Last updated : 21 October 2002 By Grandmaster Suck
Ok, it's pretty odd to start with a quote by ex-Tory PM Stanley Baldwin, but
no-one has ever summed up the Press quite so accurately. Time after time
Editors race each other to wallow in the gutter first and recent events
concerning Rangers fans have shown that broadsheets are just as capable of
this as the tabloids.

Take the Sunday Herald, for instance. On 7 April this year self-confessed
Yahoo and hack Sanjeev Kohli said this

"Mark Walters arrived at Ibrox and was showered with exotic fruit by his own
team's supporters....".

We know 1st hand that many complaints were made to the paper about this.
They went both to the Editor and to Kohli himself but in this case we'll
follow a complaint made by one Bear to the Press Complaints Commission.

Our guy wrote to Kohli on 8th April saying this:

Dear Sanjeev,

I have just read your article and clearly you have a bright future ahead of
you, both in journalism and as a Celtic fan.

Stating "...Mark Walters arrived at Ibrox and was showered with exotic fruit
by his own team's supporters...." is, quite simply, a lie of breathtaking

You truly should be ashamed of yourself for writing this.

Perhaps your affiliations are clouding your memory, but I can assure you
that my recollection of events is crystal-clear. On the 2nd of January 1988,
at Celtic Park, Mark Walters made his debut in an "Old Firm" game. His
arrival on the pitch was greeted with boos, monkey-noises and bananas being
thrown on the pitch by Celtic supporters.

It transpired that a number of these people had even taken the trouble to
dress up in monkey-suits for the occasion. I recall that the start of the
second half was delayed to allow the evidence of this moronic behaviour to
be removed from the track-side, particularly on the appropriately named
"Jungle" side of the ground.

Shamefully, these events were repeated at Tynecastle, but at no time did
anything even remotely similar happen at Ibrox. The idea that Rangers
supporters took part in this activity is utterly without foundation. Indeed,
the very first edition of the Rangers Fanzine "Follow, Follow" featured Mark
Walters on the cover with the headline "Blue-the only colour that matters."
and featured a lead article focussing on and condemning the shameful
treatment given to Walters.

The truth (and I suggest you try to acquaint yourself with this concept in
future) is that Walters was a hero to the Rangers support, a remarkable
player who I know is still remembered with great fondness.

If you have an ounce of integrity, you will correct this lie immediately,
apologise and ask the "Herald" to publish it."

Getting no reply, he wrote to the Andrew Jaspan, the Sunday Herald Editor on
18th April and got no response. He e-mailed Jaspan on 29th April and
getting no response - anyone else spot the pattern here? - rang his Office
directly, to be told Jaspan would 'deal with it'. He didn't.

Finally frustrated our guy wrote to the PCC on 22 May. He pointed out the
article hadn't been retracted, the lie hadn't been corrected, and that the
Sunday Herald paid about as much attention to their readers as they did to
the truth - i.e. none.

He highlighted three separate breaches of the PCC's own Code and asked them
only for two things - an apology and a retraction.

Now, let me put you out of your misery here because just like "24" the other
week, there is no happy ending here. He got neither.

You see, the PCC is not a neutral watchdog; it¹s members are appointed by
the same newspaper industry it is supposed to regulate and as a result it's
a toothless wonder. A watchdog which doesn't bark and doesn't bite

Well, how do you explain their bizarre view that printing a Reader's Letter
amounts to correcting one of the biggest lies told about us?

No, the bottom line not just for the Sunday Herald but for hacks like
Speirs, Cully, Grahame, Leckie and now new Bhoy Kohli is that lies are OK,
not apologising is OK, libelling thousands of people is OK and making up
stories is OK... so long as it's Rangers.

As we said "power without responsibility". Add in a big pinch of cowardice
and you've just about summed up the rat-pack of Scottish sports journalists.
They separate the wheat from the chaff and print the chaff.

(The story has a funny ending because the Bear who wrote to Kohli is a Union
Official who has been an active anti-racist for decades. He wrote to Kohli 3
weeks ago offering to meet him and take him to Ibrox to let him see for
himself and guess what? No reply.)