I love me some great irony. Guess who’s ripping on CBS for not living up to proper standards of journalistic integrity? That’s right, it’s the UFC’s butt puppet: Kevin Iole!
There was no reporting of the kind done that one would expect if a similar incident had occurred on an NFL game broadcast by CBS.
Cageside reporter Karyn Bryant, who consistently is inept and whose interviews frequently elicit one- or two-word answers from her subjects, did no reporting. She should have been able to tell her viewers that Elite XC had to talk Slice into taking the fight and ultimately had to pay him a significant bonus to get him to say yes.
That fact flew in the face of the “he’ll fight anyone, anywhere at any time,” rhetoric that blow-by-blow announcer Gus Johnson kept spewing.
CBS had Bryant do yet another of her lightweight interviews with Carano. She asked Carano about failing to make weight again, but Bryant did no other interviews about the safety issues Carano might have been facing.
Carano needed three tries to make 141 pounds and she appeared severely dehydrated at the weigh-in.
Reporting at these kinds of events is critical. Suzy Kolber of ESPN is brilliant at it during NFL games, and CBS has Bryant there presumably to serve a similar role. She fails miserably.
I agree that it would be nice to have some sort of legitimate journalism going on, but CBS has a stake in seeing their investment grow. I don’t like the obvious pandering, excuses, and hyperbole … but I get it. I get it the same way I get why Kevin Iole repeats everything Dana White tells him to, and the same way I get why ‘legit’ MMA sites don’t cover a number of controversial subjects.
Everyone has an agenda – even Fightlinker. CBS’s agenda is to build up a promotion that they consider a gateway to a new audience demographic. Kevin and other sites want to keep their access, so they toe the UFC company line. It’s not an ideal situation, but so long as you recognize the inherent biases, it’s not that big of a deal.
I’m just amazed that someone like Kevin Iole would act so naively outraged at what he saw on Saturday night’s CBS show. If ‘reporting at these kinds of events is critical’, where was Kevin’s outrage after every UFC event? Where was he when Randy Couture ceased to exist during the UFC’s programming? Or when Sean Sherk’s lightweight reign simply de-materialized into thin air without explanation?