All the hype last week about Chris Botta losing his press credentials for Islanders coverage got me to thinking. Could the Leafs do the same? The Islanders reasoning was the Botta changed from “reporting the news to making the news.” Isn’t this what happens all the time with the Leafs?
Take yesterday’s Brad Richards ridiculousness, for instance. Even Bob McKenzie felt the need to weigh in and say that it’s unlikely Richards gets traded for a while, if he gets traded at all, and that Toronto is definitely not a lock to get him. Sean Fitz-Gerald’s article at the Post was quite comprehensive, and included that the “rumours” that surround Richards are pure speculation. Nobody says who is speculating, with it seeming like the media thinks the fans are speculating (which is true to an extent) while fans who aren’t speculating think the media are the ones making this into a story.
Whichever this is, it happens around the Leafs all the time. It smacks of creating the news instead of reporting it. This is a rather mild example, and with a team like the Leafs it is very hard to differentiate between what is a story just because the Leafs are mentioned and what may have legs. There is a certain amount of hype attached to everything around the Leafs, meaning if you throw their name into a story for no reason, you’ll automatically add viewers or readers. I just wish it didn’t happen.
When I see things like the Toronto Sun’s photoshop of Nazem Kadri and then hear Burke’s comments that "The Sun has great value if you own a puppy or a parakeet" well, then I wonder why MLSE continues to give them press credentials. I know it’s not realistic to wish for this, but it’d be nice to see some retribution. MLSE can’t cut off any of the major media outlets, or even just a few of their writers, because it’s not just the Leafs involved - it’s also the Raptors, Toronto FC and the Marlies who all need the coverage. It’s probably better to hope for some self-imposed improvement of standards. But if the Islanders - a team that needs media coverage way more than the Leafs ever will - can do it, why can’t we?