You can’t delete nothing on the Internet. I don’t know the backstory here, outside of what Derek posted about. I’m not sure what the relationship between Ryan (of Fightlinker) and Derek is like. I know Ariel can be a douche, but also that people overstate how much I dislike him (e.g., I dislike Mike Chiappetta much, much more).
But, I know what it’s like to have something pulled for reasons you do not agree with (and it was some of my greatest work). And fortunately, you can delete a post from your site, but you can’t delete it from your RSS feed. So. Here you go. The only edits I’ve made are to insert paragraphs. I’m not sure if Derek’s just a dummy, or if the Fightlinker RSS feed is wonky.
Ariel Helwani is a selfish parasite
If you read Bloody Elbow routinely, then you know that editor Brent Brookhouse has been doing work lately. His relentless reporting on Team Lloyd Irvin directly led to widespread defections and the (public, at least) disbandment of TLI’s affiliate program. Interviewing people that matter, cross-referencing sources, shoe leather, gumption, pounding the pavement - all the things that make good journalism good, Brent’s been doing them.
Last night was no different. Brent was able to get confirmation from Nick Lembo - head of the NJSAC, arguably the most competent athletic commission in the country which may have saved Thiago Alves’ life - that WSOF’s cage/canvas had not been approved as of less than 24 hours before the show’s scheduled start time. This lack of an “all clear” so close to an event’s start time is highly unusual and carries the possibility of getting the all clear before the scheduled beginning of festivities. While certainly not guaranteed to cancel the event, the snafu/issue was a big scoop, and Brent had the goods: the man who actually gives the approval.
So what does Ariel Helwani, MMA’s Journalist of Record (let’s just call him the Old Gray Lady)? Well, he first responds to questions about the story by saying he’s heard nothing of the sort. Then, he asks @AliDominance, executive vice president and match-maker for WSOF (surely an unbiased source and more aware of issues with the commission than, oh I don’t know, THE HEAD OF THE COMMISSION) and reports his “everything is good” statement without an ounce of context or scrutiny. THEN, he begins to poo-poo the story to Brent himself, saying he’d be shocked if the event was cancelled (despite his aforementioned and completely voluntary admission that he doesn’t have any idea what the fuck he’s talking about).
Today, when it was announced that WSOF had finally been given the OK by Lembo and company to hold their event, Ariel tweeted this: https://twitter.com/arielhelwani/status/315584782652284928
Keep in mind that the answer, regarding the canvas and the post pads, was already reported by Brent last night.
Here’s Ariel’s follow-up: https://twitter.com/arielhelwani/status/315585430017937408
Why not just give Brent the credit for breaking/surrounding this story and then move on? Why try to re-report and ask Lembo questions he had answered 12 hours earlier to the journalist that asked him first? I’m not going to post my repartee with Ariel in the interest of, you know, you guys continuing to read this, but it’s out there. This one, however, is a keeper (after he had conceded my point and before he blocked me, which is an ever-shrinking amount of time):
Ryan, are you that dumb? Update (comments are busted for me): This isn’t about a personal Twitter fight. This is about Helwani first belittling and then attempting to take credit for the work of another journalist after acting like anything but. He should and is being called out on it. I’ve routinely posted pieces on Fightlinker and elsewhere that attacked people when I thought they were wrong, including Kid Nate, Snowden and Josh Gross (http://fightlinker.com/josh-gross-begins-even-numbered-years-with-ufc-hit-pieces-0/) and it’s never been an issue before.
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