon discovered that his successor, Gerald Ford, was not the sharpest tool in the box. Indeed, Lyndon Johnson, a master of scatalogical humour, had observed “That Gerald Ford. He can’t fart and chew gum at the same time”.

But the Sun cannot be regaling its readers with mere farting, and so it has invented yet more hokum around one Top Gear feature those readers will know well - the presenter doing an aside to camera while driving. Jeremy Clarkson - who just happens to be a Sun pundit, but that’s a complete coincidence, you understand - was, of course, a master of this practice. So were The Hamster and Captain Slow.

So now the Sun is telling “MOTORMOUTH Chris Evans is causing a headache on Top Gear - because he struggles to talk and drive at the same time … sources say it can take Chris, 49, up to ten attempts to perfect a single item … it is yet another issue to hit the cult BBC show … It has been suggested that production has fallen behind”.

That this story is completely made up is more obvious in the Mail’s copy: “when it comes to talking from behind the wheel, he is said to freeze like a cat caught in the headlights and struggles to blurt out any of his lines … The show's new production team are also said to have limited knowledge of cars and there are suggestions that production on the new series is behind schedule”. The article then refers back to the Sun’s effort.

Not surprisingly, the BBC view, as reported by Digital Spy, is rather different: “The BBC has rubbished claims that new Top Gear presenter Chris Evans is struggling to drive fast and talk at the same time”. There is also - nice angle, this - the reference “A supposed insider had been quoted by The Sun”. And that is all it is: most likely is that the Sun has had no insider information about Top Gear and has resorted to making up stories.

Attempts to rubbish broadcasters are all too common - and all too ineffective. Like the Daily Mail’s unpleasant hatchet jobs on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, which boiled down to whining at host Susanna Reid for getting a better deal than she had at the Beeb, the Sun’s attacks on Top Gear are personal - Evans being the target this time - and pointless. GMB is still there, and, guess what, so will Top Gear still be there in future.

The Sun would have more credibility if it addressed the unacceptable behaviour exhibited by Clarkson that led to his being fired. It won’t - so it doesn’t.


Andy McDonald said...

One wonders how many Sun readers are likely to fork out for an Amazon Prime subscription just to watch Not Gear or whatever Clarkson's new show is called. Meanwhile I can see Top Gear - a show that has had many iterations and presenters over the years - becoming a new Guy Gibson's dog* - for the rest of time lambasted by fans of Clarkson for 'not doing it right'.

*Reference to the dog in The Dan Busters. Whenever a remake is mooted, certain types will insist that the dog has to be named You Know What. Otherwise it's not historically accurate or respectful. One gets the impression that the film could be set on the moon for all they cared, as long as they got to hear people shouting the N-word.

Anonymous said...

Who gives a shit about that oblong-headed racist dope Clarkson and his tenth rate hanger-on May? Together they constitute the kind of lower middle class soap opera that only plays in god awful places like Leatherhead, Bracknell and Chipping Norton. Anybody who "follows" those two ale house morons should be prosecuted for an assault on society and common sense.

As for the Scum and Daily Heil, they are now so desperately stupid they have become unconsciously comical. Even funnier than their diminishing circulations. It won't be long now before their Nazi collective is out in the street in tears a la the News of the Screws blaming the Womens Institute for their demise. When it happens what's left of decency in the country will laugh its socks down. God knows they've got it coming.

SteveB said...

Has The Sun thought this through? Just a minute, Sun - Thought, no it doesn't work does it!!

Anyway, as far as I can make out, Sky TV subscribers will have to switch off their satellite boxes and watch Prime on a web based device. And they can still watch Chris Evans, and more importantly for many I suspect, Sabine Schmitz without switching the box back on. Bit of a dangerous precedent there, switching off the boxes, they might start making a habit of it.

Anonymous said...

As revealed by AARB release of secret government documents it was also Ford who, while on the Warren Commission 1963/64, relocated an autopsied back wound up to the neck of John Kennedy's dead body, thus enabling the single bullet fraud with Arlen Specter. Then he leaked the Commission ongoing proceedings to Hoover's FBI. Then he breached the law and used secret government information to write a book alleging the guilt of Lee Harvey Oswald. In other words, Ford was a liar, fraud and perverter of justice.

Quite appropriate, then, that he should be placed alongside Murdochised Clarkson.

Bravenewmalden said...

When Evans took over from Wogan, the Mail was furious and couldn't wait for his show to fail. When RAJAR stats later showed that Evans had quickly surpassed Wogan's listening figures, the Mail was strangely silent.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Tim but your hatred of Jeremy Clarkson and your desire to see Top Gear do well without him has made you just as bad as the Sun in this instance.

Forget Top Gear and stick to politics.

Andy McDonald said...

@ Anonymous:

I took Tim's take to be not so much anti-Clarkson as anti-Sun, for running a flimsy 'story' based on unattributed quotes and with a clear agenda in mind. As for the Clarkson fans, I'm a bit mystified as to what part of 'man gets sacked for committing sacking offence' they don't get.

Anonymous said...

Who let slip that Dr David Kelly went to media (BBC)?
It is no secret that somebody mentioned above was employed by both BBC and Murdoch.

I wouldn't doubt that some serious shit stirring went on.
We know Clarkson for one is very liberal with his voice.

It is also no secret that Murdoch was pro war.

Oh dear, it paints a very unhealthy picture.

If they don't want suspicion to fall on them they should not participate in vile practices because as it puts them under the spotlight.

Anonymous said...

Somebody knows something on this.
They are staying very tight lipped.

I would imagine the atmosphere between Sun HQ and the BBC could be a very volatile one over this.

Sometimes, you can read between the lines and see what lies beneath.

Yet again, another sad death shrouded with the dirty hands of media in the mix.