June 04, 2008

And In This Corner, It's a Dying Newspaper

One of the primary reasons readers are abandoning many newspapers in droves, I believe, is because, while newspaper reporters and editorial writers are generally decent writers (Nick Coleman being a notable exception), they're woefully uninformed or just plain lazy about researching many, if not most, of the topics they tend to complain and blather about.

Take this "editorial" about Ultimate Fighting, for example:

The old line about going to a boxing match and a hockey game breaking out got a new twist Saturday night. Primetime viewers could turn to NBC to watch Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings, or flip to CBS for mixed martial arts, the hot fighting sport that has fought its way from obscurity and condemnation to primetime prominence.

Condemnation by who, again? Oh, right, uninformed, lazy people who see two men agreeing to fight in a cage, and who subsequently pen pants peeing opinion and editorial pieces bemoaning society's descent into gladiatorial bloodbaths. You can almost sense a whiff of this editorial writer's disbelief that ultimate fighting has managed to climb to prominence despite the best efforts of the benighted souls hired to condemn that which they clearly have made no attempt to actually understand.

It's telling that most of momentum driving ultimate fighting and similar fighting venue has come about due to wildly popular online sites and forums like Sherdog.com, MMAJunkie.com and many, many more. These are knowledgeable areas where people gather to meticulously discuss all sorts of areas of Ultimate Fighting and mixed martial arts. These sites and forums all sprang up as an alternative to the mainstream media, which has largely written off the sport as base barbarism. In other words, media disdain and cluelessness resulted in dozens, if not hundreds of online alternatives, with thousands and thousands of readers eschewing nattering couch fainting alarmism in favor of informed, rational discussion.

Nationally, viewers preferred watching the MMA's cage matches over hockey. Locally, however, the state of hockey upheld its heritage, and the Stanley Cup Finals won the ratings race.

Give it time. . . that will change.

Those concerned over violence in sports, let alone in society, will shudder to think that the National Hockey League is now the safer, more regulated option.

Bullshit! Ultimate fighting and MMA events are becoming more and more regulated, often by state althletic and boxing commissions. If anything, it's MORE regulated than hockey.

Of course, sports evolves along with the rest of society, as what was once back alley is now Main Street: Rapper Snoop Dogg, once acquitted of murder charges, does a Chrysler commercial with Lee Iacocca. In sports, the bad-boy image of snowboarding is forgotten as "our boys and girls" win Olympic medals.

I have no idea what point that paragraph was trying to convey.

The ratings results have to thrill CBS, which avoids the spiraling fees networks negotiate for the right to telecast most sports. Conversely, it has to concern NBC, which two months from now will broadcast the summer Olympic games from Beijing. After all, how does a network market fencing when an audience's tastes run more toward knife fights?

Oh, for the love of Jeebus. Really? Knife fights? That's the hyperbole they ran with? I take it back; editorial writers aren't, for the most part, decent writers. . . they're white-knuckled, societal chicken littles penning pointless twaddle.

Posted by Ryan at June 4, 2008 08:52 PM | TrackBack

Call me crazy but I kind of like how bad a job these news folks do on MMA. We've got a radio guy locally who follows boxing but never misses an opportunity to call MMA human cockfighting. The absurdity of his perspective is totally lost on him. Plus, boxing is boring as hell to watch. All that said, Kimbo gets his ass handed to him by any reasonably good UFC fighter. He's a sideshow pretending to be a main event.

Posted by: Erik at June 4, 2008 09:25 PM

Er... isn't boxing an olympic sport?

And isn't fencing just a knife fight in beekeeper suits with really long, thin knives?

Posted by: LearnedFoot at June 5, 2008 07:04 AM

A blogger of your caliber complaining about the low standards of news editorials. So, which one is the kettle again?

Posted by: David Grenier at June 5, 2008 08:36 AM

Yeah, David, because an online journal of my daily thoughts, ruminations, random links to things that amuse me and basically non-serious nonsense. . . and an editorial appearing in a major (if dying) daily newspaper are TOTALLY the same thing.


Posted by: Ryan at June 5, 2008 12:20 PM
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