Why the disbelief that a Tom Boyd comment on Celtic TV on Saturday is still occupying news inches on Tuesday? Tom did not indulge in profanity or prejudice; he merely made a partisan comment on an in-house broadcast channel. But here’s the thing, he did so on a quiet news day.
Had Celtic lost to Dunfermline on Saturday, Tom’s profound musings would never have been reported, the 24-hour news cycle would have been filled by more important matters.
The football news industry, of which we are all consumers, requires stories, even when nothing of note happens. The pressures of being a staff reporter at a media outlet, which is perpetually downsizing, when your job is to deliver a story people want to read and there is just no story to tell, should be clear to understand.
This is not justification for throwing Tom under the ink barrel, but it should temper our engagement with the process. For reasons that escape my memory right now, we do not have a game tonight or tomorrow, so we might have to wait until Thursday before Ever-Green-TB gets a break.
Until then, the news is not the headlines; it’s the ABC circulation figures, which are again heavy with red ink. The Record, which sold over 500k copies per day when CQN started 15 years ago, shipped 110k last month, a 78% fall in unit sales, the same is true elsewhere. This is why Tom Boyd became a multi-day story. It could be anyone tomorrow.