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Why the Hunt thing is more important than the fag thing

We all know that Dana doesn’t hate gay people. On the other hand, his hatred of the MMA media is well known and documented. Josh Gross shares his insight into the Loretta Hunt situation from his vantage point as another journalist who’s been blackballed by the UFC:

Of all the things those of us out of favor with the UFC have dealt with, bullying remains the worst. Which brings me back to Hunt, and White’s comments on his video blog. As a result of the UFC’s stringent — dare I say virulent — media policy, it appears some with access have allowed the fear of losing a place on the inside to get in the way of doing necessary reporting. Important questions don’t get asked nearly enough, and White’s M.O. clearly explains why: screw with our business and we’ll screw with you.

White’s verbal assault has received attention for its misogynist tone and despicable anti-gay rhetoric (for which groups like the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation have demanded, and received, an apology). I don’t believe White’s homophobic — like many people that’s just how he talks. Really, White’s anvil-tongue is the clearest reason why he’s become a fan favorite and pseudo celebrity. But language is different than context, and in calling Hunt a “fucking dumb bitch” while rebuking her reporting as “absolutely fucking retarded” he offered in plain view the way in which much of the media covering MMA is regarded by him and his company.

Privately, he’s offered similar thoughts in my direction. But that’s different. That’s behind closed doors, or over text message. This was public, a sanctioned verbal bullying of a female (not that it should matter) reporter that would have, at a minimum, required a strong rebuke of any executive in any industry, if not an outright dismissal.

Having earned the reputation of a man who could make a sailor blush, White will seemingly get another pass, though I imagine it might be his last.

The reason I can’t shut up about this is that it hits close to home. As the Sherdog Cease & Desist we got yesterday shows, people that don’t like you will try to fuck your shit up if you give them even the most pathetic of excuses to do so. To a certain degree, Fightlinker’s existence on the web relies on a base level of goodwill: that all the big companies with lawyers on payroll don’t decide they’re going to gangbang us with bullshit lawsuits every time we say they suck.

Having Sherdog give us a good shove on the same day we see the UFC slap Sherdog around just makes me nervous. As the sport gets larger and the money keeps increasing, a lot of that tolerance we rely on seems to be going down the toilet. Stupid or not, lawsuits are a pain in the ass to deal with, and as much as I give props for what he’s doing, I really don’t want to become another Rich Bergeron. I will if I have to. But I’d rather not.

Every time I see the UFC attack another ‘enemy’, it makes me very nervous indeed. This is the company we have to hope gets our sense of humor, which basically consists of ripping half their roster a new asshole and regularly calling it’s owners a bunch of greedy cocksuckers. Because make no mistake about it: if the UFC decides they want to fuck with us, we’d probably end up living in a cardboard box by the end of the year.

So what happened disturbs me quite a bit. Sure, Dana got roasted for tossing the word faggot into his rant. But no one in the mainstream media past Josh Gross has really stepped up and addressed the issue of the UFC’s ‘fuck with us and we’ll fuck with you’ policy when dealing with people who cover the sport. And that’s the really scary part of all this, at least when you’re sitting within the UFC’s firing range.

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