Small men, phony wars and rubbish media Gary April 25, 2012 Leeds United Our very own shock jock is in rude health. Kenneth can say what he wants and he knows that if it lands him in trouble he can use someone else’s money to batter his way through the legal bit. Those judges and that are simply “pathetic,” talking “rubbish” (all direct court reporting), while everything Ken writes and spouts is pure, unadulterated fact. Even Rush Limbaugh may not have this kind of corporate support for his bile, when push comes to shove – it’s a little Napoleon’s dream. In Ken’s case, the media doesn’t even have to be of any sort of slick quality whatsoever. Stick a monkey like Fry behind a mic, and let Uncle Ken handle the editorial direction. For most of us, the news that Bates is dragging us through the courts once again was probably met with more of a sigh of resignation or even boredom rather than outright outrage. This is the archetype generated by Bates’ seven years at the helm: base, classless, and always but always about Ken, not the club. He’s not alone –he’s part of an old breed harnessing in-house media to ever-more personal ends. There’s the rag of JD Wetherspoon, often used as the mildly reactionary political platform of Tim Martin, founder and apparently ‘editor’ of said publication. But more aptly, the comic David Mitchell picked up the work of taxi firm Addison Lee’s boss John Griffin this week – his shtick is essentially threatening old women on bikes and advocating illegal use of bus lanes in his company’s in-cab mag. But as Mitchell points out, “we don’t need to like the guy who runs the minicab firm we use – just to feel that the company is well run and will get us from A to B as quickly as possible.” And that’s just it. If we had a playing squad to give us the results to justify the turnover we provide, all this crap flying around us might not bother us so much. But in the light of being over-charged for the rubbish on the field, the vitriol of pathetic rich old men also costing us “a fortune” (Penfold’s words, not mine) grates horribly. Surely, there is no wide audience for the childish public arguments and one-upmanship of these rich proto-Clarksons who wonder why they haven’t been offered their rightful BBC slot or book deal. But in our case, whether we’re listening or not, we’re paying the premium subscription alright. It’s hard to know what the solution is. As the mainstream media’s door is increasingly shut to those cranks who manage to make Michael O’Leary look like a moderate, they’re ever more likely to put their archaic spin on the idea that ‘everyone’s a publisher these days.’ While for the vast majority without other people’s cash ready at hand to spunk on media sparring matches, this concept of personal publishing means taking to Twitter, blogs, message boards or commenting on pieces like this. You could almost imagine Susannah being web-savvy, but not our Ken and his ilk, oh no. It’s all about print and wireless spiel – the tried and tested approaches of Josef Goebbels. Bit of an extreme comparison? Perhaps. But surely the headline ‘The Enemy Within’ can’t have been dictated without at least some consideration of what historical significance that holds when personally addressed to a Jew? Callous as ever. Attacks in a programme that you personally control is no less cowardly then a boozed-up kid directing a Twitter tirade at a footballer. So here we are, in the gutter again, guzzling down the sewage from our Great Leader. This is the modern Leeds United story. Sometimes, you really have to wonder if we’ll ever return to being in the papers for winning football matches on a rectangular piece of grass.