2 Results Found For: May 2021

23rd May 2021

Am I alone in thinking that Martin Bashir is being made a scapegoat by the BBC and the media in general? While there has been criticism of BBC management at the time of his Princess Diana interview, I have not heard any suggestion that his actions stemmed from a culture of lies, deceit and sensationalism which pervades the media, including the BBC, to this day. I am not, for a minute, condoning what he did but I cannot accept that this was a case of one bad apple. Most of the fruit shop is well beyond ripe.

For decades we have been sold the image that the BBC is some great bastion of  moral values and beyond reproach. Panorama, in particular, has been placed on a pedestal and I now look back and wonder  how many times I was taken in  and accepted, without question, reports on subjects I knew nothing about.

Sadly, it seems, that the old adage of not letting the truth get in the way of a good story applies just as much to BBC journalists as it does to those who are seeking to outsell rival tabloids by displaying the most shocking headline. Horseracing has suffered many times, during my career, at the hands of these unscrupulous reporters  and documentaries from Panorama, the BBC’s Kenyon Confronts, and ITV’s The Cook Report, sprang immediately to my mind as I read and listened to reports on this latest BBC scandal. It was only through having some inside knowledge of the subjects being covered that I came to realise how inaccurate and sensationalist many television documentaries are and I certainly do not think that the situation is any better now than it was in Martin Bashir’s time. I now wonder, was it always so? Have we always been misled and manipulated by the media? Who can you trust to tell it as it is?

 

 

17th May 2021

So, so sad to hear of Joe Mercer’s death. It was only on Saturday that I saw Bruce Raymond at Newbury and asked after Joe. Bruce said, ‘He’s great. As bright as ever. He phones me every week’.

As a child and teenager, Joe was a superhero in my eyes. I could never have imagined that years later he would be coming to stay in my house. When he was racing manager for Sheikh Maktoum, he would come to stay and look at the horses the next morning. If racing was at York, Joe would leave after his last runner and, if I had one in a later race, he would let himself in and make himself at home. By the time I got back, Joe would have been raking about for a nice bottle of red wine and he’d be half way through his first glass. We loved having him to stay.