An article from Max Bloggs. You can reach out to him on Twitter at @derRetter

Before continuing with this posting I’d like to explain my motivations for still covering the issue that just won’t die. I like most of other Liverpool fans am battle weary. I just want the Suarez-Evra issue to go away. But it hasn’t yet and it won’t anytime soon. As long as the media continue to misrepresent the facts, then I—and hopefully other bloggers—will continue to fill in the gaps.

On 13 February, I entered into a discussion with the chief football writer for a large national tabloid after I saw him inaccurately explaining the term “negro”. Seeing this as a blatant misrepresentation of fact, I questioned his journalistic integrity.

Referring to the term “negro” he asserted that the experts found “that it WAS perjorative (sic). And that didn’t accept assertion to [the] contrary.” He claimed that the experts’ conclusion backed Evra and not Suarez.

I don’t consider myself to be naïve—as I have seen what journalists are capable of—but I was honestly shocked at reading his tweets as it revealed one of two things: (1) either he was openly lying to defend his stance on the Suarez-Evra issue; (2) that inadvertently admitting that he had not clearly grasped the nature of the experts’ evidence in the 115-page FA report.

At this point I tweeted him paragraphs 190 and 194 of the FA report which clearly state that the experts concluded that if Suarez’ version of events were true, then his use of the term “negro” would not have been ‘offensive or offensive in racial terms.’

After a 10 minute pause in our Twitter activity (I’m assuming the reporter in question has now opened up the FA report) he refers me to paragraph 179, which clarifies that had Suarez said “porque tu eres negro”, that would have been offensive.

Now what surprised me here was that he again showed that he didn’t understand the nature of the experts’ evidence. He cited paragraph 179 with the belief that it somehow defended his assertion that the experts had backed Evra over Suarez.

But it didn’t.

I never suggested that the experts found against Evra. As has been well documented in the mainstream media, the experts also found that in Evra’s version of events (if true) the use of “negro” would have been offensive. My point was—and always has been—that the experts also agreed that in Suarez account (if true) the use of “negro” would not have been construed as racist.

He then dismisses these inconvenient truths, stating that “[w]e can all find reasons to back our positions.” I argued that therein lies the problem: the mainstream media have been defending their positions by selectively and inaccurately citing the 115-page FA report since its release.

I now find myself asking why our mainstream media even have “positions” that need to be defended.

I then drew the reporter’s attention to his previous quote that “negro” “WAS perjorative (sic). And that didn’t accept assertion to [the] contrary.” He accepted that he was wrong, having recognised that the experts’ conclusions that the use of the term as described by Suarez would not have been construed as racist.

However, he still rejected the idea that the experts “backed” Suarez. I don’t disagree with this point because the experts—at least not publicly—didn’t back either Suarez or Evra. They simply passed judgment on whether the term “negro” was offensive. In doing so they considered both Suarez’ and Evra’s version of events as if both accounts were true and made their judgments accordingly. It was the FA who backed Evra over Suarez, which is clear from paragraph 199 onwards.

Again, this point was accepted by the reporter in question.

Now the fact the a reporter has either been selectively or unknowingly misreporting the FA’s findings may not be anything new to those Liverpool fans who have read the report.

But these points have been the basis of many fans’ support of Luis Suarez. The idea that he can be found guilty without any video evidence, audio evidence or statements from witnesses of the alleged event smacks of a ‘show trial’. Furthermore, the experts found that had Suarez used the term ‘negro’ in the context he claims, it would not have been racially offensive. These are pretty solid reasons to stand behind our player.

There is of course the possibility that Suarez could be guilty. Just as there is the possibility that Schmeichel was guilty of racially abusing Ian Wright all those years ago.

But there is NO evidence to prove these claims or refute these claims. We are ultimately left with one man’s word against another’s.

Yet the media have continually ignored these facts, and have even gone on to misreport and manipulate the truth. Without presenting the actual Liverpool FC standpoint on this, they have labelled us “tribal” and “blindly faithful” and accused us of undermining the anti-racism movement in this country.

The press, anti-racist spokespeople and opposing fans demand that we sacrifice Luis Suarez and our own convictions for the good of society, without taking into consideration our misgivings of the decision.

It is clear for many that since the release of the FA’s report, Liverpool FC, Liverpool fans and Luis Suarez have been subjected to what can only be described as a smear campaign, based on half-truths, non-truths and just plain nonsense.

By Max Bloggs

 

  

6 thoughts on “Reporting half-truths, non-truths and just plain nonsense

  1. John Doe

    Very well analysed article, bravo. Keep it up.

    The Gutter Press reporting got to be fought all the way.

    What sickened most of us is the manner in which Evra created the stir by grabbing Suarez’s arm and all the Red Devils stared like hawks at the “Sin” created by Suarez.

    The shaking of hands or the lack of it are NOT related to the FA report which is not “conclusive just” anyway as it is one man’s word against the other at the end of the day. The refusal is simply a personal affair between two person as when Ferguson refused to shake Porto’s manager’s hands

    THERE IS NO RACISM or NON RACISM judgement anymore in the hand shaking event. The judgement has been forced upon already

    It is simply somebody hating somebody’s mug that’s all.

    Now, the non-shaking of hands is an issue of Suarez letting down Kenny Dalglish or what? In the above picture,those hawk eyed devils looking at Suarez are disappointed that he let KD down ? Pleeeze…. those devils hates LFC as much as LFC hates MU and that is a fact that does not require hypocritical dissimulation.

  2. mike moss

    could you please tell me why you dont name the chief sports writer you were in discussion with.
    i think most liverpool supporters would like to know.i certainly would

    • Richard, C

      If you check the author’s twitter feed @derRetter on 13th Feb you will see it is Martin Lipton @MartinLipton who is the chief football writer at the Daily Mirror.

  3. DJ

    Very good article.

    What I find interesting and I don’t think this is an angle that has been explored yet is that the media hacks that are continuously misrepresenting this whole sorry saga are the very same ones that over an extended period of time reffered to Rafa Benitez as a “fat Spanish waiter”.

    By my logic that is firstly a derogatory comment and secondly makes a direct reference to Rafa’s ethnic origin. Therefore by the same terms of reference that the FA Kangaroo court applied only conclusion I personally can draw from this is that those same journalists are themselves racist or at least probably racist.

  4. jm

    Well judged piece on an issue that we all need to let go. Why are people still contorting themselves around an event that as you say yourself there is no evidence to prove or disprove. The bottom line is he used a word we shouldn’t tolerate. He should have apologised. We should have learnt. He should have shook hands. This was the responsibility of LFC and one of our players. There are criticisms we can level at others involved, players, managers and journos, but these criticisms should not be used to deflect any of the blame that we, as a club, should have accepted from day one.

  5. Cage70

    Not sure why you’d write such a huge piece over a meaningless spat on twitter, masquerading as an article about media misreporting if you wanted the issue to go away…. Embarrassing…

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