There's been an ongoing discussion on this board about bloggers and journalists, and whether some MMA sites benefit by trading favorable coverage of the UFC in exchange for access, in violation of the normal rules of journalistic objectivity.
Today, however, I saw a flat-out example of graft in the MMA media that would get any self-respecting journalist fired from an outlet like the New York Times or the Washington Post. It appears that a Middle Easy writer accepted $2,000 in free roll money in exchange for free advertising and acting as a spokesman for online gambling site BetDSI.Check out this story at Middle Easy:
Sometimes there are perks to sitting alone indoors all day in the same creaky office chair for hours on end, if you do it enough, someone might give you money and force you to gamble with it. Our friends BetDSI digitally laid $2,000 smackaroos in the palm of my eagerly outstretched hand earlier in the week with the promise that I would bet $500 on 4 huge upcoming fights, as long as I explained why to them over the phone and on their new MMA Oddsbreakers show with very little time to prepare. It was nerve wracking but Jon Luther was there so I felt somewhat safe. Watch me throw away a bunch of money below.
Now perhaps there is some other explanation or I am misunderstanding the blog post, but it certainly sounds like he's accepted $2,000 to shill for an advertiser. The fact that it's a "free roll" for gambling is no different.
Many journalists won't even bet on events they cover, because it can skew their objectivity. But actually taking $2,000 in gambling money from an advertiser?
What's next, hyping the Facebook undercard in exchange for free TUF t-shirts?