The ignorance of the mass media
I often listen to call-in press conferences. Most of the time press conferences aren’t too interesting. By the time the press conference is called, most bike editors already know the news. It’s mostly to get the mass media clued in to what’s going on. So when Versus had a press conference about their Tour de France coverage, I wasn’t expecting much. I thought I’d listen for a few minutes and then hang up. Versus had the “voices of cycling” Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen. They are both good guys and know there stuff. Okay, sure Liggett occasionally calls out the wrong rider, but you try talking non-stop for hours on live television! The Q&A started off all right with newspaper editors asking Tour questions. But one reporter really pissed me off with a question that showed he didn’t have clue about cycling. His statement was that Floyd Landis’ stage 17 was super-human and how can cycling be believable. It hit a nerve with me and I was trying to call in myself to yell at that jerk-off. It hit a nerve with Sherwen as well and he had a good response. He stated that the Landis’ effort was not super-human and that in fact the peloton gambled about catching him and then only chased Landis for 12 miles. Then another reporter made mention of riders under suspicion that had just raced in the Giro. Liggett jumped on that one and said that Petacchi had been found to have “non-negative” by just nanograms of Salbutamol, an asthma medication that he has papers for. Phil rightly said that the amount he is over the limit has no performance enhancing abilities. I hope that the mass media reports these facts and not the quick attention grabbing headlines proclaiming that all pro cyclists dope. But I won’t hold my breath.