The world swimming titles have been a ticketing dud — so much for the major events economy — and a Thorpeless TV disaster — so much for our obsession with celebrity and success.
The biggest story of the championships, other than the remarkable athleticism of Michael Phelps, has been the unfortunate family contretemps between Ukraine swim coach Mikhaylo Zubkov and his daughter Keteryna Zubkova. This has been a definitive example of a particular kind of modern media story. It didn’t get a run because it revealed something of some intrinsic newsworthiness. It got a run — and what a run — purely because vision existed that could feed some sort of voyeuristic vacuum.
The fact that the vision revealed nothing more than a momentary ugliness between father and daughter has not stopped it being the dominant element of the electronic zeitgeist for more than three days. At the end of the day it was nothing more than an intrusion, and it’s pretty safe to assume that every repeated screening did more harm to the apparent ”victim” then any amount of angry grappling and hot tears with her father. What a load of rubbish.