Steve Deane: Taylor's mistrust of media

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Elijah Taylor's comments were completely presented out of context. Photo / Getty Images
Elijah Taylor's comments were completely presented out of context. Photo / Getty Images

Yesterday morning I was ashamed of my profession.

At 9am on Thursday Kiwis player Elijah Taylor provided a group of six journalists with his honest and frank opinions about the fact that no Warriors coach had yet been appointed.

The search had gone on too long, said Taylor. The players all thought the job should go to assistant coach Tony Iro. Oh, and the players hadn't been told anything by management and that was frustrating.

Speaking out against his bosses like that was brave. It was refreshing, we journalists agreed. Made a nice change from the usual cliche-ridden drivel. Gave us all a good story to run with. What a top bloke.

So how did we repay him? We (and I use that term loosely) shafted him. Of course we did.

A few hours later Taylor's comments were overtaken by the news leaking out that Matt Elliott was the new Warriors coach. They were out of date before they could even go to print.

Or so you think.

The next morning an Australian newspaper disingenuously (and that's being kind) passed Taylor's comments off as having been made after the Elliott news emerged. All of a sudden Taylor was the spokesman for a Warriors "PLAYER REVOLT" against the new coach.

That story, frankly, was a load of rubbish (unless you count a couple of tweets from players expressing their disappointment over Iro as a revolt, which some strangely do).

Tellingly, the journalist with the lead byline on the REVOLT story wasn't even present at the interview.

New Zealand radio picked the ball up and ran with it, with Elliott being grilled on the imaginary revolt.

At a summit meeting of Kiwi journalists in Townsville, we discussed plans for the day ahead. Top of the agenda - following up on the REVOLT story. Sure, it was rubbish but it was in the loop so we had to follow it up anyway. To not do so would invoke the ire of our bosses, who would demand to know why we weren't following THE story.

Making a stand against bullshit reporting simply wasn't an option.

Poor old Elijah, but oh well.

We reporters moan about players and access to them all the time. Mostly we can't talk to them when we need to and how we need to. When we do, they don't say anything interesting anyway.

Can we blame them?

For what it's worth, here's Taylor, moments after unwittingly putting his hand up to lead a revolution against his new coach, talking about players' obligations to the media.

"I don't think some players understand how much the media promotes our game. They don't understand how important the media is for the fans.

"The fans pay our wages at the end of the day.

"They don't understand how important the media is for our game. When they understand that, they'll acknowledge it more."

I wonder if he still feels the same way?

- NZ Herald

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