Thursday, 15 May 2014

Clarkson column splits opinion

PERHAPS not unsurprisingly, last week's article about the Jeremy Clarkson N-word row has prompted some pretty strong reactions.

The piece, defending the Top Gear presenter over a clip which was never actually broadcast in its controversial form in the first place, has neatly divided Life On Cars readers between those who think he's some sort of automotive Ron Atkinson and those who think his apology was heartfelt and that he deserved to keep his job at the helm of the world's most-widely watched motoring show.

John Kade was one of the readers who got in touch after reading my piece in last week's Champion, and wrote: 

"Firstly can I say that I found this very offensive. Does Mr Simister know Jeremy personally, his article also falls short of describing how indecent Mr Clarkson's behaviour was. It appears that Mr Simister is minimising Mr Clarkson's behaviour. How many celebrities have lost their jobs in broadcasting due to this sort of clandestine racism? After all Jeremy Clarkson is in the public eye and arena, his behaviour should reflect that."

However, I also had plenty of readers lining up to agree with the article, including fellow Champion columnist Jim Sharpe, who wrote not a letter, but an entire column of his own on the subject:

I appreciate it's a hugely sensitive subject, but it's good to see that Jeremy appears to be getting on with what he does best - filming a new series of Top Gear, which I'm really looking forward to. Whichever side of the fence you're on, however, it's clear that the whole saga has prompted some strongly-worded feedback.  

Then again, that's nothing compared to the letter I had earlier today, entitled simply David Simister is an idiot and knows nothing, in which one reader questions my right to be a motoring journalist simply because I think Giorgetto Giugiaro made the Daewoo Matiz far more interesting than it could have been.

Each to their own, and all that...

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