Those with too much power are becoming extremely clever at using liberal values to scapegoat their enemies.
First Julian Assange, and now Andy Gray. Two individuals brave enough (whatever you think of them, and I personally think they’re both morons, they are brave) to stand up to some of the world’s most powerful governments and News International respectively, both discredited in the name of feminism.
Naomi Wolfe wrote a furious piece in the Huffington Post about Julian Assange’s charges, and why we shouldn’t trust the accusations of rape, the logic being that rape is not usually treated this way. I would very much like to see an article comparing Sky Sports’ dropping of Andy Gray to other dealings with sexism in the Murdoch media. How do reporters usually talk about women when they’re off-air (believing themselves, with as much naivety as Gordon Brown when he accidentally called Gillian Duffy a bigot, to be in private)? Are these comments really unheard of in the workplace?
Obviously Sky Sports, and the rest of media, judging by their condemnation of Gray, are much more enlightened than most of the places I’ve worked, because ‘banter’ like this doesn’t surprise me. Don’t get me wrong, it infuriates me. It’s just fairly commonplace.
So the question isn’t whether we like Andy Gray, or want him to stay in the job. The question is, as with Julian Assange, is he being singled out and treated differently from any other employees? Employees who perhaps hadn’t tried to take legal action against News International?
Judging by the number of people who think his remarks were spot on (equally infuriating, by the way), I have to imagine that yes, he is.
Let’s ask ourselves this. If a left-wing News International employee who had brought charges against News International for phone-hacking made a controversial comment off-air, perhaps of the bigot-gate variety, and they were sacked, without consultation or warning, would we really be celebrating?
I am disgusted by the comments he made. I think he’s an idiot and I don’t, on any personal level, feel sympathy for Andy Gray or give a damn that he’s gone. But underneath it, there’s a much more alarming message to us all: don’t mess with Murdoch.