Story of a story

I should be talking about the game, but there’s something else I want to mention first. The last few days have been a fine example of the worst  tendencies of the media covering the habs. The story about Kovalev published yesterday by Marc de Foy is a perfect example of how things go wrong when journalists are too lazy to do their job properly, and too eager to get fresh news. It’s not a scoop that journalists feed each other, and that the media often looks like a snake biting its own tail (I don’t know if this means anything in English, but in French it would be “un serpent qui se mord la queue”, and it’s exactly what I want to describe). But this shows how it can go bad quickly.

Just look at how things happenend:

The story first broke out on the french speaking website (which is the website created by the journalists of Le Journal de Montréal, currently on a lock out). There, Marc de Foy claimed to have spoken to a Russian friend of Kovy. According to this source, Kovalev blamed the young players for the problems of the team, and said he didn’t think he would play again for the Canadiens. Also, according to Marc de Foy, the same friend told that Kovy wouldn’t talk to the media until the situation is settled.

I found it a bit weird to think that Kovalev would tell this to a personal friend, and that this friend would then go to Marc de Foy immediately. But so far, the story is at least plausible.

Then the story gets picked up by RDS:


The key sentence here is “informateur russe”. The alledged Russian friend becomes an informer.

Then the story is reported by Habs Inside/Out, the habs devoted website run by the Montreal Gazette:


And suddenly, just like that, the Russian “informateur” turns into “Russian newspaper sources”.

So we have Habs Inside/Out reporting that RDS reports that Marc de Foy reports that “Russian newspapers sources” report that Kovalev blames the youngsters and won’t return to the team. Wow. This is amazing journalism.

But wait, it’s not over! The story then gets picked up by TSN. And finally, in a last (?) twist, on TSN, Darren Dreger gets his phone out of his pocket, and says he received an email directly from Kovalev, denying the entire story. Kovalev says he never spoke about his teammates and he wants to come back and play hard for Montreal. (here is the video)

darren-dregerNice tie, Darren

Of course, Marc de Foy will say he still has faith in his source. I’m not saying he is wrong, I have no idea, and there’s no way to really know. It could really be a case of quick backpedaling from Kovalev. What I find really sad though, is how this little piece of info was picked up (and sometimes distorted) by the main news websites so rapidly, and without any further verification (you can’t really find bigger websites than RDS and Habs I/O when it comes to habs news).


About the game in Washington, now. I haven’t seen it, but apparently, it was good. And encouraging. That’s really what I was hoping for. Last night, the final result was almost less important than the manner. But tonight, it’s a bit different. This game in Pittsburgh will mean an awful lot. After a good team effort last night, it would be very good to see them win against a talented team clinging to its playoffs hopes.


Posted February 19, 2009 by Grrrreg in Uncategorized

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