Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Sean Avery Lynch Mob Owes Him an Apology

At times it looks like this country has lost its moral compass. That is because basic concepts like due process, the presumption of innocence, and a person's constitutional rights get plowed under by the "rush to judgement" mentality that runs amok here.

Sean Avery's arrest in LA on August 5th provides more evidence that most people in the media practice a "rush to judgement" and pure speculation approach to journalism. And bloggers are no better. Waiting for the facts to be verified and perhaps doing some basic investigative journalism gets tossed out in favor of taking snarky shots and making wild speculation about someone, who it turns out was falsely accused of a crime.

This has become standard operating procedure for the media and most bloggers. The Duke lacrosse case was another example of a rush to judgement, damn the facts. The mainstream media had three Duke lacrosse players convicted of a brutal gang rape in short order. This despite a boatload of evidence that eventually proved they were framed by a serial lying prostitute, who is now in jail for murder, and a DA who wanted to win an election in order to max out his pension. He also went to jail. However, these boys had their reputations damaged forever by the smear campaign waged by the mainstream media led by the NY Times.

There is also the recent Dominique Strauss-Kahn case, where again a fancy pants French guy gets the bum's rush to a rape conviction by everyone in the media. But wait, it turns out the accuser in this case has some issues too. The accusing maid, Nafissatou Diallo, also appears to be an opportunistic serial liar.

So it it should not be surprising that the lynch mob formed quickly when Avery was busted in LA. Let's pile-on the bad boy gone bad. Gossipmonger TMZ certainly led the lynch mob with their apparently made up accusation that Avery challenged cops to a fight and he taunted them, by calling them, "fat little pigs."

Making stories up is what TMZ is good at and bloggers just lap it up. But, you would think the mainstream media would verify that kind of accusation. No, not the Rupert Murdoch owned, ethically challenged NY Post; their motto: trust TMZ, verify nothing.

Did any of the mainstream media attempt to interview anyone else who was at the LA party and might have witnessed the incident? Doesn't look like it. Why lift a finger to check a story when TMZ has it all verified?

Here at the RangerPundit we identified via Twitter that Avery's girlfriend, Hillary Rhoda, and model Heidi Mount were probably at the party. Did anyone attempt to interview them. Nope, doesn't look like it. Why seek out the facts when speculation is so much easier. Does anyone give a damn about the truth anymore, or is that some quaint concept from the olden days?

The Larry Brooks guilt-presuming story in the NY Post back on August 7th is an especially nice hatchet job. The story, entitled "Confrontation with police can't end well for Rangers' Avery," is a 723 word character assassination of Avery. Among other things Brooks says the following:
Avery has spoken with both Garden CEO Jim Dolan and Rangers president/general manager Glen Sather. One supposes Avery has apologized privately to the two men who, truth be told, are the reason he has a job in New York, which is to say are the reason he has a job in the NHL...
Here Brooks is speculating that Avery "apologized privately" to Dolan and Sather because he was guilty. Brooks also writes:
Harm has been done here, not to the Rangers or the NHL necessarily, but to Avery, and it's self-inflicted...
The harm that has been done is to the presumption of innocence by Brooks. Brooksie concludes with this indictment:
Avery has a place on the Rangers as long as he can contribute. But there is no excuse for what happened in Laurel Canyon on Friday night, whether it was criminal or not.

No excuse at all.
Again, what exactly did Avery do? He held a private house party that got a little noisy and a police officer tripped. It was not criminal and when did we give up the right to have noisy house parties in this country? Larry should rename the column "Cheap Shots" instead of Slapshots.

Where was Larry today when the report came that the battery charge against Avery was dropped? Nowhere to be heard or read. The NY Post ran the newswire story that the Avery was cleared. Let's see if Larry "lynch mob" Brooks makes a peep about Avery's innocence.

Another one to turn to unwarranted speculation on the Avery incident was the Yahoo Puck Daddy, Greg Wyshynski. He wrote:
And hey, a high-profile NHL player getting arrested for battery in August has become a semi-annual tradition -- it's just that Avery wasn't in the back of a Buffalo cab.

This feels like your classic late-night party screw up. Trouble is that when you're Sean Avery and your critics are always sharpening their knives, this isn't the type of news that simply lingers in the police blotter....

That said, we are impressed that Avery challenged the cops to a fight -- sorry, a FIGHT -- and apparently didn't immediately turtle.
Wyshynski dribbles a little slime on Avery and goes with his speculation that "this feels like your classic late-night party screw up." Why wait for more facts and why question the reputable TMZ? Let's just go with our gut in these situations, right? A good guess might be right half the time. Thank you very much Puck Daddy.

This snarky rush to judgement attitude was evident across the blogosphere.

Here is a sample of some of the junk that went up online:

Melt Your Face Off blog:
The C**knocker, Behind Bars
Sean Avery Arrested For Assulting LA Cop --
he [Avery] goes all in with his NHL career by assaulting an LA cop. Rodney King salutes you, Sean, as long as you tone down those racist taunts. And we all know you’re the gayest straight athlete that has ever lived, so stay strong in the LA big house. I know it’s gonna be tough without your Vogue and Cosmo, but there’s plenty of a** play to go around. Nighty night, keep your b**thole tight!
NHL Feed:
Sean Avery goes to jail --
NHL tough guy and noted d***he bag Sean Avery reportedly spent 7 hours in a California jail yesterday, after he was arrested out side his home for ‘battery of a police officer’. What a classy guy. If there was one NHL player that is straight up dumb enough to push a cop, my vote would have to be for Sean Avery...
"Where Do I Go To Get My Reputation Back?"
— the question asked by Ray Donovan, Reagan's Labor Secretary, after he was found not guilty of corruption charges

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  • Luke said...

    As usual, Pundit, very well put. Thank you.

  • jb said...

    Morality, like art, means drawing a line someplace. -- Oscar Wilde

  • mhurley said...

    Nice Going Pundit. You are not alone. As soon as I heard about the Avery story I cautioned my fellow Ranger fans not to rush to judgement until all the facts where in and I ripped Larry and the Post reporters a new one.

    After the way Larry Brooks behaved in this Avery situation and his disgracefully insensitive treatment of Derek Boogaard, he'd better give me a wide berth.

    If I ever run into Brooks on the street, I'd be hard pressed not to punch the bum in the mouth. I wish John Halligan were still alive and maybe he could put a mutt like Brooks in his place.

    Like I have previously said, the Rangers should revoke Brooks press credentials indefinitely. No one is asking Brooks to be a homer, just not an asshole.

  • Marc Weissman said...

    Quite the contrary!!!

    "Innocent" or "guilty", Sean still owes US and the Ranger organization a public apology for the embarrassment and humiliation he caused everyone involved during all of this.

    Fact: The LAPD still did show up at house b/c of the noise.

    Fact: He clearly did not address the complaint and was thus taken into custody.

    Fact: It's not like he's be an "angel" up until this incident both on and off the ice.

    Case closed! :(

  • mhurley said...

    Please. The league holds a double standard as far as Avery is concerned. You know everything Avery does gets him crucified.

    The Patrick Kane cabbie assault gets swept under the rug but Avery is demonized?

    No one is canonizing Avery. He's no saint. All Pundit and I are saying is for the media, the fans and the league to drop the double standard with regard to Avery and for everyone to stop rushing to judgement.

  • jb said...

    Regarding Marc W.'s points:

    The Noise: Avery's house is on a very narrow street where the houses are extremely close together. One neighbor did complain about the noise. But other neighbors interviewed said they were not bothered. Police in many states can issue a citation (fine) for a public disturbance. But, I read that SOP for most cops is for them to issue a warning first. Somehow this escalated from a visit to an arrest, without any mention of a warning. The evidence we have suggests it wasn't all Avery's fault.

    Taken into Custody: The cop's credibility on what exactly happened is weak. They said Avery shoved one of them. How we learn from the witnesses, who say the officer got his foot caught in the door. The cops were the ones allegedly saying he called them "Fat Little Pigs". But that claim has been dropped and no one other than TMZ ever reported that. If you were making up a taunt that sounds like a good one to make up. We don't know if Avery even had a chance to address the noise complaint. I don't think you can assume that LA cops are always the good guys. Their truthfulness has not been good in this case.

    No Angel: This comment about Avery not being an angel mimics the exact same slander that was directed at the Duke lacrosse players after they were arrested. What does that have to do with this incident. Are you saying someone should be treated differently in the eyes of the law or the media because of their past?

    I thought Lady Justice wore a blindfold, which means:

    justice is or should be meted out objectively, without fear or favor, regardless of identity, money, power, or weakness; blind justice and impartiality.

    Did you note the part that says "regardless of identity"? You're saying that we should ignore this part. That is not a fact and that is a not how this country works.

    You've shown you're prejudice against Avery and against fairness and impartiality. Yes, the case is closed on you.

    Avery consistently took the high road after this incident, while most of the media and the cops took the low road.

    You are on the low road too, sir.


    I agree with your comments. Avery definitely deals with a double standard on and off the ice.

  • niki jane said...

    ~~~plz,,,Sean C. Avery had target on his gorgeous face when he opened the door to lapd....Sean was a innocent victim ...If more citizens behaved in the like of SCA, ,then we would not have need yo hire law enforcers....Love you Avery...

  • HW20 said...

    he handled the situation classy "itll work itself out" ...and it did...keep strong #16

  • Frandom Notes said...


    I hope someday you will let me buy you a beer. Thank you for writing this.

    - Frandom Notes

  • RES said...

    Marc...sounds like you live in a glass house....
    Go JB!!!

  • Johnny Machurek said...

    you forgot to add my article about it on there lol. I stand by my article I don't think it was judgmental in any way

  • jb said...

    Johnny M,

    Yes, you played it fair and square in your Avery story.

    The court of public opinion plays by much different rules than the court of justice.

    The court of public opinion now runs on internet time, which means shoot first, shoot fast, and don't ask questions.

  • Johnny Machurek said...

    Also, I'm not huge on Avery I think he is kinda of a douche on the ice but off the ice he has not had problems. I think it was unfair to automatically assume he did, as I do with any athlete unless there is a constant pattern.

  • jb said...

    Sean Avery is a complex guy, who is also a terrific hockey player. I don't think the public really knows him very well.

    His charity work goes unnoticed by most. The Ranger Pundit has mentioned it before:
    Sean Shines for the Kids

    The fact, that he'll take time to drop in on the Ranger Pundit's birthday party says a lot about the guy:
    Sean Avery Crashes The Ranger Pundit's Birthday Bash

    Card carrying member of the Sean Avery fan club here.

  • Johnny Machurek said...

    that is cool stuff, I don't really have a problem with him off the ice, just something he does on the ice. He does to me at least come off as a nice guy off the ice I just think his on ice persona precedes him and people lump on the on ice with the off ice.

  • blow-me-down said...

    Thanks Pundit.

    It was another case of undue attention and judgement of Sean.

    I told all kinds of folks up here in the true north about much worse transgressions by many other players, but no, people in general just seem to love doing a big pile-on when it comes to Sean. A bunch of LOSERS and WEAK THINKERS. I love shoving it back in their faces.

    Here's to hoping for a great upcoming season for Sean!

  • Anonymous said...

    Given LAPD's reputation for brutality and over-reacting to any incident in which officers find themselves embarrassed or even questioned, I'm not inclined to take an officer's word for anything until the incident is fully investigated. This is not to say the officers lied or were at fault, but to base a column on LAPD veracity without proof is no different from going after Avery from a continent away. What's not at question is that Brooks continually displays traits associated with being an a'hole who has outlived his usefulness as a reporter and has no credibility as a columnist. This will amount to nothing. Avery will probably apologize to whomever wishes one just to get it over. And LAPD will forget about the whole thing. It's a shame Brooks will feel no repercussions. As volatile as Torts can be, every clip of famous Brooks-Torts disagreements has been pushed by Brooks well after any good can be salvaged. As for personal attacks on Avery, who gives a rolling rat's butt what some idiot with no info but for the voices in his head cares?