Ken Early: Owen-Shearer squabble showcases new dynamics of news
Squeaky-clean images were a response to the fearsome tabloid machine of their era
Michael Owen during the Manchester United era in 2009. Photograph: Rebecca Naden/PA Wire
Last Friday Michael Owen was in Dublin to promote his second autobiography, Reboot. The book had received an extraordinary amount of publicity the previous week, thanks to Owen’s viral Twitter spat with Alan Shearer – a squabble that had showcased the new, accelerated dynamics of news.
It all happened in the space of about 90 minutes. On Tuesday, September 3rd, the Mirror tweeted an excerpt from Owen’s book about the souring of his stint with Newcastle. Within the hour, Shearer had tweeted a clip of Owen revealing he had “hated” the last six or seven years of his career, with the comment “Yes, Michael, we thought that also, whilst on £120k a week . . .”