I’m starting to wonder if the media may not be entirely trustworthy.

Actually, rather more than “starting,” but it’s a better headline.

You know the way that when TV or the newspapers cover anything that you really know about, you find yourself shouting at the screen or the article that the’ve got it all wrong and it isn’t really like that at all?  There’s a particularly extreme example of this in the press coverage of football matches which you’ve actually been to, where it’s almost always the case a) that somehow all journalists on all papers all have exactly the same view of what happened in the match, and b) that their collective storyline is very different from your own.

Without wanting to bore non-football-fans (or football-non-fans?) too much, I was at the Spurs/Liverpool game on Saturday.  The media version of events is that we (Spurs, of course) were a goal down at half time, but the manager made a couple of shrewd substitutions at the start of the second half and we were able to fight back and win with two goals, the second in the last minute.

In fact what happened was that the half-time changes were absolutely disastrous.  We lost our shape so completely that no-one will ever understand how Liverpool failed to score a second goal in the first twenty minutes of the half.  Our defence was such a shambles that all around me all I could see was fans covering their eyes with their hands, not wanting to see the second goal when it went in.  Then, somehow, we managed to hold the ball for six or seven seconds and win a corner, and astoundingly their centre back Jamie Carragher scored an own goal, and after that some semblance of equilibrium was regained until we scored a lucky winner at the death.

But none of the papers saw it that way – all they saw was a lucky win with a couple of substitutions doing just enough to make the difference.

Of course this doesn’t matter in the slightest.  But it is a little disconcerting to find that even when reports of an event are completely clear and consistent across half a dozen newspapers, they can still be largely or wholly misleading.

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