Friday, 19 March 2010

Completely Inane Newspaper Stories Part III: John Terry didn't drink and drive

I know I haven't done one of these for a while, and I know I said I'd avoid celebrity stories, but I just couldn't resist this: on the front page(!) of yesterday's Guardian, we had the following dramatic piece of news:

John Terry in more trouble after hitting Chelsea steward with car

Sounds pretty drastic, especially as it was considered important enough to make the front page of a generally reasonably respectable national newspaper. Let's look at some of the details:
"Terry was then questioned and breathalysed by police in the small hours after accidentally running over a Chelsea steward as he left Stamford Bridge."
Oh, so it was an accident, that's less exciting that it could have been. Presumably the steward is badly injured though? Or Terry drove off without trying to help him? Also, he was breathalysed: presumably the reason we are being told this is because he had been drinking and not, say, because police always breathalyse anyone that was involved in any sort of accident, especially if they're John Terry. Surely there must be *some* reason that this story is more interesting that, say the legal status of mephodrone, the entire Nigerian cabinet being sacked or how election campaigns are run. All of which were relegated to the inside of the paper. Well, let's look at some details:
"Terry and his wife Toni..., were oblivious to the accident until he was contacted by the club on returning home"
So, hardly a hit and run.
"Surrey police breathalysed the player, who was found to be within the legal alcohol limit... He hadn't had a single drop to drink"
So, not a drink driving incident (and the fact that he was forced to take a breathalsyer test is about as interesting as telling us that he was forced to give his name to the police, or that he was forced to turn the key in his ignition before car would start).
Rowley said: "Contrary to media reports I did not suffer a broken leg. It is badly bruised.
So, not even a broken bone. Surely there must be *some* reason that this story is news (and some justification for the claim that Terry is in "further trouble" - at least Terry must be to blame for the incident
, right. Well, I'll leave Rowley with the last word on that:
"It wasn't his fault at all, it was a complete accident."
So, a complete non-story, and it makes the front page of the Guardian. Bring back dog x-rays, all is forgiven.

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