Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Evening Standard

I'm not sure which bit of yesterday's 'Big Interview' with Nic Coward made me laugh most.

First it was the way it was dubbed 'exclusive', as if to give the impression that other papers had been fighting to get it.

Second, I suspect, was the line that the "even more pressing problem, Coward believes, is the failure to address the issue of foreign races shown in betting shops or on their offshore operations. Coward estimates such online offshore operations set up by Betfair to be in the region of £10m-£15m."

Come again? Is that a journalistic misunderstanding, or is Betfair - onshore - responsible for the companies that are offshore? In a world where Betfair is to blame for everything, you can never be quite sure. I'm told Nic once started a meeting he was chairing with the comment, "you have to remember, these people are pure evil." So anything's possible.

And third, this delightful non-sequitur:

"Lord Triesman was secretly taped making claims — subsequently investigated and denied by FIFA — that Spanish officials were attempting to bribe officials and fix the results of matches at this summer's World Cup. “Where there is betting on any sport including racing there is an ever present, very severe threat of corruption,” Coward tells me."

Does Nic genuinely think that Triesman was implying that the bribes were for betting purposes, or is that, too, journalistic misuderstanding of the case that he was putting?

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