Jun 8, 2011

Arena: The Fox Business Network Disaster

CH: Fox Business is holding a special on their network all day as part of "Red Ink" that is chronicling the pros and cons of the Nassau Coliseum site. Unfortunately, they have only seemed to focus on the negatives.

AT: I'll dissect this as Carey goes along.

CH: The first guest they had on was Mike Picker, the senior vice president of the New York Islanders. The reporter, Adam Shapiro, asked Picker legitimate questions about the project. Let's face it, no information has been released so there is not much for anyone to go on right now. Picker explained the best course of action was to go into a debt service through public financing. He explained the economic benefits are better this way as each dollar that goes into the Coliseum will be paid back to the taxpayers. The reporter then referred to Picker as Kevin, forgetting his name. Unprofessional, but it is what it is. To be frank, there was not much to be upset about through this interview. Picker handled himself well, as the questions about the benefits of a publicly funded arena are fair.

AT: Picker did a good job with tough questions faced with little info around right now. Perhaps this interview would have been a lot better after the mid-June date that Mangano promised the information on the new Coliseum. With that, I think Fox could create some legitimate, fact based questions and Picker would've been able to quell the rumors and misinformation. Though as an addict of things political my whole life, I know that's next to impossible in some cases.

CH: In the next hour, Fox Business brought on County Executive Ed Mangano. Again, fair questions were asked to Mangano. The County Executive stated that the Nassau Coliseum will close in 2015 if nothing gets accomplished there. To go along with that, Nassau County will lose jobs and revenue, which is worse than the status quo. He said the plan works because the voters will get a percentage of gross revenue that the facility takes in, which is what Picker said as well. Finally, Mangano said the Plan B if this doesn't go through is to potentially have another RFP period, but without a Coliseum. Again, all fair questions and Mangano handled himself surprisingly well compared to recent interviews.

AT: Mangano seemed prepared. He's really taking some heat from some very misinformed people. That's the life of a politician, I suppose. Mangano is, as we all have been, trying to get the facts out there in any way he possibly can.

CH: Finally, Fox Business brought on Desmond Ryan, our friend from the Association for Better Long Island. Based on what he said in Chris Botta's interview and in Newsday, it's known by now this guy is only it in for himself and not for Long Island. Ryan's plentiful misinformed opinions included that he believes the Islanders won't necessarily be leaving Long Island if they don't get a new building. He also referenced that since the Thrashers moved with a relatively new building, the same could happen to the Islanders. Finally, he said he's not sure the building will pay for itself, which to be fair is a valid point since no numbers have been released.

AT: It's almost laughable how misinformed this guy is. How long do people think the Isles will really stay at NVMC? 'Till the walls start crumbling down, as John Mellencamp aptly sang? The Isles are gone if this doesn't happen. Wang has already made it known he's explored non-Nassau/Suffolk locations and seemed quite intent on moving. And the comparison with the Thrashers is a joke. This is a team with a fanbase that HAS supported the team in years past. The Thrashers fanbase was always relatively non-existant. It's a terrible analogy.

CH: Getting back to his first two points though: How irresponsible could Fox Business be on this matter? Had they done any research on the matter, they would know there is a 30-year lease for the Islanders attached to the new Coliseum. They would also know that Commissioner Bettman and Islanders Owner Charles Wang have said more than a number of times the Islanders are not going to play in that building one minute more than they have to. Had they done any research, such as going to Long Island's newspaper or going to the most popular Islander blog on the Internet, they would have seen Ryan's true intentions.

AT: It's typical mainstream "news" media, sad to say. Pretty much all I can say on that.

CH: This feature on the Nassau Coliseum project did not outline any advantages, just faults. Now, a lot of that has to do with the fact Wang and Mangano have not released any formal details on the project. It's been more than a month after the initial press conference was held. That is just as irresponsible. However, in the interest of fairness for all parties, Fox Business was better off waiting on this story until the plan came out. They didn't do that. All I know is this feature did not help the Islanders, it did not help Mangano, and it did not help Long Island. Wang and Mangano need to release their plan - and soon, or the negative articles will continue to get worse.

AT: Well, we all know bad news gets higher ratings than good news. It's a shame, but it's the way it is. Absolutely agreed with Carey on this, it's only helped to rile up negativity that's mostly based on misinformation. The sooner this information comes out, and the more elaborate and detailed it is the better. 

Credit on the Desmond Ryan interview: Snowman39 from Islandermania
For tweets on the Picker and Mangano interviews please follow us @VoteYESNYIArena

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