Two examples today of how the media is more interested in making the news than reporting it. First, the Sun published a photo yesterday allegedly showing Sven Goran Eriksson leaving talks with Chelsea chief executive, Peter Kenyon, as conclusive proof that the Swede is to walk out on England to go and manage the club.
Of course, all the Sunday papers follow the Sun and confidently predict that Sven will leave in the summer. And guess what? The FA hold a press conference today to say that far from leaving, he has signed an extension to his contract that will keep him in the national job until 2008.
Media 0 – Reality 1.
Next, the Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy. According to the media this week, he is in poor health, having missed the debate on the budget recently and then sweating during his speech at the party conference in Southport.
What they don’t tell you is that there were only two national journalists actually present when he made this speech, at least according to Charlie Wheelan who was there. (The Guardian and Independent would be my guess.) So how were they to judge whether is was ill or not? Certainly, he was in fine form a few days later at their Scottish conference.
Media 0 – Reality 2.
Then today, the Mail on Sunday, report that the knives are out for CK, that he was visited by the party’s ‘men in suits’ to tell him to either shape up or ship out, and recommend that the party should install Sir Menzies Campbell as leader. (Lib Dem ‘men in suits?’ – Men in Sandals, more like.) I’m not ageist, but the latter is 62 and has just recovered from cancer, so despite his undoubted abilities, is that a good move for the Lib Dems?
My guess is that the right wing media is scared that Charles Kennedy may actually be a real threat to Michael Howard and the Tories at next year’s election. And how old is Howard? Yep, 62 and even Edward Heath thinks that is too old.
Time will tell, but I wonder if Reality is about to hit a hat-trick?