Monday, October 20, 2008

Oilers Brass are Petty Bureaucratic Tyrants

Quelle surprise.

I've been slightly out of the loop vis-a-vis the larger hockey blogosphere the past few days (my focus has narrowed to the Thrashers somewhat, if only for a little while, given the season just started and all) but poking around here and there the curious hockey fan will find that several blogs are discussing the case of David Berry, one of the gents who blogs at the fine Edmonton Oilers blog Covered in Oil.

For those who don't know the story already, Puck Daddy has a fine summary of what happened here, plus a righteous polemic against the authoritarian dinosaurs in the Oilers organization. I strongly suggest you read Berry's version of events here.

Basically, Berry's press credential ok'd him for a single activity: gathering quotes after the Oilers game for Vue Weekly, a news-and-arts publication in Edmonton (their equivalent to Creative Loafing or the Stranger or Austin Chronicle or LA Weekly, I think). Sitting around in the press box DURING the game--before his credentialed work was to begin--he decided to do a liveblog for Covered in Oil. The ruling bureaucrats didn't like what he wrote, so they stripped him of his press credential and kicked him out of the box.

Like Puck Daddy says, in this case the Oilers organization is "technically right, morally wrong." All censorship-happy authoritarians are pedants at heart; they always point to some rule-regulation technicality to justify their censorship or muffling of unwelcome opinion. This is the case for EVERY kind of writing, from hockey blogs to the Chinese poets whose work was abolished by the Chinese government in the 70s, 80s, 90s, and now and designated "spiritual pollution."

In other words, this has nothing to do with the proper credentialing and authorization and whatnot. It has everything to do with content. The Oilers folks didn't like what Berry had to say. He uttered unwelcome thoughts, so they censored him.

I really have nothing original to add to this discussion. This post has more to do with solidarity than offering new insight. Let it be known I agree 100% with Puck Daddy. What he said.

1 comment:

FrenchCatalogues said...

It's just not allowing DIY in writing. The thing that the NHL and all the teams have to realize is that blogs do matter and people do read them. Most blogs are silly, but as we know there are ones out there with true merit. Sadly it happened in Edmonton and not Dallas where we could make remarks about them forever. It's sad. Oh well, the can't stop us from writing no matter what.