Thoughts On The Story Itself And The Decision To Publish It Today
This morning, the Daily Record published a story regarding Anthony Stokes with the headline pictured above. The full article, should anyone wish to read it, is available online here.
Now, I’m not going to sit here and try to tell you that Anthony Stokes’ attendance at this event was right or wrong, because it was, of course, his own decision. Regardless of what I said, if I commented on it in that nature, I’d have people from either side of the proverbial fence wanting to debate the point endlessly (and the chances are no one would manage to persuade the other group that they were right or wrong), so I see no point in that. However, considering he is described as having entered the event through a side door, it does suggest that he may have been trying to avoid any media outside.
As for the picture itself, it certainly doesn’t look professional. By that I mean it was taken on a phone or an “everyday” camera, as the lady pictured with Anthony probably asked for a picture with him, and then it may have been tweeted or put on Facebook or whatever. In one sense, it may have been somewhat naive of Stokes to think he could attend this event without it reaching the press whom, particularly in Scotland, were bound to jump on the story if they even got a sniff of it.
However, the story itself was first printed in The Irish Mail On Sunday on the 25th November 2012. Now, I saw a screenshot of this at the weekend, so this information has been in the public domain for some time.
And yet, the Daily Record have not chosen to publish it until today, Wednesday, the 28th November 2012. Considering that the story was already covered in some detail by the aforementioned Irish newspaper, it wouldn’t have taken too long to reword it a bit and have it ready for publication on an earlier date, had the Daily Record wanted it to be published sooner. Now, there is only one reason to wait until today to run this story, and it is, of course, that there is a football match scheduled to take place in Edinburgh tonight.
Heart of Midlothian v Celtic is now, without doubt, the most volatile fixture of the Scottish footballing calendar nowadays. Previously, it was of course the Glasgow Derby of old, but a new rivalry won’t be formed there for some time unless Celtic meet the new club in a domestic cup tie. Returning to my point, considering the assault (in all descriptions other than that of a Scottish courtroom) on Neil Lennon at Tynecastle is still fresh in the memories of many, you have to seriously question the editorial decision to publish this story regarding Anthony Stokes today, and not yesterday or the day before.
Of course, the Daily Record will want to sell papers, especially in a time of plummeting sales, and more people are likely to buy a copy with a headline such as this on a day like today. Regardless of their reasoning though, waiting until today to publish that story can be seen as somewhat inflammatory, even if the Daily Record is predominantly a Glasgow paper, the story will undoubtedly spread across the country online. It reminds me of the moronic non-stories of old published in the run up to a Glasgow Derby which were designed to purely “up the ante” for the upcoming match. However, “upping the ante” for a match with a less than friendly history of late isn’t something to be applauded; it’s something to be condemned.
I just hope that after tonight’s match we’ll be talking about the football, regardless of what the result is in the end.