The Sevco Fusiliers   

Wednesday 2 October, 2013

Ireland-based Scots blogger Phil McGillivan trots out a well-worn classic in the wake of Saturday’s controversial Armed Forces Day celebration at Ibrox:

Not surprisingly, the mainstream media in Scotland turned a Nelsonian eye to the Ibrox match day atmosphere.

Plus ça change…

This is despite almost every single major Scottish media outlet actually covering the story at the point when there was an actual story to cover, other than the event itself – ie. that complaints had been made regarding potential criminal activity and the authorities had decided to investigate the matter further).

McGillivan repeatedly condemns the Scottish mainstream media (which he usually refers to as ‘SMSM’, even though ‘mainstream’ is actually one word, not two) for failing to cover stories which he feels are worthy of note (from his perspective).

He conveniently forgets, that unlike him, traditional media outlets (ie. television, radio, newspapers) are legally accountable for their content (unlike bloggers – even those who bandy about their NUJ credentials as some kind of qualification permitting them to publish the erratic contents of their heads).

Speed is not the mainstream media’s concern – in fact, for most media operators (ie. commercial entities such as newspapers) their major concern is their income. Understandably, this can be frustrating, especially when you feel an injustice remains unreported.

However, McGillivan’s attitude towards this well-established process presents itself as an acute form of irrational media hostility, largely centred around a unique confirmation bias: the Scottish Mainstream media has failed to cover a negative story about Rangers, so there must be a conspiracy within their ranks to protect the club’s fans and the custodians of Ibrox from public embarrassment or punishment.

To people like Phil, no other explanation is possible; the Scottish mainstream media are all in cahoots.

So, to refute McGillavan’s criticism and skepticism of the SMSM’s failure to cover the Armed Forces Day celebration at Ibrox, here’s a few ‘SMSM’ outlets that actually did cover it (doubtless, he will claim each of these outlets only succumbed to reporting on the matter due to pressure from bloggers like him – and, around 48 hours late, at that – although, it is important to note that Phil’s item was not published until 30 September, the same day most of the SMSM reported on the same story):

Rangers: Soldiers Accused Of Sectarian Singing (Sky News)
Police probe ‘concerns’ over Rangers’ Armed Forces Day (BBC News)
Soldiers accused of sectarian singing at Ibrox (The Scotsman)
Sectarianism probe launched by police & MoD as troops are accused of joining in vile chants at Ibrox (Daily Record)
Military probe into sectarian conduct at Ibrox forces day (The Herald)
Army and police investigate ‘sectarian chants’ at Rangers match (STV)

And one from Phil’s pal, Alex Thomson:

Armed forces’ involvement in a sectarian Rangers ‘party’ a PR disaster (Channel 4)

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