Although my time as a journalist could qualify me as a news “veteran,” my time as a reporter and “editorializer” in the wrestling world is still quite young. I’m getting a feel for you, the readers, and for the business from a point of view other than as simply a fan.
One thing that is becoming all too clear, however, is that credibility in the online world can be much harder to establish and maintain than in the mainstream media. In the newspaper business, readers give you the benefit of the doubt most times until you make an error and prove them wrong. And, even then, with a simple apology and correction, they can be very forgiving.
Not so, it seems, on the Internet. But, that distinction may in fact be well earned. Let’s face it. Many more people can offer their insights, opinions, and their statements of “facts” on the Internet than have ever been able to do so in human history. And so, it seems – in contrast to the newspaper business – the burden is upon the credible journalists to prove themselves.
The point is easily demonstrated by a blog posting on Oct. 22 by a man in the wrestling business who I respect very much, Good ol’ J.R.
“I was asked what place ‘3rd Party Wrestling Journalists’ have in the biz and my answer is that they have a right to earn a living the same as any one else. They are not doing anything illegal or immoral and I am sure at times on certain subjects, keep the fans updated in more detail on the general state of the business than individual, company owned sites do. My issue, if one wants to call it an issue, is that many sites report things as fact, when in actuality, they are reporting rumors. I have been the ‘victim’ of rumors reported as fact on numerous occasions, especially when I was head of the WWE Talent Relations Department. Nonetheless, just as virtually any other site one can name covering any genre, there will be times when things one reads proves to be false, but thatâ<80><99>s not a revelation.”
You’re so right, J.R., in saying that false information can be found on sites covering any genre. But I hope that those who strive to bring integrity to online journalism help with the sour taste other not-so-responsible writers have left.
And, by the way, I can’t wait to visit your restaurant. Next time I’m in Oklahoma, I’m sure to swing in.
Well, we’re not actually talking about marijuana here, but using the name seemed appropriate to give this week’s PnP title a ring.
I wasn’t able to catch the show myself, but if you get the chance take some time to read the transcript from the CNN special “Death Grip,” which is posted in our Headlines section. It takes a few minutes to read, but does bring up some interesting points.
For instance, why does the media, and Congress for that matter, jump all over the wrestling business over the issue of drugs? While we can all agree that abuse of drugs is an important issue to address and correct in any realm, WWE is a business for entertainment. It’s a workplace that, like most others in the country, has a drug-testing policy in place.
Will Congress get involved if, for example, a reporter for CNN or Fox News, both huge companies, has a reporter die from drug use? I think not.
Now, say what you will, and I know that there are huge differences between the wrestling world and the comparison I just made. After all, reporters for the news networks don’t feel pressure – either from within or from others – to have large, sculpted bodies.
I still maintain my opinion that I wrote in another edition of PnP, however. Congress should stick with running the affairs of the nation and let businesses and individuals take care of their own matters. Blame the Libertarian half of me.
So now the creative gurus at WWE want us to “break the code” in the SAVE_US promos that have been running for weeks. Like many haven’t already been trying to figure out what each digit means.
Well, I’ve looked them over. It certainly seems that some of the plans may have changed since the viral campaign began. But everyone is pretty sure that it’s the return of one Chris Jericho.
Listening to him recently, however, I have to say that there’s that part of me inside that wishes we didn’t know. That part of me that loves looking in wonder as a magician pulls off his tricks, and enjoys being completely oblivious to what’s inside the Christmas package I’m opening.
It’s a trick that’s increasingly hard to pull off these days, where information and speculation is available at the flip of a switch. It’s especially difficult if you want to draw things out and really get the fans worked up wondering what’s at the end of the riddle.
Despite being one of the guys who helps move that information along, the kid in me still hopes that there’s some twist or turn in this whole build-up that none of us sees coming. A few surprises here and there are exactly what keep the storylines in this business exciting. Not knowing that HBK is going to dish out Sweet Chin Music to Hulk Hogan, or that Evolution was going to turn on then-World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton, or other moments like this â<80>¦
It’s part of the magic that’s so hard to maintain – but even a reporter like myself, someone who in some small part contributes to those who like to peek at their presents, can’t wait for the next time we’re all completely fooled or surprised.
The Punching Bag
Itâ<80><99>s your turn again! This is where, each week, youâ<80><99>ll find e-mails and feedback from wrestling fans on my Takes and opinions. You’re welcome to send yours, good or bad, to firstname.lastname@example.org. But be warned – the WWE isn’t the only ones I won’t pull punches for!
Starting off, I need to pass a personal note to Mark A. who asked a couple of weeks ago about Ricky Steamboat. I’m still working on that one, so keep checking back.
Hello there Sean,
Wow. Talk about a question that could potentially get a member of the Internet wrestling community in hot water! But, I was hired to offer straight-up opinions and that’s what you, the readers, deserve.
Let me start off by saying, Love the column keep up the good work.
Honestly, Rich, I focus on the WWE and rarely have time to catch TNA – although I will if I know Sting is going to be heavily involved. If what you say is true, however, then yes I would find that amusing.
Ok, I don’t get why so many people are saying this was the best raw in memory. I personally found it subpar. The only things that saved it for me was the Santino/Austin promo, the Moolah video and the first DX promo (I could do without big dick johnson). Is it just me or is Santino becoming one of the best heel talkers on Raw and WWE in general? My only beef with the DX thing was the chop to coachman. Yes it’s nit-picky but that same chop has knocked OUT Batista, UT, and many more but Coach was able to get up from it?? Does not make sense. I agree that the WGTT/Hacksaw/Crazy match was stupid and pointless. What was up with the back to back squash matches? They’ve already established the glamazon as the most powerful women’s wrestler, she doesn’t need to face Kelly Kelly to prove it. Put her against Mickie James or Victoria if they want to prolong her feud with Candice. I’m sorry but Snitsky just is not going to get over with the fans. People will always remember him as the guy in the horrific “Kane/Lita/baby” angle. Ok, thats my rant.
Well, Billy, as I said earlier we are all entitled to our own opinions. From a showmanship perspective, I thought it was an excellent show. I was disappointed with the in-ring time, but you can’t have great storylines with an overload of ring time, nor can you have the opposite. It’s been a while since I can remember Raw putting on such an episode as we saw this week, and while I look forward to more matches next week – my hat’s off to them for this one.
First off, I love the column, it took a while to grow on me, but now I can’t miss it.
Well, Andrew, glad you stuck it out and became a fan. I love the job, but gotta have readers – whether they love me or love to hate me – to keep it.
Sean “O’Mac” McGuinney’s day job is as a newspaper editor. He has been a journalist for nearly 10 years and has covered everything from government to sports. The wrestling? Well, that’s just been enjoyed since he was a kid. Don’t ask how long ago that was.
Have a news tip? Attended an event and want to send a live report?