Arsene Wenger was fuming and seething, Ian Wright picks his mate, Martin Samuel takes on a straw man, John Cross reports on a 'revolt' and more...
'You sometimes reach the stage where you wonder whether there's actually much point in England going' - has Steven Howard just become a parody of himself?
Day two of the space monkey saga and Peter Herbert of the Society of Black Lawyers has had his say on the FA's investigation into the curious but innocuous joke told to Chris Smalling and Andros Townsend by Roy Hodgson.
'Roy Hodgson's comments may not have been made with the intention of causing offence as he has explained with the backing of the FA, nonetheless, offence was caused,' writes Herbert in a letter to the FA calling for a full and proper investigation.
'The FA's statement also confirmed that they had not received any complaints from the England players and therefore the matter was closed.
'The comments of the FA smack of "institutional racism" bearing in mind the Lawrence Inquiry definition of "unwitting racism".'
At this point, Mediawatch would like to say that it agrees with the core point of Herbert's request; that no complaints were made to the FA by England players is not reason to cease investigation into the issue.
With regard to this particular incident, it certainly appears that Hodgson's joke was ham-fisted more than anything, but nonetheless there are legitimate concerns over the FA's complaints procedure. Why did the player who leaked the information decide not to go straight to the FA with his unease? Many have suggested an ulterior motive, but perhaps the player was genuinely offended by Hodgson's joke. That he felt he couldn't raise this directly with the FA is reason alone to question the organisation's handling of racist incidents.
However, the problem with Herbert's response, as usual, is that it goes beyond raising these legitimate concerns with its accusational tone and use of inflammatory language.
'The use of "monkey chants", the throwing of bananas and the racist antics of football supporters is a hallmark of football racism that is the context of this so called "joke" being told by the England football manager,' continues Herbert.
But this was clearly not the context. While a wider discussion of racism in football should indeed consider the long-lasting despicable treatment of black players, should Hodgson really have been required to think of these issues when attempting to make a brief point in a half-time team talk? In many ways, it seems absurd that the England manager should be reluctant to liken a black player to a monkey for the purpose of an anecdote, especially if the recipients of the message understood the point being made.
This is where things get really complex, though, as Herbert rightly points out that the FA should reflect on the definition of racial incidents as termed by the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, which stated that: 'A racial incident is any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person.'
Of course, it's enormously significant that Andros Townsend has insisted that no offence was taken by Hodgson's joke but, according to Herbert, 'it is precisely these types of comments coming from such players that a) prohibits others who may have been offended from speaking out and b) shows the lack of understanding of the bigger picture for these young black men.
'It is therefore imperative to have a firm education system in place to ensure that players from a young age are fully equipped to control their own lives and careers rather than remaining mentally enslaved.'
To suggest that Townsend is 'mentally enslaved' because he failed to take offence is strong stuff indeed and for many a ridiculous exagerration that means people will be less inclined to listen when something that actually merits discussion takes place.
But is Herbert really nothing more than a self-seving egotist? And, if so, does that really matter? Herbert may have aggravated football fans with his perceived over-the-top reaction to this non-story, but the way in which his concerns have been received highlight that there is still a huge amount of ignorance when it comes to racism.
Herbert may be responsible for blurring what is a pertinent core point to his letter, but Mediawatch has reservations over why the Society of Black Lawyers is seen as a joke institution at a time when the game is clearly struggling with its handling of racist incidents. If you want to know why there isn't a Society of White Lawyers, then you're part of the problem, and should spend a little more time trying to understand Herbert's concerns.
The Times They Are A-Cocking Up
According to the back page of The Times, 'the England manager also issued a public statement yesterday saying that "there was absolutely no intention on my part to say anything appropriate"'.
Which explains everything.
Martin Samuel in the Daily Mail bizarrely appears to be saying that Hodgson could not have been making a racist comment because 'white people, particularly intelligent ones, always know where to draw the line'. He says Ron Atkinson was 'too smart' to say racist things about Marcel Desailly in public and Carol Thatcher falls into the same category with her 'golliwog' comment about Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
'There is stuff that white people know they cannot say. That doesn't mean it never gets said. It just comes out, you know, between us,' writes Samuel, ghost-writer of Harry Redknapp's autobiography.
Or it comes out in a right-wing national newspaper in a garbled mess.
Steven And Rio Sitting In A Tree
The Sun, June 2012: 'STEVEN HOWARD says Manchester United ace has every right to feel he has been kicked in the teeth.'
The Sun, September 2012: 'STEVEN HOWARD says the Ukraine game showed England cannot afford to leave out a defender of Rio Ferdinand's class.'
The Sun, October 2012: 'STEVEN HOWARD says the knives are out for Roy Hodgson after his 'despicable ' treatment of Rio Ferdinand.'
Fully a year later, in October 2013, The Sun's Mr Grumpypants is still telling the story of Hodgson 'blurting to Tube passengers' about Ferdinand being finished with England.
Get a room, boys. And then sit there miserably talking about Roy Hodgson and how he done did you wrong.
Mediawatch often says that there are some people who really shouldn't be on Twitter. Mediawatch is often talking about the Daily Mirror's Oliver Holt.
Holt took to Twitter on Thursday to argue with those who took exception to his coverage of the space monkey story. He mostly took to Twitter to correct people's spelling - the refuge of the ridiculous, as you will all appreciate.
One reader tweeted Holt to say 'so one day of jubilance and then the press try and wreck it. Idiots.' Holt replied with no little respect, 'when you call people idiots might be best not to use words that don't exist. Just an idea'.
When you call people out on making up words - in this case 'jubilance' - it might be best to Google said word, Ollie. Just an idea.
Feet On Ground
Sam Allardyce, October 12 on Ravel Morrison: "I don't know if there is a buy-back clause and what that figure might be if it even exists. But my real big worry is that Manchester United will come back to buy him."
Sam Allardyce, October 17 on Ravel Morrison's World Cup chances: "It's a little early to tell. But I think if he continues to be a regular player with our first team then I can't see any reason why he wouldn't get noticed and maybe be pushing that way."
Sam Allardyce, October 17: "I have to be careful with the amount of publicity that Rav gets. To make sure that we just continue his growth slowly and continue him playing in the team to the level he's playing and try to get him better and then there is no distraction that might put a young man off at this stage of his career, which can happen. They can have their ups and downs, they burst on to the scene, they can get lavished with praise and then lose their focus and, when they lose their focus, they can dip away again, and I don't really want that."
Yes, best be careful about that, Sam. Definitely don't suggest that he could re-join the Premier League champions or get to the World Cup after a handful of Premier League appearances.
Here's Sam Allardyce again, saying: "I think that we have several international players in our squad. The Andy Carrolls of this world will want to get fit and play for West Ham as quickly as he possibly can."
Sorry to break this to you, Sam, but that £15m paid for just one Andy Carroll.
Vow Of The Day
Opening line of The Sun's back-page story: 'JOSE MOURINHO has vowed to help England.'
Actual quotes from Jose Mourinho: "If they want to speak with me I will give them by opinion."
In other news, Mediawatch is vowing to help Emma Stone take off her pants. All she has to do is ask.
'WE GET ALL THE BIG EXCLUSIVES' trumpets The Sun. Well, WE GET ALL THE BIG EXCLUSIVES EXCEPT THE SERIALISATION OF OUR COLUMNIST HARRY REDKNAPP'S NEW BOOK anyway.
So what's the latest 'big exclusive', Mr Sun. Well, it's the one they all wanted. It's the one they all offered to promote Playstation's partnership with the English Schools' FA to get. It's Gabby Agbonlahor saying he would like to go to Brazil with England for the World Cup. Wow.
Agbonlahor last played for England four years ago. To save The Sun time, shall we just assume that Wayne Bridge, Aaron Lennon, Peter Crouch, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Carlton Cole - who all featured in that game - would also quite like to go to Brazil too?
The Daily Harry
Harry Redknapp in his book 'Always Managing': 'When Tottenham played Swansea on April 1, 2012 I pulled Brendan after the game and said that if all the speculation about me and England was true would he consider coming to the European Championships in the summer as my part-time coach? He was up for it.'
Brendan Rodgers: "It was a quick conversation. I was aware he was very keen for me to team up with him if he was given the role. There was no decision either way."
Quote Of The Week
Rodgers on Redknapp: "He is a wonderful chemist."
Headline Of The Day
'Wenger's treble yell' - The Sun. And with that we're singing.
Worst Headline Of The Day
'RAVEL ALLARM' - The Sun. It's an 'ALLarm' because it's been raised by Sam ALLardyce, you see.
Non-Football Story Of The Day
'Some cocky vandals have aroused the attention of city officials with a not-so-subtle alteration to the riverfront sculpture garden. Workers were quickly ordered into action this week after the city learned someone had trimmed a bush to look like a giant penis. "The bush was in the sculpture garden, and somebody took it upon themselves to reshape the bush into something that they wanted to see," said John Miceli, the city's executive director of parks and facilities. "When somebody damages or vandalizes any city property, we take that very seriously. We address it as quickly as possible." Miceli said it took the city half an hour, after hearing about the vandalism from CBC Windsor, to "reshape" the bush. "We deployed staff immediately to address it," he said. "Somebody basically defaced public property and what we had to do was address it. It's not something that we would be promoting."' - Canada.com.
Thanks to today's Mediawatch spotter Steve Wilson. If you see anything that belongs on this page, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, putting 'Mediawatch' in the subject field.