Summer is always a lean time for news, but it’s been made worse by the media’s obsession with sport in general, and the Olympics in particular. The coverage in newspapers and TV in particular has been packed with drivel – celebrity interviews, speculation and journalists saying how they feel watching people play games. As someone who generally throws away the sports pages of the newspapers unread, I have never really understood why sports results are treated as ‘news’ at all. It’s not that there is never any news about sport – in the last week there’s been the story of the man who cheated at pigeon racing, and the reinstatement of a jockey who pulled back his horses to lose has all the makings of a film script – but these are out of the ordinary: man bites dog, rather than dog bites man. The existence of a sporting contest, and the inevitable outcome that someone will win a competition, is a regular part of some people’s leisure activity. I just can’t see why the results of competitions between elite sports stars in fields like archery or dressage are assumed to have any more interest than competitions between leek growers, video games players, sheepdog trials or the rankings of artists in the Country and Western Charts. And no, I don’t want the news media to tell me more about those things either.