Media Bias...or the Brits hate us


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Media Bias...or the Brits hate us

Postby joel » Mon May 05, 2003 11:42 am

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/athletics/2998177.stm

The preceding link is for a BBC Online article about Tim Montgomery's 2nd place finish in Mexico. I am struck by the strong bias in Britain against American athletes or anyone at the elite level if something doesn't go perfectly for them in a given race. The article reads like a supermarket tabloid account of Monty's race and pre-race comments. I'll keep this post short and let you find each of the distortions yourself.
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Re: Media Bias...or the Brits hate us

Postby Guest » Mon May 05, 2003 1:18 pm

Our sprinters earn this type of coverage in the foreign press because of their big mouths. The US media gives sprinters and certain types of big mouth athletes a free pass. Not so in other countries.
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Re: Media Bias...or the Brits hate us

Postby Guest » Mon May 05, 2003 1:50 pm

Unless they have toned down the article since you posted it originally, I thought it was a pretty fair bit of reporting.
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Re: Media Bias...or the Brits hate us

Postby Guest » Mon May 05, 2003 2:31 pm

Joel. You must be a little paranoid if you think that's "biased" and has "distortions"! Seems to be totally factual to me. The Brit press can be brutal, especially against mouthy athletes. However, they're very fair...slag off their own just as much! Ask their soccer and cricket teams.
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Re: Media Bias...or the Brits hate us

Postby hillrunr » Mon May 05, 2003 3:02 pm

This seems like typical British coverage. No bias toward American athletes that I see and, honestly, I'm not seeing a whole lot of distortion. The Brits are very good at saying what's on their minds and that's what the writer of this article is doing.
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Re: Media Bias...or the Brits hate us

Postby joel » Mon May 05, 2003 3:44 pm

Ok. I'll be specific about my beef.
-The headline reads "SHOCK LOSS FOR MONTGOMERY"
In a race frequently decided by hundredths of a second, is it really shocking that he lost? by a hundredth of a second
-"[His] season got off to the worst possible start"
Um, he got 2nd. He didn't get hurt, and he didn't get last or run 11 seconds or anything like that.
-"The american boldly said before the race that he would be targeting his world record"
In pre-race interviews he says that this season he is in better shape than last year, inferring that his season goal will be to break the world record. I think the media twists this to mean this race.

In any event, I think that the BBC is misreporting this story. It's a classic case of building up our heroes for the sake of tearing them down. When Radcliffe gets 2nd in something later this year its going to be a SHOCKER!!
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Re: Media Bias...or the Brits hate us

Postby MJD » Mon May 05, 2003 4:09 pm

>In pre-race interviews he says
>that this season he is in better shape than last
>year, inferring that his season goal will be to
>break the world record. I think the media
>twists this to mean this race.

Here's what he is quoted as saying:

"When I run May 3, they're going to say, 'This guy is going to crush the world record.'"

AND

"It's my first race since Paris last September and I'm looking forward to going out there on Saturday and breaking my own world record,"

AND

"It's possible. I'm in better shape than when I broke the world record last year. This means a lot to me mentally. The track record is 9.95sec – I'm going to go under 9.90sec."


That's not inference. One thing he isn't is very consistent with his remarks. And actually, given the posts above, I expected actual trash talking in that article which is merely a factual presentation of the facts. Could have been a lot worse given his statements.
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Re: Media Bias...or the Brits hate us

Postby WK » Mon May 05, 2003 4:13 pm

Concerning your specifics:

1. It probably wasn't that 'shocking' that he lost. Although being a fairly recent world record holder tends to turn people into race favorites. So then, it is always at least a 'surprise' when you loose. Very surprising (and 'shocking' is a term one can then use) was indeed the athlete who beat him. So I do not see much wrong in 'shock loss'.

2. You are right. It was surely not the 'worst possible start'. Unless of course you are one of those people who think winning is everything (and loosing nothing). But I doubt even an ambitious sprinter like Montgomery will think this was the 'worst possible' scenario.

3. You are right again. I do not recall an article in which Montgomery said he would target the world record in Mexico. I did however read several reports in which he said to be in sub-9.90 shape (2,0 meters of tailwind would probably have gotten him fairly close to that).

Concluding: You have a point the story is somewhat exaggerated. A 'misreporting' story I don't think it is, but some facts may have been misreported.
However, with 'marknhj' I do think you are wrong about at least the first part of 'strong bias in Britain against American athletes or anyone at the elite level if something doesn't go perfectly for them in a given race'. And definately about the second option in your own headline ('or the Brits hate us'). For one because indeed, if Radcliffe would get second place to an internationally fairly unknown foreign runner, the headlines would read 'SHOCK LOSS' - and they would be in bolder headlines on more prominent newspaper pages than this story.

just my 0.02,
WK
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Re: Media Bias...or the Brits hate us

Postby Guest » Mon May 05, 2003 4:30 pm

>Ok. I'll be specific about my beef.
-The
>headline reads "SHOCK LOSS FOR MONTGOMERY"

-"[His] season got
>off to the worst possible start"
-"The american boldly said before the
>race that he would be targeting his world
>record"
In pre-race interviews he says
>that this season he is in better shape than last
>year, inferring that his season goal will be to
>break the world record. I think the media
>twists this to mean this race.>

Does seem to be a bit on the hysterical side but I don't see the anti American bias. A US runner is the World Record Holder and it's quite possible that if Dwain Chambers was the WRH you'd get a similar hysterical reaction.

jd
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Re: Media Bias...or the Brits hate us

Postby Guest » Mon May 05, 2003 7:54 pm

Don't the British people hate being called Brit's?
Or is that what all the "Americ's" think? cheers.
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Re: Media Bias...or the Brits hate us

Postby lagsun » Mon May 05, 2003 8:31 pm

Check out Montgomery's quote from this article on the IAAF Web site:

“It wasn’t acceptable, there was a lot of commotion at the start (after the false start). I’m the champion, I should have won but I’m pleased to get my first (individual) race out of the way after all the recent pressure,” said Montgomery.

http://www.iaaf.org/news/Kind=2/newsId=21084.html

My question is, what is he the champion of? Is he referring to the 4x1 relay?
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Re: Media Bias...or the Brits hate us

Postby Guest » Mon May 05, 2003 8:55 pm

Monty's pre-race bable as well,
"“This race means a lot to me mentally," said Montgomery. "The track record's 9.95 (Hines) and I'm definitely going to go under 9.90sec….I came here to put my body on World record pace and attempt something that will still be remembered when I go down to sea-level."
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Re: Media Bias...or the Brits hate us

Postby magpie » Mon May 05, 2003 8:59 pm

>Don't the British people hate being called
>Brit's?
Or is that what all the "Americ's"
>think? cheers.

yanks, mang.
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Re: Media Bias...or the Brits hate us

Postby Conway » Mon May 05, 2003 10:00 pm

I think you picked an article about the wrong athlete to judge bia or non bias against American athletes ... While American sprinters do tend to talk trash, Tim suffers routinely from hoof IN mouth disease, making statements that would make most other sprinters shudder ... The British press was actually kind given the statements that Tim made ... And I wouldn't use Tim as the poster boy for US sprinters when it comes to what they have to say ...
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Re: Media Bias...or the Brits hate us

Postby Guest » Mon May 05, 2003 10:53 pm

In the context of this (British) report Montgomery is a sprinter who was a being slightly arrogant, fair game for any journalist. The fact that he was an American sprinter is quite irrelevant
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Re: Media Bias...or the Brits hate us

Postby MJD » Tue May 06, 2003 4:46 am

I don't know if Henry Romero is a yank or not but he seems to have missed the winner here:


http://www.reuters.com/newsPhotoPresent ... 1000493222
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Re: Media Bias...or the Brits hate us

Postby Guest » Tue May 06, 2003 6:23 am

good point mjd, Macrozonaris the Canadian won the race. This is typical of the way American Reuters agencies covers international events . Unable,un-willing to mention "other" country athletes. Great race for Nic, this is a breathrough for the young sprinter.
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Re: Media Bias...or the Brits hate us

Postby Guest » Tue May 06, 2003 7:55 am

Are we concerned with how fast Montgomery runs/ran, or anyone else for that matter, or are concerned with their public speach training?
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Re: Media Bias...or the Brits hate us

Postby Guest » Tue May 06, 2003 7:56 am

back to typing class. that should be speech.

jd
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Re: Media Bias...or the Brits hate us

Postby Guest » Wed May 07, 2003 10:23 pm

i think the british media are like this in general. they trashed blair during the war and the constantly make fun of the royal family. i remember a few years back linford christie was complaining that they would call him "the jamaican native" when he did poorly.
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Re: Media Bias...or the Brits hate us

Postby luv2run » Thu May 08, 2003 10:09 am

>good point mjd, Macrozonaris the Canadian won the
>race. This is typical of the way American Reuters
>agencies covers international events .
>Unable,un-willing to mention "other" country
>athletes. Great race for Nic, this is a
>breathrough for the young sprinter.

Reuters is a British company. www.reuters.com
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Re: Media Bias...or the Brits hate us

Postby Guest » Fri May 09, 2003 8:12 am

The media love to jump all over anyone who says one thing and then does another. Consequently, it shouldn't be any surprise when they make a story of Montgomery's running almost 3/10 of a second slower than he predicted. Why some sprinters hype themselves so much is beyond me; they just end up losing credibility when they run - even when they run a decent race like Montgomery did.
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Re: Media Bias...or the Brits hate us

Postby dl » Fri May 09, 2003 10:48 am

I agree that athletes shouldn't hype themselves excessivley, but what you have to remember is that every meet that has an athlete such as Montgomery wants to publicize the fact that has a World Record holder competing.

During pre-meet publicity interviews, I'm sure someone will ask Montgomery before every meet, "Do you think you can break the world record in this meet?"

I'd guess that Tim would say something like, "I feel I'm capable of a world record every time I step on the track. This meet is no different."

This can easily be made to sound as if he's predicting a WR when he isn't necessarily doing so.
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