A couple of disclaimers are important. I am not a Ralf Schumacher sycophant. I am not a paid journalist nor do I even hold myself accountable to the old AP style of writing. As a Speed forum moderator called me and my web site; redundant news. I think he missed the concept of â€œjournal of F1 opinionâ€ or the mere existence of a â€œblogâ€. I weep for him.
The other caveat is that I have tremendous respect for Matt Bishop at F1 Magazine. I enjoy his candor, camp, prose and cheekiness as much as the next reader. I am sure he is a bang-up friend, husband, father, co-worker or whatever may apply. Having said that I must comment on the most recent issue of F1 Magazineâ€™s Bishop-ed article on Ralf Schumacher ( Sept. 2007, Pg.74). The article, entitled A Grotesque Rictus of Disgruntlement, is perhaps the most base article I have read from such a renowned editor and perhaps in the F1 media in many years. The picture, which this title is apparently aimed at, doesnâ€™t even show Ralf opening his mouth so â€œrictusâ€ is a stretch. If that were the least of the problems with this article, I would stop here and call it a day.
The article takes us on a journey through the eyeâ€™s of the 800 lbs. gorilla that is Matt Bishop. A simple â€œproxy photoshootâ€ for several drivers that ends with acidic interaction from Mr. Bishop to Mr. Schumacher has launched Matt into a diatribe on why the Ralf should never have been hired at Toyota, doesnâ€™t belong in F1 and shows the strains of disingenuousness when the he tries to compliment the Ralf on his driving style.
It all starts when Ralf apparently suggests that he is helping Mr. Bishop out with the photo and would appreciate in return that Mr. Bishop take it a little more easy on him and his team in the press (it is well known that Ralf has been skewered by Matt in the past in F1 Magazine). This interaction ends with Mr. Bishop telling Ralf to leave the shoot and to â€œEff offâ€. Ralf is not quoted as being terse or acrid in any manner other than to ask Mr. Bishop to lighten up on him as he is willing to help him out with a photo shoot.
Mr. Bishopsâ€™ diatribe is rife with suggestions that the entire paddock thinks Ralf is a spoiled brat and that he doesnâ€™t deserve to be in F1 at all. He suggests that his rage against Ralf was driven by the fierce loyalty he has to F1 Magazineâ€™s editorial integrity which is the same as its â€œreaders rightsâ€ as they are apparently â€œimmutableâ€. Unchangeable? Well, thanks for that and I hope your right arm of piety is feeling better after patting your back so intensely as we live in the penumbra of our immutable rights.
Let us speak of editorial integrity. Matt…editorial integrity in my opinion has been breached many times by you. This recent article engages in pure character assassination and really serves only one purpose; yours. Oh sure all the boys at the pub will really be jazzed that you told off a mighty Schumacher but alas, the bravery of being out of range. Was Ralf wrong to suggest that you take it easy on him? Sure. Could you have explained to Ralf that it was not possible to guarantee anything? Sure. I wonder if your trenchant outburst was born from being treated like a little bitch by his older, far more successful brother than anything Ralf has done.
Keep the camp and cheek Matt but know that you can be witty and incisive without sounding like Barry the Baptist with a pitpass. I used to look forward to seeing what you would discuss next, now I feel you couldnâ€™t carry Peter Windsor’s pen let alone captain the worldâ€™s largest selling F1 magazine while exhibiting class with a â€œKâ€. Youâ€™re a great talent and terrific journalist/editor but your personal war with the Schumacherâ€™s needs to stop. Youâ€™re starting to exhibit a real lack of both discernment and editorial relevance. Alan and Peter have and are the stalwarts in your mag and another one of your â€œIâ€™m a badass journo and the paddock should give me some damn respectâ€ articles of yours and the entire paddock will start saying you suffer from little mans disease and have a potty mouth. You wouldnâ€™t want that would you? Now thatâ€™s immutable my red-faced friend.