Don’t you just love social media. We’re all absolutely sick to death of hearing about Mitchell Pearce and his latest bender so don’t worry, I’m not going to bore you to death by adding my $0.02 to that mountain of copper coins. But something extremely unsavoury has come from this little incident, far more disgusting and damaging than any of Pearces drunken antics.
For anyone who has been living in Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart or anywhere that doesn’t give a fuck about Rugby League, you can read up on the whole incident here and here. For everyone else, I want to talk about the text messages and the vile witch hunt that has come of them. Whilst I personally do not believe Pearce should be copping the bullshit he is, I certainly do not think the person who sold the footage should be. But even more so, I absolutely condemn the fact that an innocent bloke with zero connection to the incident has been “named and shamed” as the person who sold out Pearce and has since had his life turned upside down.
Please note, unlike a couple of grubs in the press and social media, I have chosen not to publish the details of the innocent man and have edited all my screenshots and pictures.
Yesterday evening rugby League reporter Josh Massoud appeared live on Channel 7 news and revealed the details of a Sydney man who he claimed was the instigator of the whole thing, sharing text messages that were scathing of Pearce and showed intent to cash in. I don’t know what kind of due diligence Massoud took to verify his information but his results were 100% incorrect. I dare say they came from League Unlimited (Hi LU, thanks for the permaban!) a footy forum many lazy journos lurk in to get their scoops. Only problem is 90% of the forum members are unhinged lunatics with little grasp of reality. Yet despite this, he has gone live on air in prime time and hung an innocent man out to dry.
Since then, a number of ex NRL has-beens have jumped on social media and publicised this mans details along with a torrent of threats and abuse. Prominent Mensa member Bryce Gibbs has had his $0.02. This is a bloke known for being one of the dumbest to have ever played the game and is most famous for being absolutely steamrolled as a young bloke by respected legend Mark O’Meley. Liam Foran has also joined in. You may have heard of his brother Keiran Foran. Either Keiran hogged all the good genes and ended up with the lions share of the skill, intelligence and looks, or Liam is in fact adopted. Which may explain why he was charged with assaulting a relative. As for Chris Walker, he less said about his rugby league career, the better.
Cue the angry mob. Since these brain dead morons shared their enlightened views with the world, footy forums, facebook groups and social media has exploded. The cesspit is at boiling point with multiple keyboard warriors expressing their desire to see the innocent party receive swift and brutal justice, along with defaming him at every given opportunity.
Even The Australian has joined the party. What was once considered a respectable outlet has joined in the mud slinging. Poorly, I might add as the journalist for this piece starts getting the names wrong half way through. A hiccup for the otherwise reputable publication, one would hope
This is why I hate social media. These grubs have basically ruined a random persons life in the short term, with no regard for facts or decency. The dubious word of one reporter who has brushed with defamation and misinformation before has been taken as gospel. And nobody is being held accountable. Even if they do retract their statements, it will be buried on page 24 in the corner and will receive a tiny fraction of the airtime the initial allegations received. The damage has been done.
What if something bad happened thanks to their incitement of violence? I hope dearly that it doesn’t. But given the intelligence and the nature of those spreading the bile, it would not be surprising. These gronks would forever have blood on their hands. Yet still social media is being freely used as a tool to spread lies and slander with no consequence for those who do so.
I am calling for Josh Massoud & Channel 7 as well as the 3 stooges to come out and publicly retract their statements. And to do it properly and with the same gusto as when they led the personal attacks on an innocent man. Anything less and they are potentially guilty of inciting a crime and should be hung out to dry themselves. I’m not a fan of litigation culture we’ve long seen in the US but if I was the man in question I would be seriously weighing up their options. They have tried to ruin someones life with no remorse or consideration, and they need to be held accountable.
Your move, Massoud & co.