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I thought I would just add my experiences to what's being discussed over in this Battle of Ontario post. There was a link to a Sens message board containing a post that discussed the team's issues with the media. I'll let you decide if it validates what has been said.

There are two incidents that stand out in my mind. The first occurred when I did some guest hosting for The Team, several years ago. The program director at the time made it very clear to me that I was not to speak negatively about the Senators, in any way, shape or form. I found this to be highly ironic, seeing as that I was "known" for slagging the Senators on a regular basis, using Jim Rome as a vehicle to do so.

I don't know why I was told this. Maybe they thought I couldn't operate on a sliding scale, and was incapable of making points using contructive criticism, as opposed to blatant barbs that were used solely for the purpose of humour.

The second incident occurred not long after I secured the column. I criticized Mike Fisher -- honest to God, I can't remember what I said exactly. I'd pull the quote, but those early columns are on my old (and now-defunct) PC. Anyway, the next day I received a terse email from a well-known member of the Sens' front office who took issue with what I wrote. Being the neophyte that I was, I apologized for offending him (and possibly Fisher)...he said it was fine, and now we're (seemingly) all good.

As for some of the other thoughts pertaining to the media not being hard enough on the team -- I think that's a double-edged sword: There are fans that want us to show no mercy to the players, except they forget that we have contacts to maintain, most notably with the Senators. I don't care what team you're dealing with -- a writer that acts like a perpetual a-hole is going to be put through the ringer by the team's PR. It's like the old saying goes: You catch more flies with honey than you would with vinegar. Of course, you can take this too far, and use blackstrap molasses -- like Gord Wilson tends to. And you'd be surprised at the amount of emails I get after a particularly critical piece that read, "Why do you have to be so negative? Why can't you write something positive?" People don't want to read beatdown pieces all the time.

That being said, I've always maintained that if the team deserves the criticism, I'll give it. But there's a difference between being critical, and being a bombastic jackass. I hope that's not what the Sens' front office thinks of the media -- if they do, that's a major disconnect. But if that's what the readers want, they should probably check out what the Toronto media has to offer.

4 responses to "You snap the whip"

  1. 'Bombastic Jackasses' might be the best description of much of the Toronto Media.


  2. Very interesting. I read all the links to this.

    Based on my own un-scientific sampling of Ottawa media, I feel your positions do validate what I've noticed myself: that (well - the Sun at least...I never get around to reading the Citizen) the Sun writers tend to tape up too many of their stories in bubble-wrap.

    Garrioch, and I'm trying not to put the guy down here, but it's like the guy can NEVER take a stand against anything bad happening with the Senators. Everyhing has to be so damn wishy-washy...all his articles in that regard are bepeppered with, "it seems like" or "could be" or "appears that" and all the rumours he comes up with are labelled as "whispers."

    I hear what you're saying about maintaining media contacts, but are they really so tenuous that you just aren't allowed to say what you mean? From what I read...I guess they must be.

    I agree that telling it like it is shouldn't always be interpreted as negative. Sometimes a cigar is a cigar.

    But on the other side of the coin, the Leafs would have to sweep the Cup finals before Damien Cox would say anything positive about the club without a backhanded slap at something he doesn't like.


  3. Let me put it to you this way: From what I've seen -- the people that "play nice" in the media, are the ones with the most contacts.

    That's the way it appears to me. Whether or not that's true across the board, is unknown. I don't have access to everyone's information.

    The Universal Cynic

  4. Garrioch's rumours are labelled as whispers because he makes them all up himself. When's the last time one of Garrioch's trade or signing rumours ever actually happened?