World Cup 2010: Punditry Unprofessionalism & Joke Journalism

For the TV punditry at this World Cup to be truly “remarkable” – and thereby worthy of an article – it would really have had to stink to the highest of heavens. And at this year’s event, Kevin Keegan was far from the worst of the pundits. So, here goes… It wasn’t just that the commentators and pundits were under-researched and trite; it was that some of them knew it and none of them seemed to care. During Chile’s opening match, ITV’s Clive Tyldesley admitted he didn’t know much about them, explaining that he hadn’t seen much TV coverage of the “Copa Libertadores and the like,” (a club competition, but never mind). It was a startling admission of unprofessionalism which would be a resignation on the spot in any other form of work. Imagine the uproar if, during coverage of the recent emergency budget, the BBC’s economics editor Hugh Pym had said: “I don’t know much about taxation but that VAT’s a bit steep.” He wouldn’t be the BBC’s economics editor for the Six O’clock News. If anything, Tyldesley compounded his felony by telling us that Chile had top-scored in the South American World Cup qualifying competition and finished only a point behind Brazil. It wasn’t clear, then, on what basis he had snootily laughed off their declared semi-final ambitions, beyond lazily applying Chile’s past record to the present...

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