Distance can lend perspective, it is said. It can also reinforce ignorance & calumny.
That was certainly the case in April last year when US "shock-jock" Steven Cohen repeated with some relish the myths & lies about Hillsborough. Once word spread about Cohen's antics, he was forced to retreat (http://condensedthoughts.blogspot.com/2009/05/shock-jock-subdued-as-sponsors-scram.html ).
There is now another ignoramus across the pond eager to display his own jaw-dropping ignorance of both Hillsborough and the city of Liverpool. Alex Beam, a sports writer, in the loosest possible term, on the Boston Globe newspaper, yesterday commented on the recent acquisition of Liverpool FC by John W. Henry & his New England Sports Ventures company (NESV). Beam compared it unfavourably to Henry's ownership of the Boston Red Sox baseball team. However, it didn't take long for Beam to put the boot in (http://www.boston.com/sports/soccer/articles/2010/12/07/alex_beam_hardball_in_liverpool/ ):
"So far, Henry's brief stewardship has been uneventful....For now the Red Sox PR machine is pumping out happy news about Henry's visits to grotty old Liverpool --Worcester without the glitz-- and about his wife's inane Twitter messages to the fans, e.g. 'Wow! Anfiel [the team's stadium] really is a special place!'
The few sane people I have talked to about Liverpool understand that these are early days for New England Sports Ventures and that meaningful changes probably won't come until Liverpool's season ends in May. None of those sane people are in Liverpool, however. Even by the deranged standards of European soccer, Red [sic] fans are totally bonkers. Their excitable Internet fan sites are still agonizing over a 21-year-old soccer stadium disaster that killed 96 people."
The original version of Beam's juvenile scrawl stated that the Hillsborough disaster was caused by a riot.
It's entirely reasonable to surmise that Beam has never been to "grotty old Liverpool". It's also entirely reasonable to surmise that Beam's own grasp of sanity is tenuous. Indeed, the consensus of opinion in the city would be that Beam's casual use of the term "bonkers" says everything that needs to be known about him.
Alas, Beam isn't finished with his lazy rant. He goes on to opine: "It's impossible to imagine a high-gloss player, a la David Beckham and his appalling wife, moving to doggy Liverpool."
Charming, wouldn't you say?
If you wish to let Beam know how impressed you are with his wisdom, sagacity & historical accuracy, he can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org .
[Thanks to my mate & fellow Liverpool FC fan Tony Karon, at Time magazine in New York (http://tonykaron.com/ ), for alerting me to Beam's, erm, thoughts.]