Censorship
by
 Omission


(and I'm not alone...)

 

There exists in this country a sports-media complex. It is a vast, multi-billion dollar industry which self-perpetuates. The likes of ESPN, CBS Sports, NBC Sports, etc. fund professional and college sports which in turn provides these media conglomerates with the last remaining form of entertainment which must be watched “live” as it is happening. This wheel goes round and round. Someone like me, doing what it is I do, is a mere bump in the road (even if I’d prefer to be a tire spike).

I’m sure if you’ve made it to this website you have your own questions about the current state of what’s called “sports.” You probably also have concerns about the main stream media as well. What follows is my personal story of how these two entities can quiet a dissenting voice with very little effort. It’s not outright censorship. My work has not been banned. Heck, they even paid me to write for Sports On Earth (which, shockingly, was co-owned by MLB). What I’m about to discuss is what I call censorship by omission. In the realm of sports, to be publicized is to been seen, heard, or read in places like ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and Yahoo. But if those outlets refuse to assist in promoting one’s work, what is one left with?

After over four years of attempting to promote both The Fix Is In and Larceny Games, I am certain that the sports leagues and their media partners know about me and are consciously thwarting me.

This is a true documentation of what I’ve encountered. Some may see these snippets without the malice I attach to them. That’s fine. But I believe that the bulk of this points to something more at work that a constant “changing of the mind” from the producers and decision makers involved.
 
The troublesome aspect for me is not that I don’t get more radio airtime or sell more books. Far from it. The concerning part is that what I discuss is merely sports corruption which is something trivial within the bigger picture of life. Imagine what is happening to people out there with more important stories to tell. Who is preventing them from getting the deserved media attention? What vital information are we all missing because the main stream media is suppressing these people? Consider that as you read through the rest of this piece.

In certain places, I will not name the names of those involved for my own reasons.

 
Prior to the publication of The Fix Is In, ESPN sent writer Patrick Hruby to interview me for a written piece about sports conspiracies. He flew from the East Coast to my home in the Midwest, we chatted, ESPN bought me a meal, and he flew back home. In fact, he flew to several places and interviewed a multitude of people in relation to this subject—all on ESPN’s dime. Then ESPN did something Hruby never encountered before: they refused to publish the piece. Ultimately, he left ESPN and began writing for other sports outlets. After three years, the piece was finally released though not by ESPN. What spooked them? Read it here and see if you can find anything of note for yourself.

Strangely, just after the publication of Larceny Games (Sept. 2013), I was interviewed by a writer from Sports Illustrated (more on them in a bit) for an article also about sports conspiracies. This writer and I chatter for over an hour, and he related how he was “under the gun” to get this piece wrapped up and to his editor for publication. To date, no such piece has been released, and the couple of email inquiries to this writer about it have gone unanswered.

ESPN the Magazine would then see the release of an entire issue devoted to sports conspiracy. Despite the fact that I’m pretty much the only one out there writing and discussing this subject matter, no one from the magazine contacted me regarding any of the pieces in their issue. I find this odd considering I receive emails all the time from people who tell me they found my site by Googling “sports conspiracies” or “sports are fixed.”

In relation to both The Fix Is In and Larceny Games, I have appeared on well over 100 radio programs across the US and Canada. Some have been nationally syndicated programs like Coast to Coast AM, the Alex Jones Show, Chris Myers Interviews, JT The Brick, and the Steve Czaban Show. Despite this pedigree, I have not been able to appear on any national ESPN radio program, on the Dan Patrick Show [this actually changed since originally writing this piece. The DP Show had me on a year after Larceny Games was published to discuss legalizing sports gambling. I turned the interview into a discussion of game fixing], the Jim Rome Show, or on any ESPN radio programs on their local affiliates in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, or Dallas.

The fact that ESPN Radio Chicago refuses to have me on bothers me the most as I recognize it as my base of operations. After several failed attempts at contacting someone, anyone, in Chicago sports radio when I was promoting The Fix Is In, I finally landed an extremely positive response from a pair of hosts at ESPN Chicago. Their response read:

“We would love to have to some copies of your book, it seems very interesting. Please send some to our address: [which was included] When we receive them and look into it, we can try to do many things for you such as publicize it over our show, have you on as a guest to talk about it and much more. Good luck with your sales and we are excited to have your book.”

I did as instructed, and followed up a week later. No response. I sent another friendly email making sure the books arrived. Nothing. They never responded to any inquiry about this.

In the wake of Larceny Games release, I was again contacted by a different host from ESPN Chicago. We scheduled at least three interviews, yet every time my interview was going to air, "something came up" and was canceled. To date, ESPN Chicago has not had me on any of their programs.

In September 2013, a producer from NBC Sports Radio eagerly contacted me upon the release of Larceny Games and scheduled an interview with me on one of their nationally syndicated shows. When I contacted this producer a day prior to the interview to re-confirm times, etc. suddenly the interview had to be cancelled with no reason given. I was then asked to appear on a different NBC Sports Radio program, but under completely different circumstances (this was a situation I could not accept, and it felt as if I were being set up). When I politely declined to appear on this other program, I requested an appearance on the show I was originally offered…and no response has ever come back from this producer despite several attempts to re-connect.

[Out of the blue, this same NBC Sports Radio producer contacted me on Christmas Day to have me on the show the following day. I agreed and did the interview with the NFL Network's Brian Webber. You can hear the interview for yourself here, but suffice it to say that this was (a) not a real attempt to interview me and/or hold an actual conversation on the subject and (b) meant to marginalize me and my work. If this is the extent of Webber's interviewing skills, he should be embarrassed.]

I was also offered a TV appearance on Versus prior to it becoming the NBC Sports Network (same owners, new name). This was to be on the program The Daily Line to discuss The Fix Is In. One of the show’s producers emailed me the following: “What’s your schedule next week? We tape segments Monday-Thursday in the 4:30p-7p range. Let me know if there’s a day and time that works for you.”

Sounded like a done deal, right? The only problem was I had to pay my own way to New York City and couldn’t arrange for the trip a week’s time. But the producer was still game, writing: “I didn’t realize you were out of town. We typically don’t fly in people for segments like this. Let me know if you’ll be in NY and we’ll set something up.”

At that I said, “Give me two weeks and I’ll get myself to NYC.” He agreed to wait. In the meantime his gung-ho spirit changed as I was suddenly handed off to a second producer who wanted to read the book prior to finalizing my appearance. After two weeks of no responses, the second producer finally got back to me with this: “Unfortunately, we're not going to be able to be able to do a segment on your book. We are moving in a direction of interviewing more athletes and less interviews with people who cover the athletes and games.”

Notice it wasn’t “no interviews with people who cover the athletes and games,” just “less.” And in this case, my interview on The Daily Line went suddenly from “come on in” to “no thanks.”

I found that odd because Versus touted the now defunct program as “conversations of controversial and out-of-bounds topics.” I believe The Fix Is In more than fit that description.

Yet they wouldn’t allow me to appear once the true nature of the book was uncovered.

To a certain extent, I can understand the want not to promote a so-called conspiracy theory as the one presented in The Fix Is In. However, with the release Larceny Games—which is undeniable fact based on both interviews with industry insiders and authentic FBI files—this perplexing attitude within the sports media remains.

To promote Larceny Games, my publisher successfully contacted many of the major sports media outlets, all of which asked for copies to review. This list included ESPN, HBO, Sports Illustrated and Yahoo Sports among others. Not one of these outlets has done anything in relation to my work.
 

An editor at Sports Illustrated agreed with my publisher to run an excerpt from Larceny Games in the magazine. Then, he stopped answering emails. As luck would have it, a friend of mine happened to be friends with this particular editor. He emailed him on my behalf, asking about when the excerpt was going to run. When he received a response, the editor completely ignored his inquiry about the excerpt. The response and subsequent behavior of the editor made my friend question the entire affair.

Luckily, Gary Buiso at the NY Post wasn’t so skittish. He wrote a piece about Larceny Games focusing on the FBI file I uncovered relating to members of the Knicks shaving points for their cocaine dealer back in 1981-82. Amazingly, this story went viral. Also amazingly, the one sports media outlet that did not pick up this story was ESPN. Could that be because ESPN is the NBA’s number one financial contributor, or was the story really not that interesting?

While The Fix Is In was reviewed in the Wall Street Journal, Larceny Games has not received any similar review and/or coverage anywhere. After seeing one two-page excerpt from the book go viral, I would've thought others within the media world would take a chance and review it. I was wrong.

What’s also interesting about this media silence is that no one is even daring enough to cover my work in an extremely critical fashion. Reviews could be written to bash the book, my research, etc. Instead, it’s greeted with silence. Why? Because, as they say, “There is no such thing as bad publicity.” Reviewing the book negatively or having me on a program to discredit me still gets the word out to the public. Not all will agree with the reviewer or host. Some will pick up one of these books and see what’s inside for themselves.

But that can’t happen. My books, my research is a threat. It’s much better and safer to simply ignore my work than attempt to discredit it. That’s why I won’t be sued for what I write. A lawsuit would be great publicity, add to sales, and spread the word. No, it’s better to let me be. To shout from a street corner rather than a nationally syndicated radio show. To write on a lightly-visited website than to be read in Sports Illustrated [though that slightly changed thanks to my work with the Center for Investigative Reporting]. To post on YouTube rather than be a talking head on Outside The Lines.

I’m fine with that. Regardless of what they do (or don’t do) in relation to my work, I’ll keep doing it because I’m right. Games are being fixed by both organized crime and the leagues themselves (is there really a difference between the two?). And when that bubble finally bursts sometime in the near future, they won’t be able to silence it. Their censorship will ultimately fail.