Monday, September 21, 2009
NZ Sports Journalists: Corruption or Incompetence
This blog post has nothing to do with the players that play Rugby Union or the fans, or people involved at grassroots level, this blog post is about the media and how they report on our national game.
NZ Sports Journalists: Corruption or Incompetence
Over the decades, while reading/watching/listening to the New Zealand sporting Media, my jaw has dropped on too many occasions, because of their utter stupidity, the incorrect information they give out, and what seems like sheer lies that come out their mouths.
Well it wasn't until September of 2009, that I have come to realize that these guys aren't incompetent, but they are corrupt, now that is a big word to use, especially on this blog!!
So here is my case for corruption.
First you need the crime.
The crime is Blowing Rugby Union's world wide significance and the players world wide popularity out of proportion to the detriment of other sports in NZ and taking those sports that are deemed to be in competition with Union and downplaying them.
Second you need Motive. Money is a good place to start. It's in the NZRFU best interests that our media continues to spout what they want the public to hear. Also the media wants access to players for interviews,and since the NZRFU decides who interviews who, then the media has to be on it's best behavior.
So I'm going to list some examples of the ways our media have distorted the public perceptions on how big the sport of Union is, and what sports are huge outside our country, some of the examples are just outright lies, the more sinister ones, are the ones when our journos makes a suggestion and plants a thought in the listeners head that they know is incorrect, and in a journalistic sense that is just plain evil.
The quotes below are taken from the NZ Print/Radio/Television Media, over the past 30 years, they are just a selection of 1000's of quotes that are similar in nature.
1:Lomu took David Beckham off the front pages of the English pages during the Soccer world cup in 1998, Lomu is bigger in Manchester than Beckham.
Again False, all British News Papers had the English soccer team on their front covers during
the world cup.
2:Rugby is the only outdoor sport that the players keep on playing even if its raining.
(This bizarre statement was said in the early 1980's, the reporter was trying to make out that Rugby Union players were tougher than those from other sports, I guess he had never viewed a League game from Sydney a Football match from England or a NFL match during a snow storm)
3: The All Blacks are the third most popular recognized sports team in the world behind, Manchester United and the New York Yankees
(Another lie, from 1994, by the print media this time, who apparently did some independent research and found out that The All Blacks were the third most recognized sporting brand, they never came up with any stats or data on who did the research, or numbers to back it up)
4: Dan Carter is the Pinup boy of world sport.
(A statement thrown into the mix by TVNZ, who thought because Carter who got a warm welcome from an Intermediate school in the North Island, he must be this Global Superstar)
5: No one knows nothing about New Zealand outside our country, but they have heard of the All Blacks
(In my personal travels outside of New Zealand and my family and friends experiences, no one has ever mentioned the All Blacks to us, although Lord of the Rings, Hamish Carter, Lucy Lawless, Bungy Jumping, The Black Caps, The Bush Wackers, Helen Clark, Nuclear Policy, Sean Marks has been mentioned several times.)
6: We would like to welcome our international viewing audience of 400 million for this match between Canterbury and Waikato
(This one was a Doozy, said by Grant Nisbett on Sky, trying to build up hype for a Match, the viewing audience in NZ ended up being 180 thousand, there are no figures for worldwide audience because they were too low)
7: He has the speed of a world class sprinter
(Another lie that has been repeated by the New Zealand media over the years in regards to
the speed of former player Johan Lomu, who was hand timed by his manager running 10.79 for the 100 meters, hardly the speed of a world class female sprinter, let alone a man)
8: The Cowboys want to pay him 3 million a year
( This was a huge lie, it centered around Johan Lomu and the media's perception that he was a global superstar, someone from the Sunday Star Times reported that he was offered three Million a year to play for the Cowboys, in reality he was offered to have talks with a Scottish World League of American Football team, this same team was buying up retired Union Players)
9: So can Rugby Challenge Soccer as the number one Sport in Argentina?
(This is the comment that made me do this post, and it's the one of the most sinister of all comments said by New Zealand Journos over the years, because its not a outright lie, but its planting a seed of thought into the Public's mind. By saying this Brendon Telfer wanted to create a Illusion, that Soccer is still the number sport in Argentina but Union could challenge one day. The truth is Basketball and Handball and Track and Field are far more significant in Argentina, and those fans of the Spurs will know what I'm talking about.
10: Basketball only gets coverage worldwide because its the Bastardization of American sport on the world.
(Once again Brendon Telfer is trying to plant a seed in the listeners mind that Basketball is just an American Sport who is only popular because big money and the NBA. Anyone who follows Basketball and Basketball History knows that the sport has such a deep and rich history and a Fanatical following throughout Europe, and Asia as well as North America, and is highly regarded by any sports Journalist outside the USA as the number two sport behind Soccer)
11: I mean how big is this cup really, will these soccer players be playing professionally in ten years time
(Once again it's Telfer trying to downplay a significant sporting event in New Zealand, this time it was FIFA's under 17 world cup, he suggested that these players weren't of high quality and wont be playing professionally in ten years time, how wrong he was, most the players are now in the EPL from that cup, and the USA players have now biggest their biggest soccer stars of all time)
12: Rugby can overtake Soccer in Japan as the number one sport
(There is one sport that Japan is Obsessed about and it isn't soccer, its baseball that is their National past time, yet once again we are lead to beleive that its soccer and rugby that is out for the public's attention in Japan.)
13: Even 80 year old Mongolian men from China have heard of Lomu
(An ongoing lie by the New Zealand sporting media, this changes depending on who is telling it,
the story is the same, a caller to radio, or someone writing a letter to a newspaper has a point to make, they say that Lomu has never got the credit that he deserves, and in their travels to China they met an 80 year old Mongolian man who knew nothing about New Zealand but has heard about Lomu, Journalists as well as the public have told this story)
14: Rugby is the fastest growing sport in India
(Another lie, the sports of baseball and soccer are making inroads to cricket in India.
There aren't any stats for the sport of Rugby union because the numbers are just too small)
The Tall Blacks victory Over Serbia is the 17th best sporting achievement of 2004
(A group of leading New Zealand sporting journalists ranked the top 20 sporting achievements
by kiwis during 2004. They had the Tall Blacks victory over Serbia at the Olympics as the 17th best achievement, ahead of that they had a Ranfurly shield Rugby Victory, how can people who call themselves Journalists, put a domestic rugby victory ahead of New Zealand beating the World Basketball Champs at the 2004 Olympics)
16: Parts of France are all Football, but the other part is all Rugby
(This is a pattern of deceit that they have been trying for decades, put it out there that, yes we know Soccer is the number one sport but Rugby is challenging it. The truth is, Soccer is the number one sport in France, but other major sports in France are Basketball, Volleyball and Handball all of which outrate Rugby in France.
17: Throw the lot in Jail
(This statement was said By Brendon Telfer, in regards to Michael Vick, I'm not sure what he meant, but the NFL had less players arrested than the sport of Rugby Union)
18: Baseball only gets coverage because of American TV
(Doug Golightly of radio sport told this lie, when trying to promote a SOFTBALL victory, the truth is Baseball took off after American introduce the game to the world, during several overseas conflict. The sport of Baseball is huge internationally, not that our Journalists would admit this, and it the number sport of several countries over two continents.)
19: The Super 14 is more popular in Australia than League
(Another lie and once again no stats or hard data to back up their argument.
Their has never been a year where Rugby has drew bigger crowds or
bigger TV audiences in Aussie.)
20: New Zealand Athletics would Love to have the All Black Wingers
( No All Black could make any Sprint Club in NZ)
21:The rugby league world cup is worthless
( Telfer said this statement, funny that he has never said this about Netball.)
22: The rugby world cup is the third biggest sporting event in the world
(For this gem, the Media used an Independent study done by Waikato University and paid for by the NZRFU, most people could come up with at least 100 events that of course are larger)
23: Sean Marks is the 98th ranked New Zealand sportsperson
(Joesph Romanos published a book where he ranked the 100th top kiwi sportspeople of all time,
he ranked Sean Marks in 98th place for becoming the first kiwi to make the NBA, Marks has also won an NBA ring, Romanos had ahead of Marks, A Sheep Shearer, A Archer, A Netballer, and of course about a dozen or so Rugby Players, how making it into one of the world's toughest sporting league can rank you behind a sheep shearer is beyond belief.
24: With a crowd this size you would think the All Blacks were Playing
(TVNZ reporter Tony Vietch reporting on the hero's welcome that The All Whites got in Mexico when they arrived to the Played the USA in the confederations cup in 1999, a positive story for Football couldn't be done without mentioning Rugby Union.)
25: Perhaps they have never heard of Rugby so they play League
(Once again this showed the mindset of the New Zealand media, Brendon Telfer was reporting on news that a Rugby League game in Russia had over 30 thousand people, his response was typical of all New Zealand Journo's reporting on this story.)
26: Its Like if Lomu went to Japan
(This statement is a ploy they have always used, bringing up a Rugby reference in a story that has nothing to do with Rugby. This was said in response to the massive media coverage given to David Beckham when he left Manchester United.)
27: The cheapest ticket to any NFL game is $200 dollars
(This lie was told by Doug GoLightly at the turn of the 21st century.
The average NFL ticket will only set you in 2009 around $40 dollars and the cheap seats can go for as little as $15.)
28: The NFL players are thick as dogs
(This has quite racist undertones, it was a story completely made up by John Morrison, he told a yarn about how he met up with the coach of the Detroit Lions by accident in a bar, and the coach told him, how stupid all his players were. Anyone who follows the NFL knows that this is outrageous, the set moves the players have to memorize would scare off a Chess Champion, Morrison needs to hang his head in shame for making up a story like this)
29:The 2005 Ashes are the most overated sporting event of the year
(This was said by Darcy Watergrave, you see the Lions Rugby Union tour was held the same year of the Ashes, the 2005 Ashes were highly regarded as the greatest Ashes series ever, not according to the New Zealand media though, who had to spin the lie of the Lions tour being successful and the Ashes being a flop)
30: Lomu is the most underatred sportsperson and Ruther is the most Overated
(This is perhaps the biggest lie of them all and sums up the New Zealand media, Radiosport did a poll on who people thought were the most overated and underated sports people this country has produced, they stopped taking calls and annouced that Lomu was the most underated sports person, and Wynton Rufer was the most overrated. This is the smoking gun, how anyone with any Journalistic crediblity say this is beyond all sensible reason, never in the history of country, has one sportsperson had so much positive media attention by our media and one been totally ingored, and for the media to reverse it and say its the other way around, shows thier must be corruption, because no one could be that incompetent.
Like I said those examples are just 1000's of quotes from over the years. There is also the non reporting of major sports that our media is guilty of. When New Zealand NBA player Sean Marks was playing for the Spurs, ESPN, Sports Illustrated and the Local San Antonia media would report that he was a fan favorite and the crowd used to chant KIWI KIWI KIWI when he was playing, did this ever get reported in the New Zealand media, if this was happening to a rugby union player overseas, don't you think it will be the first item on the news.
Take a look at the little amount of coverage Ryan Nelson gets for playing in the Premier League in England, or our female basketballers who have made the WNBA, or our one NFL player, sports such as Football, basketball, baseball, Volleyball, Rugby League, Ice Hockey and track and field and the NFL are physical sports that require strength and speed and power and appeals to the general public and wanna sportspeople, they are deemed by our media to be in competition with Rugby Union, so the successes in these sports will be down played.
Yet if we have success in Squash, downhill mountain running, bmx biking, yachting even swimming, the media will applaud it because THESE SPORTS AREN'T DEEMED TO BE IN COMPETITION WITH RUGBY UNION.
Take a look at our most successful female sportsperson on the 80's Erin Baker, she was a world champion triathlete and got little coverage if none at all, yet Susan Devoy a Squash player got plaudits for her efforts, why????, because the NewZealand media knows that Squash is not a threat to rugby union's dominance in the Public's mind, yet triathlons would be.
This is why Netball gets wall to wall coverage, they promote this nonexistent sport worldwide, over Basketball, because they don't want Basketball in the public's eye, because the game of Basketball would draw the same fanbase as Rugby Union and take away from Union's popularity.
Another huge lie that the media inserts into the sporting brain of the average Kiwi, is that famous people everywhere worship the All Blacks, we have had several reports that Anna Paquin loves her rugby
(In a 2006 interview Ms Paquin stated on the recorded that she didnt follow the game and didn't know why most New Zealand newspapers reported that she was a fan over the years)
(We were also told That Anna Knorunika wanted to meet Johan Lomu and when she wasn't playing Tennis she watched the All Blacks where ever she could, that lie blew up in Tony Vietch's face when he asked her about meeting Lomu she replied "Who's he??)
(American Actor Chris O'Donell was also asked what he though of the All Blacks by a kiwi reporter, he had no idea what the reporter was on about and just walked out of the Interview.)
(But that had nothing on, probably one of the most embrassing moments for a New Zealand sports reporter, when Rio Ferdinand signed for Manchester United, it was a huge worldwide story, the terms of the deal were keep secret, this so called reporter felt the need to ask Rio in front of the world's media this question, "So is there any truth to the rumor that All Black tickets were included in your Contract) The world's press just stood there along with Rio and Alex Ferguson downfounded and and had no idea what the reporter was talking about)
So that's my case, Journalists with 30 or 40 years experience, like Joesph Ramnos, Brendon Telfer, Phil Gifford, Chris Miriams, Peter Williams, Murray Decker, or the new young guns such as Saville or Waldergrave, can't be incompetent with access to the internet and articles on all the world's leading sports from the world leading Journos at their fingertips, they have also seen the impact on global sports such as Basketball and Volleyball and handball and Football and Ice Hokey and Baseball around the world, (even cricket) yet have still chanted their Mantra of Rugby is challenging Soccer as the worlds global Sport.
They lack one piece of the puzzle though, and its a piece that all good journalists would use and that is Data and Statistics, they never mention real numbers, they never use the research, the reason why????, well they know the stats and hard data would NEVER back up their argument, so here is some actual stats for you, from the world's leading sports, which have been verified either from Government scoures and sporting bodies and independent accounting agencies.
A study conducted by TGI Europe in 2006, shows that in just four European Countries, The UK, Spain, France and Germany, shows there are 33 Million Basketball fans.
A global study, conducted by Roper Starch Worldwide in 1997, shows that 11 percent of the world's population plays Basketball, and its the fastest growing sport in the Asia region.
A 2007 study shows that their are 450 Million registered Basketball players worldwide.
There are 213 countries that are members of FIBA.
Television ratings of International games and the European League are second only to Soccer thruout Europe, and is the number one televised sport in parts of Eastern European.
AN NBA Franchise could cost you up to a Billion Dollars.
Tv rights for the the NBA measure in the tens of Billions in the USA alone.
The European Basketball league rights are worth in the Hundreds of Millions
Sky Sport Italy recently payed $5.3 Million a season for the Israeli Basketball league alone.
Baseball is the number one sport in Korea, American, Japan, Cuban, Puerto Rico and Venezuela, Taiwan.
Baseball is the fastest growing sport in the West Indies.
It's players are the highest payed sportspeople on earth. (Forbes Magazine)
MLB has the biggest representation of countries than any other sports competition including football. (ESPN)
Fox recently played Billions for the rights to air the world series up until 2013, plus regular weekly matches.(Forbes)
The average salary of new York Yankee is 6.6 Million a year, while their payroll is over 200 Million a season. (Forbes)
There are an estimate 250 million people worldwide who play Volleyball (FIVB)
Its the number one sport for woman and number two sport for men in Brazil
Olympic Volleyball outrates Soccer in Russia
There are 215 Federation countries
The top Volleyball League in the USA has $20 Million in Prize money
Ice Hockey is the National Sport of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Canada and Russia, Czech Republic, Austria and Solvakia(IIHL)
There are 66 member countries of the IIHL
Ice Hockey is the highest rating sport of the Winter Oylmpics (IOF)
Largest crowd for a college was 74 thousand
The NHL has more International players than Americans
Ice Hockey is the most popular sport in Nordic countries.
There are 166 member countries of the (IHF)
In France only Soccer and Basketball gets higher TV Ratings.
There are 795 thousand handball teams in the world
There are 19 Million players
In 1999 one month after the Rugby union World Cup, the Handball final was played, and
the Handball double the ratings of the Rugby World Cup (Dont tell a NZ Journo this though!)
The SuperBowl TV Ratings is Second only to the FIFA World Cup
NFL TV rights and Merchandise are the highest in the world.
I have listed the six above sports to make a point, and of course sports such as Lacrosse, Cricket,
WaterPolo, Track and field, Tennis, Golf, Swimming, Motorsport (well you get the picture,) are far more in the minds of the world's sporting public than the sport that our media tries to glorify as second only to Football.
Now of course, our media will blow up the fact that a big crowd turn up for a one off match in Japan, but if you took Aussie Rules Football to Japan they would get a huge crowd also, but day in and day out the world is not talking about Rugby Union, the All Blacks or Johan Lomu.
So with all this information they have, with the examples i have listed, they have to be corrupt and not incompetent. The only other explanation is that they are a bunch of lazy liars who are just trying to say what the New Zealand public wants to hear, knowing that it will be a easy ride, but that isn't, corruption or incompetence , that is a Journalist crime.