Paying the price for the failure of others

Subjecting the powerful to scrutiny is at the heart of journalism.

Uncovering information that those in elevated positions would rather remain secret is something that every journalist should aspire to be part of.

However that is journalism at its best.

When the Fourth Estate becomes corrupted by largesse and cronyism then THEY become the story.

Regular readers will know my views on Scottish sports journalism.

Now that perspective is shared by Alex Thomson, an award winning war correspondent, from Channel 4 News.

He uses terms like “succulent lamb” and got Graham Spiers to fess up about the extent of the collective failure on the part of the Glasgow hack pack apropos Rangers.

By simply doing his job on several journeys north he has attracted the ire of some of the good ol’ boys of the Glasgow media village.

One hack in particular got particularly exercised and made physical threats to Thomson.

I am aware of the details of this, but it is Alex’s story to be broken at a time of his choosing.

If the objective was to frighten Thomson off then it didn’t work.

The idea that someone who has braved the craziness of Haifa Street in Baghdad would cower in fear because of  threats made by a  sports hack in Glasgow is risible.

However this vignette is a manifestation of a wider reality.

It should now be taken as a given that the Glasgow sports desks aren’t fit for purpose.

I can think of two working sports journalists in Glasgow that I would consider worth the trouble.

The rest of them have been behind the curve on the Rangers financial story for two years and some of them privately concede this to be the case.

The new media outlets they publicly sneer at are their first port of call when they switch on their machines on the morning.

Everything in life has a cost and the price of covering the slow death of Rangers is your good name.

I have told this to any journalist who has contacted me and wants in on the act.

I tell them to be prepared to be smeared by anonymous posters on football message boards and on social media, especially Twitter.

I have endured this since I first took on the Rangers support over the “Famine song” in 2008.

Yes dear reader 2008, and to think some of them still believe that I will give up…

Ah bless.

If I believed half of the lurid fantasies written about myself then I would not want to meet me.

The bottom line is that a rotten, racist corrupt organisation held most Scottish journalists in fear and awe for generations.

The reaction to my work in 2008 in the Irish Post and in other newspapers, but mainly on this site was one of shock that a named journalist would take them on.

This isn’t how it is meant to be after all.

Now Scotland’s “establishment club” is about to be liquidated and subsequently this is a terrifying time for the ignorant and illiterate who invest their sense of worth in the continued existence of Rangers.

I know that UEFA are now fully aware of the scale of the malaise in Scottish football.

They are watching the domestic association for evidence of swift decisive action if allegations regarding second contracts at Ibrox are proven.

Now it is Channel 4 News and not some slavering sycophant that the powerful on Planet Fitba have to deal with.

This, dear reader, is progress.

I am aware of my own contribution to this and I rather like the guy I see in the shaving mirror of a morning.

I can exclusively reveal that a few in the Glasgow press pack won’t enjoy their own features nearly so much in the coming weeks.

They will know that they are looking at failure looking back at them.

Never a pretty sight.

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