The following article was written after I became privy to an exchange of e-mails involving Channel 4 Presenter/Chief Correspondent Alex Thomson.
Those who read my articles regularly will know that I am not prone to sensationalist claims and that I normally restrict my commentaries to matters which are very much in the public domain and which therefore can be substantiated. I have, on this occasion decided to deviate from the norm, and use material which is not in the public domain. I can assure you however, that these e-mails and the content I will refer to in this article, exist and can be accessed and substantiated if required.
Notwithstanding the fact the revelations I am about to make probably describe a course of conduct which is probably criminal, I’m reminded of the fact that at present, there is a government enquiry ongoing, whose remit is to examine the behaviour and conduct of journalists. All the more reason therefore for my deviation from the norm.
The background to this story has it’s birth in the blog by Thomson “Threats and Silence – The intimidation by Rangers fans”. The content of that blog as we are all aware was a source of anger for many. It contained material which was false, inaccurate and of course drew criticism from not only Rangers supporters, but also Thomson’s own peers in the media – Tom English who described it as “hysterical, attention-seeking nonsense” .
Of course if nothing else the rise of social networking via the likes of facebook and twitter, and the direct access which e-mails provide, has made the once untouchables, very touchable in respect of readers feedback. It was in such a exchange of e-mails with a Rangers supporter challenging the veracity of the content of Thomson’s blog that he made a series of startling revelations.
Alex Thomson has made a number of allegations via various media outlets. In particular that he was threatened by a Glasgow based journalist, a claim he has made many times. The latter of course was subject of a formal complaint to the Police and that agency was of course then duty bound to investigate that complaint. This is however how Thomson describes this incident in the e-mails. Everything is reproduced verbatim – including his typing errors.
|All fine then because the Sun says so.All fine because the police say so.
Dear oh dear we don’t like to question things do we?
And yes, I knew full well that was a spoof account because I’d been told. By using it I wanted to achieved two things:
1. I suspected the two Glasgow journalists would immediately play down the issue of intimidation. They did thus exposing the problem.
2. I strongly suspected it would embolden David Leggat into behaving even more stupidly by issuing more threats convinced I’d been duped.
Knowing full well that the threat had been made from a spoof account, Thomson wasted the time and resources of the Police as part of, what he claims was an elaborate ploy to “expose” some kind of sinister web of intimidation. If it wasn’t so serious it would be funny.
Notwithstanding what Strathclyde Police think about having their time wasted as part of Thomson’s “elaborate trap” one wonders what the other journalists in Scotland think about what Thomson alleges. In fact he seems to think they are part of a wider problem of denial.
|No wider problem? Consider then Tom English, senior sportswrite Scotland on Sunday dismissing all this as “cyber-stick” “hysterical” and “attention-seeking”.Tom has at least seen fit to clarify his remarks though not apologise.
Like him you epitomise a toxic culture in genuine denial.
In doing this of course, he calls into question both their journalistic integrity and honesty. Strange from a man who himself has not been entirely honest when he has spoken on air or to the forces of law and order regarding the threat to himself.
Perhaps the biggest irony in all of this are those who not so long ago were accusing Rangers of “robbing Scotland of essential services by not paying the tax man” have suddenly become silent in criticising an individual who deprived the people of Glasgow of their services of law and order whilst they investigated a spurious complaint, a complaint which was lodged, not through fear but to serve Thomson’s own purpose.
Tom English’s very public put down seems to have irritated Mr Thomson. He continues…
|English isn’t getting journos speaking to him. E hasn’t talked to the cops. English doesn’t know or care what happened at the Sun. English hasn’t seen the crime reports. Or spent time with Hutton. Or seen the nuj list.Because they don’t care.|
Perhaps Mr Thomson, Tom English has not spoken to the the Police because he has far more respect for them than to waste their time serving his own self-seeking agenda. I think I can echo the wishes of many Rangers supporters when I say I’d love to read the crime report which outlines your complaint, the investigation and the subsequent conclusions from Strathclyde Police which resulted in no action being taken against anyone.
As a famous Irish comedian used to say “There’s more”. But I’m aware that I have already taken up considerable space and much of your reading time.
The Leveson Enquiry seeks to examine the culture, ethics and practices of the media.
Perhaps they should extend an invitation to Channel 4 News.