Daily Archives: 7 June 2008

Is all fair dinkum in love, war and football?

Serious sport, George Orwell famously wrote in 1945, has nothing to do with fair play. “It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words it is war minus the shooting” where “the most savage combative instincts are aroused”.

The Polish tabloid Super Express has once again proved Orwell prophetic, ushering in Euro 2008 with a photo montage of their national team’s coach holding aloft the severed heads of Michael Ballack, the German team captain, and Germany coach Joachim Löw.

“Bring us their heads,” the paper demands, stirring a hornet’s nest.

Photograph: courtesy Der Spiegel

Read the full story: Poland’s yellow press turns blood red

Read Orwell’s landmark essay: The sporting spirit


MEMO: The world is not answerable to the media

Santosh Desai, CEO of Future Brands, in Tehelka:

“What if it turns out that there is truth in some of the salacious suggestions made by the media and the family is involved in the Aarushi-Hemraj murder,” asked Barkha Dutt in her [NDTV] show We The People. She was, of course, answered effectively by the Talwars’ lawyer who inverted the question and asked what would constitute an adequate apology in case it turned out that Dr Rajesh Talwar was innocent.

“The verbal jousting apart, Barkha’s question reveals a lot about how the media sees itself today. Implicitly, the media believes the world is answerable to it and not the other way around. The truth is that the media is not the jury; it is of no consequence if the media turns out to be right. What matters is the legal principle of the presumption of innocence (as Soli Sorabjee pointed out in the same programme).

“The media cannot speculate on the basis of unsubstantiated and motivated leaks no matter what the final outcome of the investigation. The problem is that the media’s quest for the truth is being overtaken by its desire to garner eyeballs and in the absence of any regulation whatsoever to temper this, we are seeing this sordid spectacle being played out.”

Read the full article: Salacious leaks and liberal guilt