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Tabloid Journalism - Are The Winnipeg Jets the Charlie Sheen of Hockey?

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The only reason that I'm adding my 2 cents (ok, with inflation it's like half a penny) is because I had something planned to be written when I got home, and then Tim had to go and steal my thunder with a totally killer rant on the situation of the move. But aha! I managed to find a way onto BWA at work via, of all things, Internet Explorer. The heck does that even happen?

Anywho, Tim's rant is more focused on the move itself and the Winnipeg fans (the small, vocal and obnoxious minority), but he mentioned the press in passing - specifically the TSN.ca article that was nothing more than a re-write of what they've written 100 times before. Hey, whatever gets you hits, right? Whatever gets you attention.

Tabloids use much the same tactic. Who cares if what they publish is true or not? Hey, some "unnamed source" said that Charlie Sheen was seen going on a bender with Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, and Buddha! It's fact, because some unnamed source said so - slather it on the front page of the Star- bored housewives'll pick it up and buy it when they're in the check-out at Publix! Much this same mentality's being used when reporting about the Thrashers (and Coyotes) and their respective difficulties.

The TSN article rubbed me the wrong way, but after the ignorant Jets Meter, most if not all of my respect for them went out the window. ESPN would have gotten flamed if they'd done a "OKC Thunder Meter!" when the Supersonics were moving. Advocating the move of a team in a league that you have a broadcast deal with to a new city seems oddly like a conflict of interest. What I found hysterical is that it's based off of - and doesn't even cite! - a Winnipeg Free Press article published a day prior. That's tantamount to the Enquirer stealing and failing to cite a story from the Weekly World News.

Of course, stories about Bat Boy never showed up in the Enquirer, so apparently tabloids have more integrity than Canadian sports news outlets.

The WFP article is laughable in it's conjecture and whispered "unnamed sources."

"They want to sell and they have no options other than Winnipeg," a source close to the transaction told the Free Press. "They want the NHL to solve its issues in Phoenix and sell the team to (Matthew) Hulsizer so they can then sell to the group in Winnipeg.

"The NHL will let them sell. This market has failed once before and these guys have been trying to sell for years and no local group has come forward. They are desperate to sell and the Winnipeg guys are the only ones with money ready to go."

A "source close to the transaction?" Could you be more vague? For all we (and they) know, it's a janitor in the offices at Philips Arena who heard two season ticket reps gossiping. How do you even print that? It's my philosophy to not believe news reported in a gossipy style that is reported by someone too chicken to give their name. If it's legit, tell who you are to give your statement credibility. Or, if you're not supposed to talk about it, keep your damned mouth shut.

Forget the fact that the AJC's Chris Vivlamore and 680 The Fan's John Kincade have been reporting for two months about several interested groups willing to buy the team and keep them in Atlanta. Let's ignore the high powered clout of Tom Glavine getting people together to save the team. No matter the NHL Rules, which are clearly complicated in regards to the manner in which teams are sold and moved. Wait - the Board of Governors has to vote on these things? No! Teams just magically move to fanbases that "deserve them more." Or to where "hockey belongs." There's no bureaucracy and poor diplomacy here. Why do you ask?

Oh, and let's not take into consideration the amazingly long, protracted battle that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman's gone through to keep Phoenix in place. Or the fact that NBC would be less than thrilled with losing the nation's eighth largest TV market. There are so many things that make a move this summer improbable.

Sure, the Enquirer was spot on with the whole "John Edwards' Love Child" story. And probably a lot of the stories they've printed about Charlie Sheen being bat shit insane are true - they've been substantiated by the Warlock himself. There's a chance these rumors are true, and there's still a chance that the Board of Goverors can vote to approve a move. But honestly, don't believe that until Gary Bettman calls a press conference. Or until he stands on top of a building waiving a machete.