The Hitch said:
The issue Martin isn't that Walsh believes sky and we don't. That was already the case a year ago but until a few days ago, many of the people who are going hard after Walsh here including myself left Walsh alone even at times gave him the benefit of the doubt.
But Walsh goes well.past agree and disagree here. He paints with a childlike innocence and naivety a black and white picture of heroic benevolent princes fighting evil witches and dragons.
And in a way not unfamiliar to those with an interest I history, he paints a clearly fabricated picture of what those who don't agree with him believe in order to make them look bad.
It's like the writers in medieval times who would always say the leader their monarch was fighting was ugly because in their eyes ugly=evil
Their king and all his family was always so handsome though. And charismatic and all the other qualities humans can possess.
And we have it here. Everything about everyone at sky is brilliant. They are all intelligent, funny, inspirational, super super hard working (more than anyone else), committed every second of every hour to integrity and fairness and so on and so on.
The doubters on the other hand supported lance (cursed to begin with) . They support contador. They are idiotic and impulsive. Their reasons to doubt Sky in the first place are mob like and totally unfounded and a result of their total inability to think things through like Walsh does. No matter how ridiculous it sounds they point at sky for absolutely any reason they can think of it and scream - doper.
I know you may think a few of the members of the clinic fit the above, but for Walsh holds it as the generic descritption for those who doubt Sky. It is totally not on and a clear case of him taking absolute liberties with the truth in order to present his own side. Michael Moore, Fox News style.
I think a lot of the above is very fair, so far as it goes. The Royal analogy is a good one, in a sense, and I have made it clear I think the book is too 'warm' towards Sky.
But I simply don't think one book, or one belief, even a really, really bad one (and I don't actually accept that this book is THAT bad yet - it's pretty mediocre, granted) undoes risking an entire career in terms of credibility. Not least because Walsh is one of the few journos already asking serious questions about Craig Reedie, new head of WADA and a Brit. He tore into him recently in a number of interviews. His basic spots have not changed.
He may be wrong. I have seen nothing remotely convincing that's he's corrupted, except some people WANTING to believe it.
Is some of the criticism of Sky unfair, given the facts and evidence we actually have? Absolutely. There's a fair number of people, well represented in the Clinic, who WANT them to be doping, to vindicate a more gutteral dislike. And it is what it is, you ain't gonna change it, neither am I.
Walsh clearly reacts to that type of criticism. Over-reacts, probably. But you ought to read his twitter time line from time to time. It attracts certifiable nutters; and I suspect the 'unhinged'part of the 'skyhate' may have been a bit of an eyeopener for him. How often does someone in Walsh's position get to see the battle from the other side of the glass?
Now, on the other hand is some of the criticism of Sky justified? Absolutely. 100%. The Leinders affair was a complete and almighty disaster. And in a sense, the book is useful here - it confirms that Leinders was PROPOSED, internally, by Steven de Jongh. Who must have known the truth about Leinders, google or no google.
HAS ANYONE QUIZZED HIM ON THIS YET??? There's a genuine criticism of Walsh - why has he not followed up by doing so.
I'm not defending the book. My very first review, before any of the rest of ye read it, makes it clear even then I had reservations. No-one forced me to state that, i did so entirely of my own volition, despite where I often stand on Clinic issues, (i.e. firmly agnostic)
But I do defend Walsh from some of the more...extreme...reactions.
I'm reading Wheelmen again, waiting for the Bruyneel hearing. The game goes on.