Thursday, March 11, 2004

The Media Frenzy

Only one thing could take over the newspaper headlines, the television newscasts and the open line show topics on this day. Corruption in Ottawa, crime in the streets and troops in fields afar all took a back seat, as the Bertuzzi decision was announced. The Todd Bertuzzi/Steve Moore incident has ruled the media universe the last few days, with everyone weighing in with opinions on just what has happened to the national Sport.

The Globe and Mail has apparently turned over the entire newsgathering effort, to coverage of the much reviewed incident of Monday night. High profile national writer Roy MacGregor has delivered a number of well thought out essays on the incident of note and the state of the game in general. Jeffrey Simpson, normally assigned to the political beat turned his pen on the league, expressing revulsion at what he believes has become of the sport. Christie Blatchford was recruited from her study of crime today to do a point, counterpoint session with Stephen Brunt. Blatchford, a former sports reporter taking the approach that the media need to take a deep breath amidst all their hysteria, Brunt calling for the game to be changed for the good of all. Sportswriter Eric Duhatschek taking the approach of examining if the decision today, will change anything in a league that lives by the "code". All in all the Globe's attention to the story, is going to have the paper's payroll department cutting overtime cheques for a month.

At the Toronto Star, Damien Cox presented two well thought out pieces on the Bertuzzi affair over the last 48 hours. One an examination of the culture of violence in the NHL, the other a plea for a change before someone dies!

The Sun newspaper chain gave pretty well everyone a chance to vent on the emotional issue. Steve Simmons expressing the thought that the NHL, needs to show it is serious now about reforming the game. Eric Francis urged the league to send a strong message to it's players. Ryan Pyette explored how history would look at Bertuzzi's actions. Morris Dalla Costa called for an end to the prehistoric machismo running through the NHL. Al Strachan trying to put himself into Colin Campbell's shoes and what he would be looking at in his decision.

So many observations on what seems to have taken over our national agenda. The media will eventually return to the other stories of the day, the ones that impact Canadians in their day to day lives. But today everyone had an opinion on the state of the health of Steve Moore and the state of the health of the game he plays.

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