That the ruckus over Jeremy Clarkson’s recent adventures has been played out mainly in the pages of the Murdoch titles - Jezza is one of their star columnists - and the Mirror, which appears currently to be the conduit of choice for those on the Top Gear team unhappy with their lead presenter’s behaviour, has not been allowed to get in the way of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre and his obedient hackery at the Mail.
I didn't give them a quote, and neither did my lawyers, but we both ended up ... IN THE DAILY MAIL
So it was no surprise to see the Mail On Sunday make a number of claims about what an alleged “Top BBC Boss” said about Jezza, although eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that rather a lot of the supposedly explosive claims had to be framed by quotation marks, suggesting that a degree of creative reinterpretation had been employed. That ploy has once again been put to work today.
“Jeremy Clarkson came out fighting against the BBC last night following ‘insider’ briefings which compared him to serial paedophile Jimmy Savile … The Top Gear host instructed lawyers to demand an immediate retraction from the Corporation after the scurrilous allegations were spread by highly-placed BBC sources” tells the report. So this is Beeb bashing under cover of news. And, as Jon Stewart might have said, two things here.
One, Jezza had already got his lawyers on the case - Olswang is the name in the frame - and we know this because the Mail reported it LAST FRIDAY. And two, that retraction demand depends on the “scurrilous allegations” having been made in the first place. But do go on. “Clarkson is also seeking a full investigation into the identity of the BBC executive who leaked the groundless smear”. Yes? Yes yes? Yes yes yes?
“His friends say he believes it was a source connected to the office of former Labour minister James Purnell, now the BBC’s £295,000-a-year head of strategy … The BBC has denied Purnell had anything to do with the smear campaign. Sources have tried to pin the blame on another well-known senior executive”. More BBC smearing. And, hang on a minute, something is missing from this story - and it’s a bloke called Jeremy Clarkson!
All the Mail can offer is “sources”, “friends”, and loads more of those quote marks. It’s bandwagon jumping of the crudest kind, even managing to score an own goal over Jezza’s much-trumpeted Have I Got News For You appearance. At first, readers are told “Yesterday, it also emerged that Clarkson is due to host an episode of Have I Got News For You, when the topical panel show returns to BBC1 in May”.
But then it’s conceded that “The plain-speaking host is understood to have been booked before the incident with Mr Tymon, and his slot has not been cancelled since the row erupted … However, he is likely to stir up controversy if his appearance goes ahead as scheduled”. So Jezza might not even make that date either. And the rest of the article is just another formulaic BBC bashing tirade.
That’s spectacularly lame, even for the Daily Mail. Must try harder, lads.
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