Shades of Gray….
I want to make one thing clear from the off. I have no intention of defending anything Andy Gray has done in this post. However, similarly, unlike some it would seem, I don’t feel especially inclined to rush to heap praise on Sky either for their actions.
Is it not a bit much to ask us to accept that the owners of The Sun have started a moral crusade against sexism? Gray’s idiocy was ruthlessly exploited by the Murdoch Empire to the maximum. The latest clip of Gray was released today to James Macintyre. Why today? Why wait to keep footage of a Christmas Special (which will have been filmed well before Christmas, so literally could be months old) until now? Also, as Macintyre is a journalist for a left/liberal magazine he is the perfect choice as the receiver of this ‘gift’. Not only will he act in a totally predictable way and ‘out’ Gray but he may well be able to curry favour in that milieu for the ‘principled’ actions of Sky and generate the required moral outrage against the disgraced Gray . Sure, Gray opened up the opportunity with his remarks about a female linesman but News Corp saw their opportunity to indulge in a bit of ‘burying bad news’ and neutralising of a threat and took it with aplomb.
What an amazing coincidence Sky took this ‘principled decision’ on the same day Jeremy Hunt decided to give News Corp extra time to ‘allay fears about media plurality’ generated by its bid to consume Sky whole. Indeed, is it not simply stunning that this story follows hot on the heels of the fall of Andy Coulson and criticisms of the closeness of James Murdoch and David Cameron. Some media moguls seem to be born lucky.
While we are on the subject of a certain Mr Coulson it might be worth remembering that the unvarnished truth is that sexism is not what cost Gray his job. Of course, that’s not to argue he isn’t sexist because he clearly is but it is to get to the truth. If sexism was what cost him his job then Keys would be gone too and on the same day. If he is now sacked his part will be to cover News Corps tracks. What cost Gray his job was his decision to sue the News of the World and the threat this action posed by shining a light into the darker corners of the Murdoch Empire. How fortunate for them that Gray has now been disgraced publicly and terminally undermined as a credible figure by his idiotic misogynist foibles.
Outrage against Gray is justified but that should not allow us to be manipulated into letting News Corp and Sky off-the-hook. Nor should it be allowed to obscure the real agenda they are pursuing….