Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Tumultuous Thursday - Bulldogs, Media & Mad Monday (2012)

A great year of record breaking Rugby League culminated on the weekend when the Melbourne Storm overcame all the setbacks of their salary cap breaching penalties, to defeat this seasons fans favourite, the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs in a grand final that gave us everything.

And as is the case for sporting teams in varying codes all around the world, once their season has finished, they indulge in just one day of fun, unwinding, relaxation and a few beers (and a few more) with their team mates to celebrate the season, whether good, bad or indifferent. This is known as Mad Monday.

Similarly, it is just like the staff Christmas parties we mere fans have every year. Even the news media organisations have them. They are not just unique to sporting teams. Occasionally and unfortunately, mistakes and stupid actions will happen at these events.

Sadly, some unsavory comments were made at the Bulldogs mad Monday celebrations this week to a female news reporter. The comments were unjustified, moronic, vulgar and just downright stupid.

However the question has to be asked, why was the media trying to get access to the players at a closed mad Monday celebration?

A celebration held behind closed doors, which the Bulldogs should have been praised for, as it was clearly their attempt to ensure that no matter what mischief the players got up to, it wouldn't affect the public.
A celebration which the media was not invited to.

So why was a helicopter circling above the venue? Why was a crime reporter on the scene where no crime had been reported?

If the media people involved in this incident didn't attend the venue, there would be no story. They created this story for the ensuing publicity it has received. Some may argue that this piece indeed is just another example of taking the bait. However, I believe a stance has to be taken against this despicable type of 'journalism'.

Some prominent people in the media no longer solely report on the news, they also antagonise until something happens and then like the hypocrites they are, get on their moral high horse and write up pieces about how deplorable the players are.

For some of these media people, they watched the comedy TV series "Frontline" and saw it as an instructional manual.

While the Bulldogs are right to investigate the situation and issue punishments accordingly, where is the same investigation into the behavior of the media people who actually contributed to this incident?

Rebecca Wilson's comments about Brett Stewart when he was wrongly accused of sexual harassment alone were deplorable. Yet she was never questioned, fined, suspended or forced to apologise for her actions. Stewart's life was turned upside down and his public image has been forever tarnished, exacerbated further by Wilson's tirades.

Instead of being punished, Wilson, gets paid. She gets paid to run her uneducated, simplistic, biased, anti-Rugby League agenda, yet is never accountable for her actions. 

Being public figures for professional athletes is a consequence of their profession. People in news media are professional public figures. Yet some of them say much more despicable things than what was said at the Bulldogs mad Monday celebrations.

Alan Jones' recent comments about Julia Gillard spring to mind.

There are some people in the media now who do anything to 'get' a story, sometimes going to extraordinary lengths to 'make' a story, yet they are not brought to question.

If an organisation, including sports clubs and media outlets, is holding a private function, closed to the public, then that should mean all public, including the media, are not allowed to attend unless invited.

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