Glasshouses, the Guardian/Mirror and Roy (don't call him Woy any more) Hodgson

The Mirror and The Guardian have both clambered up on to moral high ground to denounce yesterday’s BWING ON THE EUWOS! Sun front page for mocking new England manager Roy Hodgson.

In the Guardian Roy Greenslade blogged:

“So The Sun thinks it’s fine to poke fun at what it calls Roy Hodgson’s ’speech impediment’. Hence today’s front page with every R replaced by a W (Euwos, Ukwaine, Fwance)…

“The Sun has form when it comes to England coaches. Gentle humour is kicked aside in favour of outright hostility. Affection turns into nasty character assassination.”

And Dan Silver writing in the Daily Mirror notes says front page was, at worst, “deeply offensive and disrespectful”.  Adding: “Roy Hodgson is a 64 year-old polymath and multi-linguist. Surely he deserves better than to be ridiculed for a speech impediment.”

But both The Guardian and the Mirror have form when it comes to mocking Hodson for his disability.

“Woy” seems to have been so interchangeable for Roy at both titles in the past that Axegrinder wonders whether it is mentioned in the in-house style guides.

Guardian: Saturday clockwatch 5 March:Substitute Peter Odemwingie was given a stiff talking to by Woy Hodgson on the touchline… Woy indulges in a spot of light face-rubbing… West Brom’s Jerome Thomas is coming off and Gonzalo Jara is coming on, suggesting Woy is now hoping to hold on to this lead.

Guardian: Denmark versus England liveblog 9 February 2011: 21 mins:Neale Redington has a word of praise for Uncle Woy. ‘For all Woy’s shortcomings, at least he called out Johnson as rubbish.’”

Similarly, a trawl through the Mirror archive finds plenty of examples there, including this comment piece from 8 October:

“The crumb of comfort amid Liverpool’s shocking decline is that Roy Hodgson will soon get plenty of practice pronouncing the ‘W’ word.

“With almost 20 per cent of the season gone, Liverpool are in the welegation zone. Most bookmakers are already betting on them going down and Paddy Power will soon pay out on it…

Under Woy, Liverpool aren’t just negative, they’re double negative, and that’s a complete no-no.”

Asked what he makes of the ‘Woy’ row, Sun managing editor Richard Caseby told Axegrinder: “The Guardian scored an own goal with its sniping at the Sun’s affectionate splash headline…The Guardian has made fun of the England manager as ‘Woy’ and lampooned his speech loads of times.  But since so few people read it, nobody noticed.

“Perhaps Alan Rusbridger would like to apologise to the FA for being so hurtful in the past and to Sun readers for being such a sanctimonious hypocrite.”

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