Thursday, February 07, 2008

Crossing the Line

I've got a little problem with the media lately. I understand it is their job to report, to bring news to the public, to take pictures and videos of important people doing important things.

But sometimes the media cross a line. Sometimes they are cruel, sometimes they're too pushy, sometimes they won't let go, even when they are unwanted.

I realize there's a big difference between the paparazzi and, say, the local newscasters on CJOH. But this week I found a legitimate comparison to the Hollywood shutter-bugs and our own local media.

You've probably all heard the story of Wade Redden and teammate Brian McGrattan jawing at the cameramen who awaited outside a close-door team meeting at Scotiabank Place on Monday. After emerging from the 40-minute meeting, the players, obviously upset over the recent turn of events that have people calling them "Team Turmoil" and edgy from probably being lectured for almost an hour, they walked into a melée of cameramen and reporters, all looking to sensationalize the downward-spiral the Sens have been in for a while now. (And I blame the media for that, as well. Little spats at practice and such would largely go un-noticed with other teams, but because they're the first-place team from the Nation's Capital, everything gets blown out of proportion).

Anyways, apparently Redden crudely told the reporters to shove their cameras, and McGrattan followed suit with similiar suggestions. It was a pretty hot story for a few days, and the local media were all riled up about it, even though Redden did say later he meant his comments to be a joke. (I doubt it, but I'm glad he tried to smooth it over).

The local scribes and sports radio hosts were a little miffed at their reaction to their cameras, claiming that they are well compensated for living the life of famed athletes in the city and that they should be acting more like the professionals that they are. Also brought up was the fact that none of the players seem to mind the media attention when things are going well, so they should take the good with the bad, suck it up, and play nice with the photogs.

Now, lets transport ourselves to another world entirely: The world of Britney Spears. Yes, that's right, I said Britney Spears, believe it or not. Now I'm hardly sayting Wade Redden is anything like the fallen pop princess, but there is a comparison to be drawn. Poor Brit, she went from one of the hottest stars in the music industry to a great big joke in the past year, but now, it's gone beyond that. What's happening with her is no longer a laughing matter. The girl is seriously ill and quite obviously needs help, and I do think that the paparazzi are largely to blame. Everywhere she goes, they are there. Camped out at the gates of her estate, following her when she goes to Starbucks, and even ready to pounce when she's leaving the hospital.

Therein lie the similarities. Cameramen are cameramen, whether they are working for a reputable news source, or the tabloids. And these celebrities they are trying to catch doing something wrong are actually human beings, who have limits and boundaries, no matter how much money they make. Imagine if you've had a bad week at work, and everytime you leave the office you're hit with a barrage of questions and flashbulbs popping in your face. Wouldn't it make you want to snap?

At the end of the day, I guess Wade Redden shouldn't have barked at the cameramen. It wasn't exactly a shining moment in his career. But to be fair, they aren't always oozing with compliments for him in their columns and stories, especially over the past two seasons. In fact, he's been their favourite whipping boy.

So the way I'm feeling about the "paparazzi" lately...Well, just maybe they deserved the tongue-lashing he gave them.


priscilla said...

Poor blog, nobody is commenting on you.

Kathleen said...

oh boo hoo about the Sens. why don't you try the french media here where they can blow EVERYTHING out of proportion for a borderline (well before now, hehe) hockey team. Not to mention the whole LANGUAGE thing where assholes suggest that Saku Koivu is not an adequate captain for the Canadiens because he doesn't speak french. And he takes it all in stride, never once saying a rude or hostile word. Or look at Nerd Manning for the Giants, I think he spent 3 years getting ripped apart in the NY media and now he's Super Bowl MVP. the Sens need to shut up and play like they can and then the media will be hyping them up again.

Izor said...

Good on em I say, Man oh man, when will the world get it.
They are just human, and every human can only take so much.
Good thing that they could verbalize and put the media in their place.
The media are just like paranas, always eating away when things are good and when things go bad, they just keep the negative going.
The media does over step their boundaries, all for the best story or the most, money or ratings.
They don't seem to realize they too have a big influende on the momentum of a team.
If they are not going to report within boundaries and respect each persons right to privacy, they should not report at all...
Maybe a brown eye would have given the media the point...Right up close. Vulgar yes, but actions speak louder than words.

Hey media, maybe you should start supporting Ottawa's athletes instead of bashing them and sensationalizing them when they are on a roll.Just maybe you are part of the problem...

Let the Sens play, don't invade their boundaries and maybe you will get the story needed to give you your ratings.

Go Sens Go..
I tell you maybe the SENS should look at getting Jaques Martin Back with paddock, then we will definately see results.
His boys are looking pretty good. Tell ya he has the gift and just be the missing key...

Kathleen said...

yeah but like it or not the media only does what it does to serve us. I find it increibly hypocritical when I hear the hags at work (you know the ones who read US magazine instead of the newspaper) talking about how the NY Times has celebrity obituaries already written. Yes its morbid but these are the same people who drooling over all the news about Heath Ledger's death three weeks they are part of the problem.
As for the Senators, they get off easy in terms of media scrutiny. Try playing in Montreal, Toronto, New York, Detroit or even Vancouver. Ottawa is a small town compared to these places. And sports teams need the publicity, especially the Senators who play in the middle of nowhere and have one of the smallest markets in the league. If I were a Sens fan I'd be scared about whats going to happen when the team slips a bit in maybe four or five years.

Kathleen said...

oh and agreed on Jacques Martin, he's a great coach who got SHAFTED in Ottawa for all those years. Like here you go Mr.Martin, all this talent but we'll put Patrick Lalime in the net.