Mainstream Journalism on MMA At Its Finest

Alan Campbell, writer for The Vancouver Sun, has one the most spectacularly moronic articles involving MMA that I've seen in some time. In fact, if I ever ran into Campbell or the primate editor who approved this screed, it's not out of the question that I'd blast them both in the face with a snow shovel.

The good news is that the article is eminently dismissable. It's essentially about Joe Rogan being in Richmond, British Columbia on his stand-up comedy tour and that he plans to talk to local public officials to get the bans on MMA in Vancouver lifted. The bad news is that Campbell utterly butchers MMA in trying to articulate the sport to readers. Por ejemplo:

In 2007, Vancouver City Council, after allowing seven UFC events, banned the sport from being hosted anywhere in its municipality, declaring it was too violent and could be a legal liability.

Here we have the confusion (or is it conflation) of "UFC" with "MMA". This isn't the worst crime in the world, but certainly far from acceptable for a writer at a paper the caliber of The Vancouver Sun. The gaffe that really gets me, however, is the following:

UFC events are usually watched live by a large audience at a venue, such as a casino, and also beamed live via pay-per-view to homes and packed bars across North America.

Rogan is regarded as the voice of UFC and that's why Blank is happy to let him do all the talking when it comes to canvassing city hall.

"That's why Rogan is exploring this on our behalf as he knows more about it than anyone," Blank added.

"If and when he approaches the city we'll talk more about it then."

UFC fighters don't wear any form of protection, aside from fingerless padded gloves, and compete inside a caged ring until one of them submits, much like they do in professional wrestling.

Emphasis mine. Now, let's be candid: this is neither the first nor the last mainstream journalist to get the details about regulation completely and utterly wrong. Why all the fuss? MMA is banned in Vancouver. We cannot ask the newspapers and mainstream outlets to take a favorable stance on our accord. But we can ask them to be truthful. That is their responsibility any and every time. Instead, in the banned territory where the UFC is working to have the ban overturned, we have a writer who can't be bothered to do 30 seconds of a homework and a rubber stamp editor either too lazy or too incompetent to fulfill the obligations of his/her job. The errors they commit - in an article about a very serious issue within MMA - is beyond amateurish and into appalling territory. And it also has the distinct honor of inadvertently positioning itself as complete misinformation.

I don't like to police the ranks of other bloggers and mainstream journalists and I've encountered a slew of awful articles, but the combination of the sensitive issue in a city grappling with that sensitive issue in one of the leading papers is too much for me to pass up. So, take a bow Vancouver Sun. You really outdid yourself this time.

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