The Daily Mail is many things; most we can’t list for legal reasons. But it seems today’s attempt at making telly personality Clare Balding cry hasn’t worked, and has instead seen fans of the presenter take to tweeting their support.
Reporter Liz Jones, bitter from having an interview request rejected by Balding, decided to take to her column to dish out some ‘honest’ home truths. Only, it’s not pointing out any obvious flaws with the presenter. It was a typical Mail-style character assassination for no reason.
While reporters often take to task personalities for one reason or another, it only really works if there is a reason. In this incident there was no reason, only a reporter having a strop because of her denial of access to Balding who is one of the new faces to Channel 4 Racing as well as hosting BBC One’s entertainment series Britain’s Brightest (pictured).
The headline was the first attempt at an insult, ‘You need more to be a TV role model than bad clothes, Clare’. With the article itself wondering why Balding doesn’t criticise the use of the whip by jockeys, or collapse in tears and rage when yet another horse has died after breaking its neck during a race.
For here Jones clearly believes presenters should have a view? And a view while broadcasting on air, so they’re not neutral? Does Jones therefore also think every time Hew Edwards announces a soldier’s death he should cry and pass a view on the situation? This is the same paper that would jump on the beeb for being bias in a broadcast…
The article stems from Baldings recent win at the Women in Film and Television Award where she was recognised for her presenting on BBC Sport’s London Games and Channel 4’s Paralympics coverage.
But it isn’t just the lack of forthright views not being thrust in viewers faces Jones takes issue with. She also makes note of the “cheap hat and shoes” Balding apparently wears and notes her nearest telly rival is – indirectly suggested a much more attractive and glamorous – Gabby Logan.
Liz also ironically notes Baldings apparent “sense of superiority” which is amusing coming from a newspaper which is full of misplaced superiority.
“I don’t dislike Balding because of her sexuality” Jones says in the paper, adding she isn’t against her because “of her looks or her bad dress sense. I don’t like her because she stands on the turf at Aintree or Goodwood in her cheap hat and shoes, wielding her microphone, and she does not criticise the use of the whip by jockeys, or collapse in tears and rage when yet another horse has broken its neck.
“I do not care when she was born or who she shops at DFS with – I dislike her because she promotes, without question, a sport that is intrinsically barbaric.” Liz Jones stated.
However after much support for Clare surfaced on Twitter earlier today, the sports presenter, tweeted:
“Please don’t turn today into a Liz Jones hatefest. I’m not upset at all. She has merely justified my choice not to be interviewed by her”
While Liz Jones may shop at Prada, money cannot buy her such sophistication in diplomacy.
[Written by Martha Kirkpatrick, Source: Daily Mail/Twitter]