Media-on-media crime. Really?
In the wake of Saturday’s heated match-up between the Bruins and Canucks, we’ve had Vancouver players say things about Boston players (and vice versa), coaches call out the other coaches and management go after opposing management.
All of that I am ok with.
The players are the ones laying it on the line, so they are allowed to make their feelings known about the opposition. They are expected to. And I get why coaches and management sometimes get into it. Their rhetoric is used to protect the interest of their players and take the side of their team. What else would you expect them to do?
But when media verbally attack a player or other members of the media? When they get personal with the attacks? C’mon now. Last I checked, we didn’t play the game and we shouldn’t have anything personally invested in the game.
The latest Vancouver-Boston media dust up occurred Tuesday night when Vancouver Province columnist Tony Gallagher went on a Bruins show for Comcast. Gallagher was giving his opinion as to why Dale Weise didn’t have to fight Shawn Thornton in the first period of Saturday’s game.
Little did Gallagher know, but Comcast had Thornton in studio. When Gallagher finished his thought, the ambush was on.
Guerrilla journalism at its worst!
Hey I’m all for Thornton responding to Gallagher’s comments. After all, he was one of the players in question. And if you watch the video, Gallagher seemed ready to have a reasonable conversation about things. The host of the show though? Not so much.
He was in attack mode too, finishing off the interview by calling the Canucks a bunch of weasels and telling Gallagher to enjoy the Presidents’ Trophy banner or something to that effect. Uhm, ok. Pretty sure Gallagher doesn’t work for the Canucks and if you check his background he’s been as critical of the Canucks as anyone over the years. The host comes off as a parrot on the shoulder of Thornton, mimicking the Bruins tough guy.
Now I’m all for opinion and reasonable arguments; columnists are paid to provide just that. But name calling? That’s a little juvenile for my liking. Could you imagine Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek calling Thornton a “thug” or something like that in a Canucks pre-game show? Me neither.
Let’s leave the name calling to those who are paid (or not paid) to do it. Bloggers are a perfect example. And I don’t mean that in a derogatory way. Few do it better than the Pass it to Bulis guys or the Stanchion. Heck, the Kurtenbloggers even parlayed their talents into a job with NBC. But their name calling isn’t with venom, it’s with tongue firmly planted in cheek. They have a keen eye for the game and are able to blend opinion with humour. They are supposed to slant their views as a fan might. And they also aren’t shy to pick on a Canuck or two. I just don’t get when a well-known writer from the Boston Globe, a respected writer at that, resorts to name calling. He should be above that.
I hate to break it to us in the media: We’re not a part of the game.
The funny thing about it all, is that the players would much rather have a beer with a player from the opposing team than the member of the media who is so rigorously defending them. Probably 95 per cent of the players couldn’t pick us media types out of a crowd of one.
It’s not like we get Stanley Cup rings if the team we cover wins it all. Oh, wait …