Monday, April 26, 2010

British hacks: no better than a Frenchman

Once again France outdoes England. Whereas England's footballers' sex scandals are rather tawdry and vulgar affairs, the French manage a genuine level of scandal, sleaze and, well what you would expect of the French.

The teenage call girl accused of sleeping with at least three French football stars when she was underage broke her silence over the scandal announcing: "I loved them all".

Zahia
Dehar, now 18, said she was "shocked" that the players were facing up to three years in prison for the crime.


You may well have read about it already, of course. It's a good story and the English press has reacted with predictable glee. But there is one interesting aspect to this reporting; the journalistic mind works in a rather predictable fashion - when reporting a scandal of this nature there is an immediate desire to dig up similar examples. Virtually every report I have read - be it the Times, Telegraph, Mail, , (not the Guardian, admittedly) has a similar example of moral turpitude to hand.

As the Times put it

The public, whose morale often seems linked to the fortunes of the national side, has reacted with hilarity, annoyance and dismay to the prospect of the side being dragged through the mud by footballers’ libidos. It happens just as the international furore over a Thierry Henry handball against Ireland — allowing les bleus to qualify for the World Cup — has begun to subside.

One might get the idea that your average journalist believes that cheating the Irish out of a place in the World Cup is really comparable to paying a 17-year-old for sex. I can assure you this is not the case: most of them believe Henry's offence was far worse.

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