Saturday 7 March 2015

The Telegraph's Race To The Bottom

For those unversed in motorsport, or more specifically Formula One, Spanish driver Alonso - one of its best drivers of the current generation - is at the centre of speculation concerning a head injury as a result of a high speed crash.

The Spaniard crashed his McLaren into the wall during pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya on 22 February and reportedly was concussed. As a result he was airlifted to hospital where he spent three nights and has now been advised not to start the season opening in Melbourne. Clearly and rightly it is being treated seriously and McLaren's lack of openness regarding the situation suggests there maybe more to it than is being made public.

Certainly as any F1 fan acutely appreciates in recent years head injuries are not to be treated lightly; as evident on recent occasions with Michael Schumacher and Jules Bianchi last season. Such details are not for the Telegraph who via Judith Wood, under the section of F1 News informs us that Alonso is a lucky man because:,
...the Spaniard was so badly concussed he initially lost his memory and believed he was a boy again. Most striking was that his 13-year-old-self told doctors that his ambition was to be a Formula 1 driver. Twenty years on, he is living his (admittedly dangerous) dream. How many of us can say that?
I dimly recall that at 13 I wanted to be a nun. Weirdly, my husband entertained the idea of becoming a pillar hermit, à la Simeon Stylites – before and not after he married me, since you ask. We both drifted into journalism, about which I’m very pleased in particular, because it has meant I have been able to meet Donny Osmond.
There is much to be said for following your heart. But if you are happiest sailing or cooking or raising children, realising those ambitions might not be how you earn a living. What all 13-year-olds have in common is a sense of passion and endless possibility – and it’s holding on tight to those that counts, whether you drive a McLaren-Honda or take Holy Orders.
And there we have it, a head injury reduced down to the level of tittle tattle. We shouldn't be surprised, this is from the same journalist (I use the term loosely) who has a recent article about what happens to dogs when a couple breaks up.

No wonder that increasingly if we want proper news, and not just with sport, we have to go elsewhere.


  1. When Peter Oborne resigned initially quietly a few weeks ago, and then penned his article with regard to their deteriorating Editorial integrity, the Telegraph issued a pious, defiant retort. The early online thread to it topped a central column asserting their 'journalistic excellence'.

    I took a screenshot of the upper part of that column that night, with date and time inserted below.

    Here's 'Journalistic Excellence' for you:-

    1. Thanks for the screenshot, completely agree with your point regarding the Telegraph's pompous editorial.

      The Mail laughably had a similar editorial on Sunday regarding free speech and the press right to scrutinise.

  2. Yes the resignation of Peter Oborne was the last dismal episode in what appears to be the terminal decline of the Telegraph. According to Private Eye its staff have been resigning in droves for the last year. The readership has plummeted. And no wonder, It seems to have an editorial policy of floating to the centre politically (which corresponds to the Left of a generation ago, but now EUrophile) and keeping the tone lightweight. Nobody needs that.

    1. I can't disagree with much of that... that the Telegraph has become lightweight is a deliberate policy.

  3. I agree. I read that article and thought the same thing. It's not asking much for a broadsheet newspaper to use a motorsport journalist with half a clue to write material.

    This hack read as though she'd studied literature at Hello! magazine.

    1. This hack read as though she'd studied literature at Hello! magazine.

      And that depressingly sums up the current state of the Telegraph.