Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Rugby League and The Print Media (2012)

Just recently I read an unfavourable opinion piece about Rugby League in the Daily Telegraph newspaper written by Paul Pottinger, a man who writes car reviews no less.

Setting aside the contents of that article for the time being, I found the footnote at the bottom of the article to be the most contradictory load of rubbish that this alleged newspaper has ever sprouted about Rugby League.

Paul Pottinger is Deputy Editor of Carsguide. His heretical views in no way reflect those of The Daily Telegraph, which knows that rugby league is the greatest game in the world. Miranda Devine returns next week.”

This raises several questions.

1.       If The Daily Telegraph “knows that rugby league is the greatest game in the world” why did they go to the lengths of getting a car reviewer who hates rugby league to write an article about how much he hates rugby league? The fact they printed his article in itself shows that they clearly don’t love the game at all, but it shows more than anything, quite the opposite.

2.       Why did several of my comments which I submitted the day the article was posted, identifying and correcting the many lies Pottinger created for his piece, were not published, despite them containing no foul language, no personal attacks on anyone, no libel remarks etc? It seems that the Daily Telegraph were adamant that they wanted to publish more comments agreeing with Pottinger’s fictional drivel. Why would you do that if you believe that rugby league is the greatest game of all?

3.       Why even publish a piece in the first place? Rugby League has had a quiet, trouble free off-season for the first time in a long time, and instead of being proud of that fact and being positive about the upcoming season, the Daily Telegraph decides to rubbish the game instead. Well I know why, because just as much as the Daily Telegraph proclaims to view rugby league as the greatest game in the world, it sells more papers if there is some scandal about the game in it. A scandal free off-season is bad for business.

The Daily Telegraph itself has been guilty of using Rugby League wherever it can to make ‘stories’ more likely to sell and appeal, but they aren't alone.

One very recent example is about the suspected murder of Newcastle woman Felicity Cook, allegedly killed by her husband Gavin Cook who then took his own life, reported in the Newcastle Herald.

The Newcastle Herald felt compelled to add Rugby League into this story when it had absolutely nothing at all to do with the incident in any capacity whatsoever.

Why do this?

The treatment rugby league gets from the print media is deplorable and despicable. It is akin to a father sending his favourite daughter off to be a prostitute.

"She’s a lovely girl and I love her dearly, but I love her more when I can exploit her and get money from her."

Would you do that to someone or something that you believe is “the best … in the world”?

This truly sickening piece of alleged journalism was capped off when the author felt compelled to add the man’s playing career (his highest achievement was reserve grade for Newcastle Knights some 16 years ago) to justify the irrelevant association between a horrible murder case which has orphaned two children, and a game that had no affiliation with the crime in any way.

Now, going back to Paul Pottinger’s opinion piece, who displayed in one short article why he should not be hired as a journalist.

His key facts, which he relies upon to justify his hypocritical nonsensical drivel, are in fact, poorly constructed fiction
Three times he tells us he doesn't hate Rugby League and that he prefers to ignore it - yet he writes this piece in possibly the highest circulating newspaper in Australia. That's not ignorance Paul, that’s very clear hypocrisy you idiot. I'd have thought someone who is a journalist (and deputy editor no less) would see this very clearly.

You've fooled some important people to not only get your job, but also to keep it.
But I digress. You go on to say:

"Beyond our eastern cities and one in New Zealand, some grimy towns in England's north and a few rustic French villages, rugby league does not exist."
Except for those tiny little places called Papua New Guinea, Lebanon, Italy, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, America, Canada, Russia, to name but a few, It has existed since 1895. In Australia the game became at the very least, just as popular as Rugby Union prior to the outbreak of WWI. The game was introduced to France in 1933-34 and it became more popular in the entire country than Union prior to the outbreak of WWII.

"Please - I implore you - don't use rugby league in the same sentence as "World Cup" unless you wish to be battered by force 10 gales of laughter."
There are a similar number of teams competing in the Rugby Union and Rugby League world cups as there is in the Cricket World Cup, why not raise that as well?

"Then there is the spectacle itself - 26 post-adolescents with hideously engorged musculature dressed each week in different livery, yet each of which somehow resembles a beverage can. These run in strict linear patterns until a mistake is made and one lot falls over the other's line. For this points are awarded."
Just like Rugby Union and AFL. Bundaberg Rum anyone? Even soccer teams are sponsored by Alcohol companies. Carlsberg anyone? Your single-mindedness has prevented your ability to be objective, rational and factual.

"When Balmain played Glebe in the 1915 grand final"
There were no finals at all in 1915, let alone a Grand Final. The season was first past the post, Balmain won 12 games and drew 2 (undefeated) and were declared premiers at the end of Round 14. This system had been in place for a number of years and continued that way til well after the War.

"young men were being sacrificed at Gallipoli"
Many Rugby League players from Australia, England and New Zealand (including test players) fought and died at Gallipoli as well as throughout WWI and WWII. The great Duncan Thompson served in both wars.

"The Queensland Rugby Union was unable to reform until 1929."
That says more about the strength and popularity of Rugby Union than anything negative about Rugby League.

"But it does strike me as a slightly anomalous note when the code wraps itself in the flag and has the Last Post played at its Anzac Day Test"
Because ANZAC Day is a nationwide tribute, of which even Rugby League players sacrificed their lives. You don't earn a right to commemorate, are you really this stupid? Seriously?

"I don't begrudge its right to exist, which is more than can be said of its attitude toward everyone else."
So you don't like its 'attitude toward everyone else' as you perceive it, in what has been clearly revealed as a small, uneducated, simple mind that relies on lies and moronic opinion than actual facts, yet you sprout this dim-witted vitriol. More hypocrisy.

You are a disgrace to journalism. You are a blatant liar. You are an idiot, I sincerely mean that.
When I studied journalism, we were taught to research our facts.

You must have been in the men’s room at the time. Your published work resembles what you would have produced that fateful day you were on the toilet instead of actually learning something.
Just a final tip - steer clear of opinion pieces on topics you clearly have absolutely no idea about, because someone above you will find out just how stupid you are and you will lose your job.

As for the Daily Telegraph, don’t treat your readers like they have the IQ of some of your journalists. We know when we’re being lied to and in the case of your alleged passion for the game; it’s abundantly clear just how much you love it.

When will you stop hiring gossip columnists to report on a game they clearly despise?

When will you hire someone who truly loves rugby league to actually write about it?

The newspaper has been on the nose with Rugby League fans for a while now, and with disgusting behaviour such as mentioned in this article, it’s no wonder.

And you’ll only have yourselves to blame when Rugby League fans go to another newspaper instead to get more reliable, accurate information about the game.

If the Daily Telegraph believes “rugby league is the greatest game in the world” why not prove it and show it? Where’s the rebuttal by a prominent Rugby League loving journalist/writer to Pottinger’s rubbish?

I dare say it’s in the same place as Pottinger’s best work mentioned above.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome response to that rubbish written by Pottinger. What astounds me even more is how the Telegraph let that go to print.


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