Veteran Scottish sports journalist, Bryan Cooney, seems none too pleased with the increasing influence of press officers during interviews with those making the news.
The ire of the Aberdonian, who is a former sports editor of the Daily Mail, is chronicled in a two-page spread in the Sunday Herald yesterday on Sky Sports' Scotland-born golf commentator, Ewen Murray, purportedly arranged to publicise Sky’s coverage of the forthcoming 75th US Masters …”shown in 3D and HD to mark Sky’s Augusta inauguration”.
However, Cooney is not so much interested in how “three dimension will bring a realistic perspective to the fiercely undulating Augusta”, as to how Murray now gets on with US superstar, Tiger Woods, whom he recently publicly castigated for spitting on a green.
As Cooney persuades Murray to embellish on his criticism of Woods, he tells us: “Hereabouts, there is an interjection from the Sky press officer. He tells me I’ve had just over quarter of an hour of the allotted 20 minutes and advises I have one last question.
“The banality of the situation occurs to me, that I’m talking to a middle–aged golf commentator, and yet we are being directed by the hand of censorship. So this is media communications, 2011-style. I recommend he backs off. Murray, meanwhile, agrees to another five minutes.”
Cooney continues. “So should you meet at Augusta, do you think everything will be fine between you”, he asks, only to then write: “I forgot. Sky’s little brother is listening, and complaining again. He’s not comfortable with the questions and says this is turning into an interview on Woods.
“Well, he’s right, but it sure is an improvement on the one concerning the merits of 3D.”