Impartial Beeb

I’ve never seem anything like the coverage of yesterday’s Epsom Derby. What happened was this: the Queen owned the favourite, Carlton House. Carlton House ran well and came third, so was beaten by two horses, one of which, Pour Moi, the actual winner, was delivered with a blistering late run in which he made up at least four lengths in an eighth of a mile. His jockey, 19 year-old Sasha Distel-a-like Mikael Barzelona, stood up in his stirrups and raised his persuader in victory before the horse had even crossed the line and while he was the merest of short heads in front. He effectively pulled the handbrake on the animal while the second horse still appeared to have a chance of collaring him. It was a sensational piece of sportsmanship and horsemanship which positively reeked of sang froid. Mikael’s ‘antics’ were later to be characterised as exactly that, and as foolish, unseemly, and dangerous to the animal. All of which is nonsense. It was marvelous. Had Pour Moi belonged to the Her Majesty the Queen then Barzelona’s ride would have been hailed as the finest piece of riding in living memory. As things stood, the only surprise was that no one called for him to be taken to the Tower.

The ensuing post-race analysis turned into a post-mortem and rather took on the atmosphere of a wake. Presenter Clare Balding, who had earlier impartially twitted: Every time I think about the reality of the Queen winning the Derby I get a rush of nerves/butterflies/adrenalin. This is why I love my job could scarcely prevent herself from blubbing at the iniquity of the outcome. And then she had to interview the winning connections, a gig which normally lasts a minute but to which she devoted two whole seconds, and then she had to oversee the presentation of the trophy at which she did a terrific impression of a lady in waiting trying not to throw her breakfast up. As they re-ran the tape pundits queued up to explain to us poor baffled loyal subjects what the hell had happened – the Queen’s horse had been forced to run wide because of the path that it took! Those dastardly French, except: Pour Moi had run even wider while Barzelona took a look at the place and both horse and rider were always behind Carlton House until the moment it mattered. How they had managed to impede the royal animal from there was totally unfathomable. In the end Willie Carson summed the whole scandal up. ‘I have to admit it,’ he said, ‘…sadly, the best horse won.’

It was by a distance the most craven sports coverage I have ever seen, disrespectful of a magnificent sporting performance and disrespectful to a field of twelve further animals, jockeys, trainers, connections, the lot. The name of the second horse was never once mentioned – Treasure Beach (25/1) was relegated to a silent footnote in the narrative of the whole tawdry fix.

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9 Responses to Impartial Beeb

  1. markelt says:

    I watched Balding with Willie Carson, both done up like they were going to a fucking garden party and talking about nothing else but the shoe in for the Queen’s nag. The only thing worse is the lickspittle private joke cliquey build up on BBC Breakfast News, with them all poncing around in dinner suits and posh frocks. Somebody at the BBC needs to remind them what their jobs are.

  2. OS says:

    I didn’t watch it yesterday. I’ve just looked at it on BBC Sport and was amazed at what the kid did both in terms of supreme talent on the horse, and also his even more supreme gesture when he crossed the line. Good lad! Our German/Greek monachy and their fawning, dry-heaving inducing (one for greyers there) sickofants didn’t like that one bit, and I reckon if Carlsburg made jockeys, Mickael Barzelona would be it. 😉

    There’s no substitute for the confidence of youth, especially when the kid is browbeating the browbeaters. The cheeky young bugger! But I like him! 🙂

  3. Daftburger says:

    Daftburger cleans glasses, takes out soap box and takes a deep breath.

    Don’t start me on the impartiality of the BBC. It’s about time these people were bought to account. After all it’s the way it’s funded, yes by us the poor bastards that have to put up with it all. The impartiality described by our esteemed blogmeister is based on sport but it’s pervasive throughout the BBC.

    They carry too much of an agenda and there sycophantic presenters are only too happy to put forward that agenda. Mr Elt mentioned in his post BBC News and my ire is often directed at them, particularly BBC Breakfast.

    Now listen you presenters you may be university educated but so is everyone these days, except OS 😛 , even I’ve got one so that says all you need to know! You are there to report the news not comment on it. I don’t want your comment, I’ll make my own mind up thank you very much. And anyway half of you are only there because your half good looking with a decent pair of tits. And that goes for you too BBC News reporters, report the news, I don’t want your comments or interpretations.

    Oh and when you’re interviewing this minister try an keep away from talksport territory and try and have an opposing view and that goes for you to Paxmen, et al. You’ve started doing the exact same. No need to dumb down Newsnight as thick fuckers aren’t watching you anyway when ‘The only way is Essex’ or some other inane show is on Channel 4 or ITV or Sky One or Virgin One or a host of other channels providing bubblegum for the eyes.

    Theres a multitude of crap out there and as you don’t have to rely on commercial income how about making some intelektewal programmes for us poor people who can’t take much more of Britain got the X-Factor celebrity come dancing on Ice So you can thing you can dance phone in now shite!

    You know there are some people in this country who only watch programmes if theres a chance to vote on the rigged outcome?

    Fucking Hell!!

  4. calvininjax says:

    It’s all America’s fault. For some strange reason, American TV is seen as the example that must be followed in order to win the ratings war.

    What America does today, Britain does tomorrow. So it comes as no surprise to learn that British TV is now serving up the same dross as the American channels.

    The anchors on American news channels would rather discuss the last game of golf they had with Senator so-and-so rather than tackling the guy about the issues of the day. I have yet to witness an American interviewer on one of the mainstream channels take a politician to task and ask the awkward questions. Everything seems to be stage managed for the power of the sound bite.

    And don’t get me started on Fox News. It’s like Drop The Dead Donkey, only for real and with a frightening agenda.

    In the old days of the BBC and ITV, a news reporter would present his or her report, give the facts of the story and that was that. Now, we have the anchorman interviewing the reporter after the report and getting his/her opinion. The distinction between news reports and op-ed pieces has become blurred and that is no good thing.

    When news is treated like another form of entertainment, we are all in trouble.

  5. OS says:


  6. markelt says:

    Oi Calvin

    Have you read Flat Earth News by Nick Davies? Recommended to see how the media disappeared into itself as you describe as well as looking at the death of investigative journalism and the expanding role of PR in filling news items .

  7. Stephen Foster says:

    Six comments and nothing about my gayness; I think this may be a record.

  8. markelt says:

    You’be been outgayed by Clare Balding

  9. mikethegerm says:

    Radio 5 was the same. Who won the bloody race? This is what I know as “news”.

    I will generally defend the BBC til I’m blue in the face but I’m disillusioned at the moment. The complete lack of cojones from their top brass in dealing with the attempts from all the usual twats to get the Beeb shut down compares neatly with the laugably OTT “adversarial” line of questioning from Humphries et al.

    Oh and Elt fancies Weathergirl Carole – he’s hot for her cankles.

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