Friday, November 19, 2010

My follow-up with Bill Daly on the Colin Campbell e-mails

Or, how to get involved in the 'access' debate

A lot has happened this week. Tyler Dellow kicked it off Sunday night with his post about the public Colin Campbell e-mails and connected the dots. There were three major points to take away from this:

A) Colin Campbell has a foul mouth.

B) Colin Campbell gets pissed off when calls go against his son.

C) Colin Campbell has harsh words for players who complain about calls.

Campbell called Marc Savard "a little fake artist" and it appears that he also had some harsh words for Jeff O'Neill. Remember, these e-mails are the ones that the NHL chose to publish, and even though the names, teams and dates were retracted, who knows what evil doth lurk in Stephen Walkom's inbox on issues that don't pertain to Dean Warren.

This was a huge scandal, the hockey fan community collectively thought, and surely will spell the end of Colin Campbell's reign.

But the mainstream media didn't really tend to agree. I turned on my TV one night, but the dial seemed to be stuck on Sportsnet One. I watched in horror as not just Tweedledee, in Nick Kypreos, but Tweedledum Doug MacLean defended the integrity of Colin Campbell from a 'oh, you just have to get to know him' standpoint.

The written portion of the exam was worse: Bob McKenzie provdided a chance for every Colin Campbell defender to say something. Damien Cox wrote an entirely stupid post that I won't bother linking to, before showing up on Twitter (presumably after a night of drinking with McKenzie at the Loose Moose) one night and saying stupider things that were eventually taken down. [His apologetic tweet]

But Cox does the thing he always does: he complains about how bloggers hide behind anonymity, baits the Internet, and blocks everybody he disagrees with. I had to download a new browser just so I could check Damien's feed for when he has his monthly Twitter meltdown. Hey, it happens to all of us.

The true issue here is access. Those of us who don't have access to Colin Campbell (as Versus' NHL Overtime does) don't have the means to ask Campbell questions on our own. I sort of left it up to the big boys, before getting a condescending message from Darren Dreger over Twitter telling me that, for a response, I "need to be more respectful".

Apparently trying to hold him to task to get hockey

An apparently disrespectful messsage. Luckily, my day doesn't hinge on the balance of how many prominent hockey reporters tweet me, nor on how many NHL VPs e-mail me, but it does upset me when they do cut the conversation off.
Bill Daly on the perceived conflict of interest

"The real concern is with the appearance of conflict, not with actual conflict itself. this is standard practice in situations in any business setting where there is a potential conflict, or a potential appearance of conflict."

"I couldn't disagree more. i think, if anything, the Dellow story has reaffirmed that the entire hockey community has complete confidence in Colie's honesty, integrity and ability to do his job in an even-handed, unbiased manner. the response in the hockey community in support of Colie has been remarkable."

Bill Daly on the assumption that hockey talking heads don't represent the fan base

"I also think its a stretch to suggest that virtually anyone in the main media has an interest in "protecting" Colie because they want a job in NHL Management. McKenzie? Kypreos? Dreger? MacKinnon? -- since when are these guys looking for hockey management jobs??? Far more likely that they are simply trained in the basic principles of journalistic integrity and responsibility -- don't just throw it out there, you better have a solid indication that its true."

[Ed. note--

--no biggie]

Bill Daly on character assassination

"Character assassination without foundation is a very risky business."
Oof. Too bad he wasn't talking about Colie's take on Marc Savard. I then asked Daly if Colie was going to apologize and didn't get a response.

Had I not been e-mailing, had I the opportunity to stroll with him for three minutes in an arena and grill him on these points, I'd have much stronger answers, ones that weren't carefully scripted.

So that's my e-mail exchange with Bill Daly. Nothing we haven't really seen before. Carry on.

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