SHEDNOTES 118: A little bit of Seppticism

The Shed is instinctively suspicious of a hue & cry and feels obliged to make a point or two about Sepp Blatter being hounded into resignation from the presidency of Fifa.

Shed experience includes some time in newsrooms and it is undoubtedly safe to say that a lot of coverage is being written and voiced by journalists who do not themselves know anything much of the subject on which they sound so certain, other than what they have read.

Some great journalistic work has been done, by Andrew Jennings and the Sunday Times among others, which almost undoubtedly gave the FBI some of the leads which might now lead to charges. But most of the media ignored it until there was blood in the water. In the good/bad old days, lawyers would have argued out a lot of the commentary which is now being presented as fact, but the pressure of internet-age consensus is creating a new defence of justification by frenzy.

The Shed would not be surprised if all the allegations against Fifa are true. It is not, after all, Unicef. It is a federation of federations from a private-enterprise business which, at its bottom level, runs on cash, which generates an attitude. Loose cash, grey money, slush money, is or was at the heart of many reasonably happy old-fashioned arrangements and The Shed is not convinced that stamping them out is always in the public interest. Also, we don’t strictly speaking have any democratic rights over how Fifa operates?

If you have hundreds of days of triangulated fact in your desk drawer, you are entitled to accuse Sepp Blatter of presiding over institutionalised corruption But if you do not have, are you entitled to argue that he has to step down because somebody else has Raised Questions or because his Position Has Become Untenable? Untenable because of what? Your report full of unanswered questions?

The Shed will be quite happy if the serious investigators into the whole affair are proved right. But it is uneasy about the credit for righteousness already being claimed by the usual suspects.

dofornow …

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