Anorak News | Jeremy Clarkson Cannot Apologise For Society, Nor The Media

Jeremy Clarkson Cannot Apologise For Society, Nor The Media

by | 6th, December 2007

jeremy-clarkson.jpgWHEN something happens to you, the media may learn of your incident via a court report, a police statement or a late night telephone call to a DJ called Robbie or Johnny on Radio Wiltshire Magic.

When something happens to an image-centric member of the established media it turns into a feature, an anecdote to be oft repeated on the after dinner speaking circuit. It becomes an emblem for our times.

So here’s Jeremy Clarkson, the BBC presenter and Sun columnist, telling Sun readers about his trip to the bad lands of Milton Keynes, in the Home Counties. It is the occasion of his youngest daughter’s birthday and she wants to visit the town’s snow dome.

A smoking ban means Clarkson has to stop outside to indulge his prohibited habit. And that’s when he is approached by a “swarm of children”. They pester him. And “figuring that attack was probably the best form of defence, I grabbed the ringleader by the hoodie, lifted him off the ground and explained it’d be best if he went back to his tenement.”

And that’s when it happened: “I was holding the boy by the scruff of the neck, and instead of worrying about being stabbed I was actually thinking: ‘Jesus, I’m going to get done for assault if I’m not careful.”

Clarkson is now, as the Mail reports, at the centre of police investigation. He was not stabbed. He was not punched, kicked, spat on, happy-slapped or strafed by a sub-automatic machine gun of the type he would equip teachers with.

The hoodies pulled out mobile phones and began taking pictures of the celebrity getting acquainted with their mate. Should such images turn up on YouTube or in Heat magazine, would Clarkson look good?

These hoodies are paparazzi-in-traning. The story is as much about Clarkson entering their world and them entering his.

But we have heard the tale, and are now able to place the celebrity’s actions in context. It’s not his fault he manhandled a child. It’s bad housing. It’s the “thick” parents. It’s the “frizzy-haired human rights lawyer” bullying the poor teacher. It’s the Government – “We can’t rely on police – not without picking every single thing done by new Labour in the past ten years.”

We learn that his was no isolated act, a playground spat between a TV star six-feet-five inches tall and a bunch of lippy children in a provincial town. This is society’s ills at large in microcosm.

Clarkson will not apologise. Not when the faulty so clearly lies elsewhere…

Posted: 6th, December 2007 | In: Tabloids Comments (10) | TrackBack | Permalink