False anger and manufactured controversy were the orders of the day on Radio Scotland this week, and all because Hibs didn’t read the rule book.
So eager were Sportsound’s punditry team to leap on a tweet from soon to be former Hibernian Chief Executive Leann Dempster that they didn’t even bother to check its accuracy.
Dempster was complaining about her club not being consulted over the rescheduling of Hibernian’s trip to Celtic Park in January.
At Celtic’s request, the game was moved from its previous Saturday slot to the following Monday evening to allow Celtic to have a mid-season training camp.
These camps have been standard practice ever since the winter break was brought in, at clubs’ request, years ago.
It is also standard practice that a fixture designated for a particular weekend can be played at any point from Friday to Monday of that weekend.
Ideally, both clubs reach an agreement that fulfils broadcast obligations and works for both of them.
However, in the event that one party objects, as Hibs did here, though no valid reason why has been given at the time of writing, then the onus of preference falls on the home team.
Celtic acted completely within the rules at all times in this process. They did nothing wrong.
Yet our national broadcaster read out the Hibs CEO’s Twitter temper tantrum, at our expense, without question.
Had Ms Dempster read the rule book properly before rage-tweeting, she would have been aware that she had no basis for complaint. She could have saved herself and indeed the presenters on Radio Scotland a lot of embarrassment.
Sadly, this has been part of the game for most of this season, indeed it goes back to last season too.
One need only look at the way Michael Stewart was treated by the BBC this summer for daring to call out Jim Traynor for his lies, as proof that our national broadcaster, funded by your money, is more interested in appeasing the Klan than they are in providing balanced journalism.
I was able to ascertain in less than ten minutes the rules around fixture scheduling.
It was literally as simple as doing a google search then consulting the correct section of the SFA website. If I, a random nobody with a laptop, can be bothered to fact check my stuff before publication, why can’t a national broadcaster?
Perhaps its because I set out to tell the story as I see it, and not to try and mould the facts to fit a pre-conceived narrative. I don’t pretend that I am unbiased. I am a Celtic supporter and I write from that perspective. I make no apologies for it.
That isn’t what BBC Journalists are paid to do though. We expect quality, unbiased journalism. We aren’t getting it.
In good journalism, you create the story then you write the headline. It seems the BBC are now more interested in creating headlines without actually taking the time to consider the substance of their story.
All I can say is, I’m glad I don’t pay the license fee.