Hamilton: Is the media backlash underway?


Although a hard core of British newspaper journalists continue to swoon at the feet of Lewis Hamilton, churning out ever more gushing reports as their schoolboy crushes develop into something more meaningful, it's clear that in some sections of the British media the much anticipated backlash has already begun.

The British press is notorious for helping to create heroes, then, when it decides the person in question has had enough time in the limelight it proceeds to knock them from the pedestal it put them upon in the first place. Big time. Be it sports stars, pop stars or actors, the British media will build you up, then set about destroying you.

First signs of the Hamilton backlash appeared after last week's race in Hungary, when some members of the British media didn't follow the "nasty Spaniard was to blame" route and chose to blame both drivers for the nonsense that was to cost McLaren its Constructors' Championship points.

Furthermore, some journalists were uneasy with Hamilton's alleged use of the F-word (Ferrari?) to his boss, though the youngster was to subsequently deny that he used such (F-oul) language.

A couple of tabloids this week have shown pictures of Hamilton "frolicking" (their words) on a St Tropez beach with a "mystery brunette", while his long-time "sweetheart" Jodia Ma is working in Hong Kong.

It is also claimed that Hamilton has a "whole team" of people scouring Monaco for a suitable residence, the Daily Mail suggesting that he has now settled on a 5m apartment.

It is only a matter of time before the British media decides that Hamilton's "cockiness", "and "self belief" is really arrogance, while "assertiveness" and "determination" become ruthlessness.

On a lighter note, the excellent Private Eye recently showed a picture of Hamilton on the podium at Indianapolis under the satirical headline "Celebrations continue as black person driving expensive car is not stopped by police".

In its next edition, the magazine reported that Hamilton was indeed flagged down while driving his Mercedes CLK500 in Surrey, a fact subsequently confirmed by the police.

"A 22-year old man was stopped in a routine police check and allowed to go on his way," a police spokesperson told the magazine. "No offence was recorded or committed."

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Published: 12/08/2007
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