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UFC Learning That The New York Media Spotlight Can Be Uncomfortable

(The Fertitta brothers doing their best to look upstanding.)

With their efforts to get MMA legalized in New York, the UFC has drawn a lot of attention in the Big Apple recently, and not all of it is positive. New York Magazine published its own piece on the legislative push and the UFC itself recently, and they aren’t afraid of a little implied character assassination in their articles:

Frank Fertitta III and his brother Lorenzo made the cover of Forbes last month for what the magazine dubbed their “Ultimate Cash Machine.” The Fertittas come from a long line of casino entrepreneurs. Their grandfather, Anthony, ran gambling halls in Galveston, Texas, where he was convicted for beating up a Life reporter who came to town to investigate the scene. Frank Jr., the brothers’ father, was running Las Vegas’s Fremont Hotel when the Feds busted up the place to break a money-skimming operation (he wasn’t charged); the ordeal is said to have become the basis for Martin Scorsese’s Casino. He later opened a local-friendly casino miles away from the Strip, and he passed that business to his sons.

Now that’s how you suggest that someone is an immoral crook without ever explicitly saying it. You just mention that they come from a long line of crooks, and then let the reader come to their own conclusions after that. I hope you’re taking notes, journalism students.

The article also adds some insight as to the obstacles the UFC faces in the New York legislature, and it doesn’t seem as if the Elite XC event on CBS helped them any.

During what should have been a routine vote in the Assembly’s Tourism, Arts, and Sports Committee on June 11, Assemblyman Bob Reilly, a former high-school teacher, made an impassioned speech against the legalization measure—he asked why a state that banned cockfighting and dogfighting should allow this—that turned several lawmakers against it. A new vote is scheduled for June 16, with an eye to getting it passed by the end of the session, June 23. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver doesn’t watch UFC fights. (“Not a fan,” he declares.) Senate leader Joe Bruno, a former boxer, hasn’t weighed in. And Governor David Paterson says he’s not sure how he feels about it. But he was listening to a recent CBS telecast of a fight, the first appearance of a mixed-martial-arts event on network TV, when one combatant’s bulbous, cauliflower ear popped and spurted a fountain of blood. “It was gross,” says the governor.

I’m sorry, he was listening to the event? The governor has time to listen to MMA events, but his eyes are simply too busy to be bothered with watching it? And how did he know it was gross if he didn’t see it?

EDIT: Actually, he’s blind, as readers pointed out, so it turns out I’m the idiot.


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Trippin Ninja- June 16, 2008 at 1:33 pm
I find it odd that New York is so strongly against MMA. I didn't realize they banned boxing back in its prime either. Kind of stupid considering you can go out into the streets of New York and find something more violent than MMA or boxing. Ignorant people make baby jeezums cry.
Dorothy Willis- June 16, 2008 at 12:39 am
Wouldn't it be wonderful if just by banning MMA, New York could change it's image? Heaven forbid they OK it and have an event as successful as Montreal did. But seriously, being blind is not as bad for a legislator as being deaf to what his constituents want. Now that is downright despicable behavior for a statesman, regardless of his sports preferences. Let New York stay out of the field and allow Chicago and St. Louis to monopolize the sport. That would certainly make Illinois born Matt Hughes a happy man.
Anonymous- June 15, 2008 at 11:12 pm
Boiling Tater,
The comma might have been in the right place:
In his first full day as governor, David Paterson acknowledged yesterday that he has had affairs with "a number of women" in the past - including one state employee.
CJ- June 15, 2008 at 9:24 pm
"But not as ridiculous as a state that elected a perv and blind, black dude as their representatives."

So a blind white dude would have been acceptable?
bfowlkes- June 15, 2008 at 8:46 pm
I've done worse before. For example, just last week I made fun of Cecil Peoples, who, as someone later pointed out, is a brain cancer survivor. Basically, my place in hell is secure.
Scott- June 15, 2008 at 8:14 pm
As I was reading the comment, I knew what comment was coming from mile away.
"Oh God, hopefully Ben knows he bl.....nope"
Yea, you just made fun of a blind person. Ouch...
Anonymous- June 15, 2008 at 5:58 pm
Just cause he is blind is no fucken excuse not to watch the fucken fight.
TheFeniX- June 15, 2008 at 4:45 pm
"he asked why a state that banned cockfighting and dogfighting should allow this"

Maybe because they have nothing in common. Dogs and Roosters don't have much choice in the matter, the dogs are usually tortured and starved to make them more aggressive, and death to one or both animals is more common than not.

This is the same bullshit fear-mongering they pull when they compare MMA to Roman Gladiators. Then again, since when do politicians not pander to the lowest common denominator?
martymarta- June 15, 2008 at 3:47 pm
ahh that is hilarious. I swear things like this constantly happen here...constant jumping all over people without the facts again, eh?! lol Still good reads but maybe you guys should be digging a little deeper haha
NealTaflinger- June 15, 2008 at 2:47 pm
Keep in mind that NY is also the state that banned boxing during the sport's Golden Era.
Boiling Tater- June 15, 2008 at 2:13 pm
"Myles" placed his comma in the wrong place, for the sake of clarity.

NY "elected a perv, and a blind black dude...".

Spitzer was the perv, whereas Paterson is blind? Or has there been additional FBI wire-tapping implicating Paterson too?
Todd22- June 15, 2008 at 2:13 pm
You might have been a little overzealous but one has to wonder if the point is still not valid.... Can a blind man truly grasp the brutality or lack there of, of any sport.
Myles Kilometers- June 15, 2008 at 2:03 pm
Overzealous? Probably.

But not as ridiculous as a state that elected a perv and blind, black dude as their representatives.

New York needs fewer blows to the maybe not passing this vote is a good idea.
bfowlkes- June 15, 2008 at 2:01 pm
Blind, huh? Well that explains it. Maybe I was a little overzealous then.
Todd22- June 15, 2008 at 1:51 pm
I feel it would call into concern his comments on how brutal it was because most of his reference on what the sport was would come from explanations from others who might be biased. It sounds a little harsh but one has to take what he says with a grain of salt
will505- June 15, 2008 at 1:44 pm
The governor is blind, but that would also make him a poor source for comments on how brutal a sport is.
Myles Kilometers- June 15, 2008 at 1:44 pm
He sure is blind. Nice research CP.

Along with listening to the fights he spent a good 5 minutes feeling James Thompson's gross ear for his fact finding mission. Apparently a large lump means "bad stoppage" in braille.
Boiling Tater- June 15, 2008 at 1:43 pm
On corruption and crookedness, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

With Xyience investors as only one recent point of reference associating the family, some shady manuevers and crookedness appears likely. And ordinarily, a cat doesn't change its stripes. And as history makes apparent, Xyience was not an isolated incident in terms of the family's fingerprints being found at the scene of the crime.

And on the NY Gov. listening to televised MMA rather than watching, he is legally blind, to some degree. So the issue shifts to selective hearing?
Blackleg- June 15, 2008 at 1:43 pm
Yeah he's blind. Not "pitch-dark" blind (as I understand it) but, facing the screen wouldn't have given him any additional info on what was happening.
adbyrd77- June 15, 2008 at 1:42 pm
Todd22- June 15, 2008 at 1:37 pm
Isn't David Patterson blind? Cause that would explain why he only heard the event
Bruce Lee- June 15, 2008 at 1:28 pm
"one who does not know that he knows not, is the most pathetic"