Fox Sports to focus World Cup coverage on football and ignore human rights abuses in Qatar - Reuters

Fox Sports to focus World Cup coverage on football and ignore human rights abuses in Qatar – Reuters

It’s no surprise that Fox Sports, the World Cup rights holder, intends to shirk journalistic integrity and fails to address the moral dilemma of selecting Qatar as host during coverage. of the tournament through the network. Frankly, the only surprise is that anyone who believed that Fox’s parent company, which in recent years has had a history of ignoring the truth for ratings and earnings, still had journalistic integrity.

Fox Sports Executive Producer David Neal confirmed that there will be no mention on its broadcasts of the long list of human rights violations in Qatar, including its criminalization of homosexuality, its treatment of women as subordinate to men and the death of 6,500 migrant workers since winning the World Cup 12 years ago.

“We really believe that viewers come to see us at Fox Sports for the World Cup to see the World Cup,” Neal told The Washington Post, acknowledging it was an editorial decision.

In other words: we’re going to shut up while they dribble.

The most appropriate approach would be to emulate the way NBC Sports addressed human rights abuses in China during its coverage of the Beijing Winter Olympics earlier this year. Host Mike Tiricoin the same way Savannah Guthrie, spoke at length during the opening ceremonies with experts from China who explained the country’s treatment of the Uyghur Muslim minority and other issues. NBC’s candor didn’t hurt the Olympics. But Fox, which according to The Post receives major sponsorship from Qatar Airlines, is there to tell us what is happening on the ground, not what might have happened during the construction of its stadium.

Stuart Holden (left) and John Strong will once again be Fox Sports’ No. 1 World Cup broadcast tandem.Matt Slocum/Associated Press

The network sticks to sports, and here’s the truth: it has a superb roster of broadcasters to help them do just that.

strong jeans and Stu Holden are back as the leading tandem, as they were at the World Cup four years ago in Russia. They will play their 300th match together during the tournament. Other pairings include JP Dellacera and coby jones, Derek Rae and Aly Wagner, Ian Dark and Landon Donovanand Jacqui Oatley and Warren Barton. Oatley is the first play-by-play female voice to call men’s World Cup matches for an American network. The five broadcast teams will announce matches on site. I wonder what airline they flew to get there.

Rob Stone and Kate Abdo are back as the studio’s main hosts, with Abdo handling the overnight accommodations. New England connections abound among analysts, who include former Revolution players Alexis Lalas and Clint Dempsey and former patriot Chad Johnsonin amateur soccer. carli lloyd, Maurice Edu, The Prime Ministerand Kelly Smith also have prominent studio roles.

Coverage begins Sunday at 11 a.m. when Qatar open against Ecuador on FS1. The USA men play their opener against Wales on Monday at 2 p.m. on Fox.

Holley makes a surprise appearance

Michael Holley was back on radio with Toucher & Rich on Wednesday morning.Jamison Wexler

It was a pleasant surprise on Wednesday morning to turn on “Toucher & Rich” in the car and hear Michael Holly as a third voice. Holley has been busy since leaving WEEI in February 2018 – working full-time at NBC Sports Boston, hosting ‘Brother From Another’ with a longtime friend Michael Smith on Peacock and teaching journalism at Boston University — but he hadn’t done radio until a Toucher & Rich producer approached him a week ago. With the usual third voice Jon Wallach planned to call 20-25 Celtics games on the Sports Hub when to be tall switches to TV when mike gorman is disabled, co-host Rich Shertenlieb made a list of potential replacements, and Holley was at the top of his list. There’s nothing scheduled regarding regular appearances, but Holley fits in perfectly. . . NESN says its household viewership of Bruins games is up 34% in terms of impressions — or estimated viewers — over last season. The most interesting detail of their data: impressions are up 44% year over year among women in the 25-54 demographic. Much of the rise in viewership can be attributed to an attractive squad playing a fun style under the new coach Jim Montgomery. I’d say the Red Sox, the NESN neighbor of the Bruins, could learn from that – put together a compelling, high-performing team, and the ratings and viewership will go up – but frankly it’s something that they should already know and strive to achieve. . . I will miss twitter if the jester billionaire by Elon Musk pride breaks it down for good, and I’ll write more about what is — was? — so good about it if his tweet went silent. A thought for now: those scoop-masters and information peddlers with massive followers, such as adam schefter (9.9 million followers) and Adrian Wojnarowski (5.7 million), must be very worried about the fate of Twitter. Their notoriety and salaries were bolstered by their ability to provide nuggets of information to Twitter even before working at ESPN.

Chad Finn can be contacted at Follow him on Twitter @GlobeChadFinn.

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