If anyone ever had any doubts that the media is a fickle beast, the latest episode in the continuing saga of ‘Rory mania’ illustrates it well.
In the space of effectively a few days, Rory McIlroy has gone from being a media darling with continual headlines proclaiming sainthood, to being labeled a spoilt brat.
His offence was to dare to respond to what can only be described as direct personal abuse by a BBC commentator. Using Twitter, Jay Townsend referred to McIlroy’s opening round at the Irish Open as having worse course management than “an under 10s boys golf tournament”.
Before blocking the commentator from Twitter, McIlroy responded by telling Townsend to “shut up” and that as an unsuccessful golfer himself, his opinion “meant nothing”!
In the aftermath demands have been made for McIlroy to apologise, and there is even talk that the young golfer will be fined. McIlroys ‘responsibility’ to the sport is referenced- Townsend’s isn’t.
So the question arises yet again, do celebrities of whatever hue really have to watch every word they say? Did Rory really commit any crime in responding to derogatory comment with another derogatory comment? This is on the back of the quite ridiculous hype raised over Darren Clarke daring to celebrate his recent victory by daring to be pictured drinking a pint.
What has been obvious with both incidents is that it is the media that has driven the stories and decided the slant given to both incidents (are they really incidents at all?). Public commentators and a brief listen to 5 Live and Talkback, illustrate very quickly that the vast majority of the general public interested have no problem with McIlroy or Clarke’s behaviour.
Yet more incidents of an ever growing trend? The media manufacturing news as opposed to reporting it?
Unashamed Ulster Loyalist. Marching band activist and band member for over 25 years. Contributor for the Belfast Newsletter and currently studying History at QUB.