Wednesday, 26 January 2011
Conspiracy? Don't Make Me Laugh
It wasn't my intention to comment upon the sacking of Andy Gray, now ex-Sky Sports reporter, but the headline in today's Scotsman 'Conspiracy theory as Sky sacks Andy Gray' amused me.
Although I'm not a football enthusiast at times I'm subjected to the sport on television. Today's football commentators are like footballers to me - overpaid and not without a large dose of self-importance.
Andy Gray is currently in a legal dispute with the News of the World over the alleged phone tapping scandal. His boss at Sky owns the newspaper and now his pals are saying he was sacked today because of his legal challenge. It's implied Murdoch engineered the sacking.
What nonsense. Andy Gray was sacked because a third video tape, in which he asks a female colleague to tuck his microphone wire down his trousers, 'happened' to find its way into the media. That's the behaviour of a teenager not a man earning in a year what many earn in a lifetime (said to be £1.7 million per annum). Add the official warning he received yesterday about his incongruous behaviour prior to Saturday's broadcast and Sky could do nothing other than sack him. With his experience in a very competitive industry he surely realised there are always those further down the ladder who think they can do the job better.
However, the main point of this post is this - why do so many people who work or have close contact with the media not understand the definition of the noun microphone? A mike was possibly the reason Gordon Brown lost the last election. Many minor celebs are never heard of again because of 'off-air' chatter when they are still miked. Carol Thatcher springs to mind. Careless talk costs jobs and Andy Gray, with his 18 years experience in the media, ought to have been much more aware of that than most.
It's reported he's talking to his lawyers about his sacking and feels it's unjust. I suggest he's wasting his money.
Brendan O'Neill doesn't agree with me. He says Andy Gray should not have been sacked because he was 'saying something to a colleague in what he believed was complete privacy'. He misses the point. No workplace is private, particularly one which involves a television or radio recording studio.
Just minutes ago I heard his colleague Richard Keys has resigned. A good move because he can possibly return - after a suitable period of contemplation - to the world of sport, but it won't be with Sky.
There are winners though. They are the women involved in this sordid business.