5/8/09

The Final Words on Point Blank/Quick Hit

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/08/2009 05:12:00 AM
There are a few things I am not going to miss when I'm done with NYIFC, this will be one of them but while I'm still here I felt obligated to write it for my readers.

Last week Mr Botta did something outstanding with Point Blank, he forced Newsday's Eden Laikin to go back and update a story that Kate Murray received campaign money from Frederick P Clark Associates where he was not even credited after his entry obviously forced the paper to update it's story.

Along with his excellent informative interviews and tireless blog entries he's forced Newsday (specifically Greg Logan) to work a little harder in my estimation this year after a great job as a team official his first year when he started Point Blank.

The only thing I have ever asked is the playing field be fair and level when it comes to coverage and commentary about our team vs any other.

If the media wants to rip all the teams or praise or the clubs at Newsday or any other publication, that to me is a level playing field and fair enough. I have made no secret there is one standard for other teams at Newsday and another for the Dolan's teams.

The Post and Daily News ripped the Dolan's and their teams this week but not Cablevision owned Newsday.

This brings me to Mr Botta and his Point Blank entry Thursday where he covered several subjects in somewhat of his state of blog address but also discussed the media where he concludes that he stands by the facts he wrote with an opinion that comes from the heart and the mind. Note-I am putting this part out of context because it was at the end of his writing about the media/Newsday.

Thursday in his entry he started off pulling no punches that Newsday refers to Point Blank as the “team-sponsored blog” - as opposed to the Rangers-sponsored newspaper - and he had never hid from that.

He then went on to write Long Island’s newspaper is owned by the company that owns the Knicks, Rangers, Madison Square Garden and MSG Network. That Neil Best who he praises as one of the finest media columnists in the U.S. and a man of impeccable honor, covers one of the major holdings of his boss. So do the Newsday writers on the Knicks and Rangers.

But here is where he completely disappoints me (and should you) in that he only singles out Wallace Matthews for blistering Charles Wang last summer who he felt has plenty of tough opinions on the Steinbrenners and at times has been vicious toward Jeff Wilpon. As for the Dolans, Wally doesn’t seem to have much to say.

Mr Matthews did one article (same as Barbara Barker) within the last year critical of the Islanders and Mr Wang at or around the time Ted Nolan left.

But all this begs the question from NYIFC how come Mr Botta did not write the exact same thing he did on Matthews about Anthony Rieber, Jim Baumbach (two Newsday writers Mr Botta himself told our fans to ignore last summer) Mark Herrmann, Arthur Staple, Steve Zipay and the teams beatwriter Greg Logan for similar conduct on a regular basis where Charles Wang and his club are constantly criticized but never even heard of James Dolan's teams?

The Islanders scored nine less goals then the Rangers and lost about five hundred and fifty more man games to injury. Until injuries caught up with them a year ago they were in position to make their fifth playoff in six years under Charles Wang.

It does not merit a parade and a mediocre result but does it justify the constant ridicule Newsday's staff has put on this team which effects attendance and influences perception?

To only single out only Mr Matthews here to me seems a easy way out from Mr Botta to pick on a peripheral (as in once a year hockey writer)and not the daily/weekly writers who have pounded our team and it's owner into the ground relentlessly at times (blog or print) over several years even before Cablevision purchased the club which has buried this team and it's owners reputation all over North America where those reports are usually based upon something reported in Newsday.

Anyone ever think Mr Wang also regrets buying the team because he spent 130m on players his second summer after the previous billionaire spent fourteen million on the entire team payroll and received far less criticism than Wang?

Maybe Mr Botta does not understand this but his blog a week ago had the readership and influence to force Newsday to correct a story, his reputation inside the media industry and ability earlier this year forced Mike Francesa to correct a story he was telling horribly wrong for over a hour on WFAN where afterward I wrote he saved Mr Francesa.

Point Blank has the readership to pressure Newsday to cover all the hockey teams exactly the same or lose their credibility.

Instead Mr Botta completely pulled his punches only singling on Matthews, my question is why and I ask it because you deserve better from him.

No Mr Botta, if you do read this, it's not an insult or making fun of you, it's asking a fair question I would ask of any media and one I think our fans have a legitimate right to know if you go in that direction.

Singling out only Mr Matthews over one article he wrote last summer seems you did not want to step on anyone else's toes on the Dolan's hockey writing staff or at best kept it peripheral for reasons you did not care to explain.

I was one of the folks who passionately wrote to you last summer and told you we needed Point Blank and to please continue it. We do not agree on the media much but you have been first class with NYIFC and I cannot write how much respect I have for your efforts.

Having written that you needed to make your point about the Dolan's entire writing staff, starting with the daily hockey writers.
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Folks, I did read the article on the possible Cablevision spin-off of Msg, I really have no thoughts on it other than to write as usual the Msg unit (however they present the numbers) lost money because they cannot generate enough revenue to cover what they spend and never breakdown the individual units.

Newspaper and Mr Levitt reported the Rangers lost money going into the lockout, never Cablevision/Msg.

If the board of Cablevision works in a way where ten people each have a single vote but Charles Dolan's vote counts for twenty votes what's going to change other than this is the Dolan's way to try and make more money in some manner which they have every right to do as businessman.






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