Friday, October 22, 2010

Why the media's ignorance in Brett Favre story matters

Journalists who seem to have a knack for missing what's important are at it again, this time on the sports pages over what they are assuming is a "scandal" involving Brett Farve sending graphic photos to former Jets masseuse Jenn Sterger while Favre played for the Jets.

The alleged photos and voice mails were somehow obtained and sold by a 3rd party to a web site for what some are saying was a substantial amount of money. But the most significant fact surrounding the incident is that it occurred 4 days before Favre's current team, the Vikings, were to play the Jets.

What has gone completely over the heads of these supposed journalists, is that the fact that these photos which were sent to Sterger two years ago, were made public 4 days before the Vikings played the Jets and that is the real story because for that reason alone a lot of people could land in a lot of trouble. And Favre isn't one of them. In fact the trouble could even include a federal prosecution.

Sterger obviously never had any problem with whatever Favre sent since she said or did nothing about it for two years. And despite what many people seem to think, there is no harrassment unless the person on the receiving end is feeling harrassed. And Sterger clearly wasnt.

The real issues have nothing to do with Favre. The real issues are, who was the person who turned over the photos, when did that person come into possession of the photos, did they get the photos legitimately, who else knew they were going to be turned over to the web site 4 days before the Jets-Vikings game, and most importantly, what was the motive for doing it, something that has gone completely unmentioned by the myopic stampeding herd known as journalists. Because the motive for making those photos public 4 days before the Vikings were to play the Jets was clearly not money.

Those photos would have been even more valuable when Favre played for the Jets. They would have been even more valuable last yearm the week Farve played for the NFC championship against the Saints. They also would have been just as valuable monetarily a week after the Jets played the Vikings as they were before. So why were they made public by someone 4 days before the Vikings- played the Jets?

The obvious answer is to rattle Favre right before the Jets game, cause a major distraction, and upset him in order to influence the outcome of the game in the Jets favor.

It happens to be a federal crime to try and affect the outcome of a public athletic contest through nefarious means. It doesn't have to be a bribe. If some equipment manager snuck into the Vikings locker room and loosened all their cleats in order to help the Jets win, it would be a crime. Not to mention a lifetime ban from the NFL. The evidence is that these photos were given to the web site a few days before the game to upset Farve in the hopes of influencing the outcome of the game.

If that is the case ( and all the circumstantial evidence points to the fact that it most surely is) if it can be proved, the person who provided the pictures could be heading to jail. And since the rumor mill is that it was another Jets employee, a massuese, there could be major implications for the Jets. Any employee of the New York Jets including head coach Rex Ryan, the coaching staff or other employees, or anyone in the Jets front office who had any advance knowledge that these photos were going to be made public right before the Jets played the Vikings and said nothing could be facing severe suspensions, fines, even lifetime bans from the NFL.

If Favre did throw a pass at Sterger, whether it was complete or incomplete, the only penalty Farve is going to get will probably come from his wife. But the Jets as an organization as well as the person who intercepted the photos could find themselves, not doused in Gatorade, but in a lot of hot water. And the same can be said for the journalists covering the story who have dropped the ball. And why it matters is because the same state that journalism finds itself in with Favre applies to journalists covering the more important issues the country deals with on a daily basis.


Kevin said...

His name is spelled "Favre" for the record.

Marc Rubin said...

Thanks for the correction.