Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Tocchet Affair-Let's Put the Media Under the Microscope

Great fodder for discussion and digital molotov cocktail throwing this one. Jes Golbez's take is that this gambling thing is but a small blip on the radar, and everybody is overreacting. Acid Queen is sounding the horns of Valhalla in alarm, especially given the seeming involvement of Jersey-based organized crime. Ditto James Mirtle, who has a nasty little habit of investigating things like a journalist.

Based on the media's coverage of recent scandals, I started my initial take yesterday with the thought that it wouldn't be long until the media started turning this thing into an exercise in character assassination, hand-wringing and muck-raking. Yesterday, it was the image ESPN and other major sportsmedia outlets chose to depict Rick Tocchet. Black suit, black shirt, silver tie, constant scowl, knitted brow-very gangster chic'. Reminds me of the time, Time Magazine doctored OJ's picture to make him look more black and more sinister. To me, it's as much about the media, stupid.

Today or last night, ESPN's Sal Palantonio pulled his head out of Donovan McNabb's ass long enough to file a report for Sportscenter. The video that played behind his voice-over included highlights of Rick Tocchet the player and coach. The video chosen included Rick getting slammed into the corner boards, getting face washed, committing obvious interference and holding the stick penalties. The video of Rick the coach showed a guy kicking the bench and hollering disgustedly at Coyotes players from his station above and behind, chomping his gum in a fashion that would land you or me in middle school detention, and close-up shots of Rick's eyes shifting nervously left and right.

Tocchet scored 440 goals and registered 512 assists in an 18 year NHL career. Think they might have fit some snips in the montage showing an achivement or two Tocchet might have experienced during his career? Naahh, they just sampled those clips that could put him in the worst light. Just like OJ (who was actually sinister enough without the Photoshop tweaks).

My Prediction:
Janet Jones-Gretzky goes from glamourous former actress to flawed mother and addicted gambleress. The pics we'll see will go from shots to her and Wayne all gussied up and in happier times to a Gollum-like Janet diseveled and scrambling to get out of sight.

In other news:
Feb 27 is Casino Night with the Hurricanes. Gambling-it's the fabric of our lives...


James Mirtle said...

Heck, the media's always under the microscope these days. I'm working in one of the most hated professions there is! — and it's unfortunate considering all of the good work that is being done in situations like this that sensationalized TV detracts from that.

CasonBlog said...

Concur. There is a story here, but I know in the rush to be first with the most sensational report, many in the media will dump journalistic ethics. Today, it looks like the angle will Gretzky trying to cover-up to protect his wife. ESPN Radio guy this morning has a segment he's calling, "How far do you go to protect a loved one?"