Football commentator says he’s ‘ashamed’ to be part of the media over Brexit
PUBLISHED: 09:18 21 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:31 21 October 2019
A football commentator has posted a lengthy video rant to social media saying that news organisations have failed the public on Brexit.
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Veteran ITV commentator Clive Tyldesley posted an eight-minute video to Instagram saying that he feels "ashamed to be part of the UK media" because it has done such a bad job of engaging the public on Brexit.
He said: "We've allowed people to become bored of the single most important national issue, national news story of the last 50 years," adding that Sky News' recent launch of a Brexit-free news channel was an "admission of guilt".
MORE: Sky News launches new station that promises to be 'Brexit free'
The four-time Sports Commentator of the Year said that he is a Remainer - but said if the news media could put across a convincing argument that leaving is best for this country, he would vote Leave in a second referendum.
But, he said: "I just don't know if the business in which I work is capable of providing that information any more."
He also said that his mentor had always exhorted him to be inclusive and to make sure that listeners always understood what he was saying.
But he then pointed out one moment on the radio in which someone said that all Brexit analysis sounds "like Japanese" to her now.
He said: "I'm sorry. If my commentary of a football match ever sounds like a foreign language, I have failed."
CLIVE TYLDESLEY: Sport is the real world, politics is a pantomime
He gave some examples of recent news moments that should have been given more attention, such as when Brexiteer MP said that he would be voting for the Letwin Amendment - which is designed to prevent a no-deal Brexit - in order to keep a no-deal Brexit on the table.
"That's a massive story, isn't it? Have you heard it in a news bulletin?" he said.
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Another example he gave was the moment the Irish taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, pointed out the sheer number of polls that showed the majority of people in the UK are now pro-Remain.
He said: "It's surely worth further investigation, isn't it? It's worth the research, it's worth the verification to see if he's talking nonsense or not. It's the basics of our job."
But, he said, the public were being left to research these things themselves as much of the media is not following up.
MORE: 'Overwhelming majority' of polls have backed Remain for the last two years
"Instead, news reporters just throw conflicting soundbites at us by way of balanced reporting," he said. "'He says black, she says white. Make your own mind up.'"
He compared the situation to an offside call by a referee. "We would look at the picture to see if he or she is right or not," he said.
"I don't think that sports journalism would have allowed the picture to become as muddy as the news has allowed Brexit to become."
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