Friday, October 03, 2008

JFK lives up to his name

New comedy 'How To Lose Friends And Alienate People' opens in cinemas today, but the lucky gents of the Fourth Estate were treated to a sneak preview at yesterday's pre-Everton press conference. I could have sworn it starred Simon Pegg and not Joe Kinnear, though.

As you'll see from the Guardian's edited but not sanitised transcript of proceedings, swearing was very much order of the day, Kinnear living up to his nickname in spectacular fashion.

Here's a sample exchange:

JFK: "Which one is Simon Bird [Daily Mirror's north-east football writer]?"

SB: "Me."

JFK: "You're a cunt."

SB: "Thank you."

Spare a thought for the beleaguered press officer who was duty bound to say: "What has been said in here is off the record and doesn't go outside". It was a press conference, for crying out loud - of course it's on the record and going to go outside, THAT'S THE POINT.

As with nearly everything at the moment, it would be hilarious if it wasn't our own club.

In some ways, more disappointing than JFK's very public act of self-combustion, personally speaking, was the response from .com:

"From our point of view it's nice to hear some of the press having to swallow their own medicine - as we've found in the past they like to dish it out but few can take it coming back the other way. Ultimately though, the tirade will only strengthen the resolve of many southern-based editors to chip away at the club. But perhaps a siege mentality is exactly what we need at the moment."

I can't agree. While muck has definitely been raked, we simply can't explain it all away by developing a stupid persecution complex. We've brought this farcical situation on ourselves, and "fucking slimy" though some journalists may be, we can't afford to burn our bridges like this. JFK's suggestion that he can somehow communicate directly with the fans without the aid of the media is ludicrous - that's what "media" means, it's a conduit that, yes, may often refract and distort, but it's a conduit all the same. It might also be ventured that there's an element of hypocrisy about .com's reaction - after all, they've not exactly received JFK's arrival with any warmth, and have thus far largely expressed the same negative, cynical take on his appointment as the rest of us.

Whatever, appointing someone with so little grasp of PR manager of a club like Newcastle that lurches from PR disaster to PR disaster looks to be on a par with appointing a bull manager of a china shop.


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