Top football TV presenter charged with armed robbery

by Tony Attwood

I suspect most people are aware of what fake news is.  And are aware of Mr Trump’s turning the phrase on its head by calling “fake news” any seriously reported news with evidence that notes his odd doings as President of the most powerful nation in the solar system.

It is interesting (to me at least if no one else) that the fake news that packs the football sections of blogs and newspapers in Britain however is never called fake news.  It is at best identified as “gossip” (a euphemism if ever there was one), but most of the time is not separately identified at all.  Like the impossibility of Yaya Toure coming to Arsenal yesterday, it is reported as news and then when, inevitably, it is shown to be gibberish, it is dropped without a word of apology.

Add in the mix of belief and personal opinion which are presented along with the facts and what we have is a media that does not allow the average reader to separate out the three types of presentation: real news with evidence, fake news deliberately made up on no basis, and reasoned opinion backed by some evidence.

The phrase used when speaking of Tottenham and Liverpool that “There’s a belief at both clubs that something special is patiently being built,” is probably true.  There probably is a real belief in each club that they are on the right track.

The line “If Arsenal need any advice in this post-Wenger era, it’s to take a hard look at what has happened at United since Fergie left… and do the opposite,” is obviously opinion, and that is fine.  The advice that follows, “ignore the short-term knockers and give their new manager, and their own judgement, a little respect,” is also clearly opinion.  Of course that is ok.

The only problem is that opinions are often presented as fact and they get much bigger coverage than actual real hard news.   For example “A former South American football official has been sentenced to nine years in prison on charges arising out of the sprawling Fifa bribery scandal,” is real news, but it hardly gets a mention beyond a couple of the more serious newspapers.

And yet it shows corruption at the very heart of Fifa – which the governments and football clubs across the world support either by contributing finances or by allowing their players to be removed to play in Fifa competitions which help fund the corrupt organisation.

In the latest Fifa case Juan Ángel Napout the former president of Paraguay’s FA and of the South American equivalent of Uefa (Conmebol)  was found guilty of taking bribes totaling millions of dollars in relation to broadcasting rights.  It has got coverage, but not much.

There is perhaps more chance of reading that Sam Allardyce (an unemployed ex-football manager who in 2010 accused Arsene Wenger of trying to use the media to influence referees, and who was accused in 2006 of accepting bungs) has lost a media complaint about the Daily Telegraph using undercover reporters to expose the perfidious nature of the man who might now be called a serial scraper around the edges of good behaviour.

That will turn up in the news because it is a newspaper taking on a silly fat man and winning.  (Their headline was “England manager for sale”.)

What is even more interesting (for me, probably no one else) is that the media regulator ruled that among the articles published by the Daily Telegraph on the fiendish Allardyce in September 2016 there were three significant inaccuracies that required correction!

Can you imagine how we could tie up the regulator if we had the time to report every bit of fake news from the football blogs?  But then it would take up my time too, so perhaps not.

Anyway it seems the Telegraph wrongly “implied third parties could benefit from transfer fees”.  Oh my goodness.  Agents and manager’s sons getting rake offs.  No!  The paper also said implied Allardyce “had offered to brief the Daily Telegraph’s fake company on how to break ownership rules, rather than merely being willing to consider speaking at their events.”  Something of a point of detail it seems to me.

In 2006 he said he was preparing to sue the BBC but withdrew when he found how much it would cost.

So it will all pass, which is perhaps not the case with the TV football presenter charged with armed robbery near Brussels.

Now it is of course quite true that I did not mention in my headline that this story was Brussels related, rather than happening in England, where I live, and where most of the stories Untold covers are based.  Normally I would – but today I just wanted to make the point about how these stories are being manipulated.

There’s no financial benefit to me if you did come to this story in the belief that it was a reporter on an English station who has been arrested (although I must admit that despite not wishing any of them personal harm I would enjoy football on TV if a lot of them were no longer involved).  But I’ve tried in my usual cumbersome manner to show just how people can be drawn into stories.

There is nothing in the headline that is wrong, and there is an actual story (which is more than is the case with many of football’s fake news headlines) but there is no doubt of the implication.  And this is what happens all the time on the bloggettas.

Anyway, the man in question is Stephane Pauwels, who is suspected of “armed robbery with a firearm, at night, as part of a gang”, according to AFP.

He works with RTL which may better be known to British citizens of an older persuasion as the company that used to run the English language pop music service Radio Luxembourg in the days when recorded pop music on the BBC was severely limited by a combination of trade union action and a desire to protect public morals.

Ah, public morality protected by the media.  Now there’s a thought.

3 Replies to “Top football TV presenter charged with armed robbery”

  1. Fake news? They are all at it. Not just Donald Trump. After all, everything he does is met with hypocritical derision by mainstream media. Obama met Putin and was caught on a hot mic saying “I can be more flexible after the election”. Outcome? Nothing. But when Trump met Putin, there were cries of treason all over the news. It is sheer nonsense and an insult to the intelligence of mankind. Plenty of videos showing “rival” news channels using word for word the same script.
    Fake news has evolved into a defence mechanism now. See something in the news you don’t agree with? No problem. Fake news.

  2. For the last 2 days or so, the most recent story a refresh would show was: Arsenal under Emery: What do the stats actually say? Yesterday, I started looking at the Untold Facebook thing, and it has nothing indicating that anything was wrong, or that things are working normally.


    I’m sure Andrew will have something up about the referee for our next match. In my records of cautions and treatments for this season, he has only been “responsible” for 6 treatments (one third of PGMO leading Craig Pawson). He has done 3 games, and the treatments have been 0:2, 0:4 and 0:0. It would appear there is a tendency for the visiting team to require a lot of treatments. Oh, and no cards.


    The medja keeps pretending it is knowledgeable. I gather our manager has adjusted the diet a little. No drinking fruit juices. I don’t think there is a lot wrong with drinking fruit juices, but there is also not a lot right with it. By and large they lack the fibre of eating the fruit. Do any of us need extra sugar in our diet? Especially the sugar known as fructose?

    It would probably be better to get the liquid as water, and eat the whole fruit instead of drinking juice.

    Oh, I gather the banning includes Banoffee Pie. I gather the Arsenal Magazine in August 2011 had the recipe for this pie. Perhaps someone could republish that?

    In any event, this was a completely new recipe to me. One of the ways to make this pie, is to start with a can of sweetened, condensed milk (there is that sugar problem again). An unopened can of sweetened, condensed milk.

    Most of the recipes talk about the need to simmer this on the stove for 2-3 hours, completely covered in water. To do this, means to continually add heat. But really, what is needed is to keep the can at 100C for 2-3 hours, which isn’t exactly the same thing.

    Within the can, the milk and sugar are undergoing some chemistry, and changing into either toffee or caramel, depending on what side of the pond you are on. The mixture is also increasing in viscosity. Because chemistry is happening, some of the heat energy is being absorbed to drive that chemistry, so it may be that just keeping the can in a well insulated container at 100C is not quite sufficient. You may need to add some fresh boiling hot water periodically, or let things run for slightly longer.

    After the time at temperature has finished, turn off the heat and remove the lid, so that the water can cool down (by evaporation, conduction, convection and radiation). When cool enough to handle, (carefully) open the can and prepare it for the pie. Some people add the seeds from a vanilla bean to the caramel. I think the zest from a citrus might be nice as well. If it is too viscous, you could add a small amount of warmed milk to the mixture.

    One advantage to just holding the can in a well insulated container (sealed) that is full of hot water, is that if the can were to leak (some writeups said explode), the insulating container would tend to contain things.

  3. Are gossip and journalist setting of an agenda for achieving a purpose also fake news?

    For instance, the media can capitalise on a dispute among the elites or members within an organization or a political party to give it support to one of the groups in the dispute by publishing stories and articles that leans it’s support to the group it is supporting but to the detriment of the other group it is against. Which if the mass public buy into the media news that particularly leaned to supporting one side of the two groups in dispute by attempting to sway the public opinion and sympathy to the group in dispute it’s supporting, but if care is not taken, that could be it.

    When Jose Mourinho first came to Chelsea FC, Abram Abremovich, the Chelsea owner gave him an open cheque to sign the top quality players he wants but in addition to he must win the PL Title, he should also win the CL for Chelsea. He won the PL Title twice and a couple of other domestic Titles I should think, but the CL he didn’t and he got the sack.

    At the height of his success at Chelsea during that his first coming to the club when he succeeded to overthrow the reigning Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal who were then the PL Champions but Mourinho stole the PL Title away from them to later labeled Arsene Wenger as a spy on his Chelsea. And the media bought into it to sell the comment to the public which they too bought into and it became stuck on Wenger ever since then. But the hidden reason behind the media selling the comment to the public was it became anti-Wenger since the first media chat encounter the journalists had with him which turned out to be a sour taste for them in their mouths.

Comments are closed.