Preliminary comment by MORRISSEY BREEN, formerly sports editor for
Daisycutter Sports Inc. ....
Perhaps you thought the pathetic prognathous dolts (AKA "diehards")
shouting "GO-O-O the mighty Vodafone Warriors!" and "*** Dan Carter"
was as low as Rugby League fandom could go. You were wrong....
Attack on pokie reform came from 'up top', says Warren
by DYLAN WELCH October 04, 2011
A respected NRL commentator has admitted that ostensibly off-the-cuff
remarks during a rugby league final attacking proposed poker machine
reforms were provided to him by Channel Nine management.
The admission by Ray Warren, one of Australia's most famous sports
commentators and a former gambler, emerge as the two independent
politicians backing the pokie reforms lodge a formal complaint with
the broadcaster over the remarks, which they say break the law.
Warren and fellow commentator Phil Gould have been criticised for
statements made just after half-time in the preliminary final between
Manly and Brisbane on September 23. ''The proposed mandatory pre-
commitment that they've put forward is a rubbish policy. It won't
work,'' Gould said. ''It won't solve the problem they say they're
going to target, and it will do irreparable damage to the hospitality
industry. It won't work and it will hurt.''
The address of a website running an anti-pokie reform campaign funded
by Clubs Australia was also displayed on the screen as they made their
The pair's remarks were characterised as their views but on the day
after the match Warren co-hosted the Triple M sports show, Dead Set
Legends, and revealed that they were more than just off-the-cuff
''It was a directive from up top that it be read by at least somebody,
so I read it,'' Warren told his co-host, Dan Ginnane. Warren said he
supported the comments and while he could not be sure, he believed
they were a paid message. ''I think it was an ad, if you like, it
sounded like an ad. I think it was done on behalf of the rugby league,
who is fully supportive of the clubs.''
The independent senator Nick Xenophon leapt on Warren's remarks
yesterday, after the Herald gave him his comments on Triple M. ''It's
clear that the comments can no longer be referred to as off-the-cuff
commentary. It was very clearly an adverti***t and should have been
disclosed as such,'' he said.
He asked who was meant by ''up top''. ''Channel Nine? The NRL? Clubs
Yesterday he and fellow independent Andrew Wilkie wrote to David
Gyngell, the chief executive of Nine, making a formal complaint about
the comments. Their letter said Nine might have breached the
television code, the Elect***Act and the Broadcasting Services Act.
They warned Mr Gyngell that if his response was not satisfactory, they
would take the matter to the Australian Communications and Media
Spokesmen for Clubs Australia, the NRL and Channel Nine denied the
comments were paid for. Clubs Australia and the NRL said they had no
role in providing any script. A Nine spokesman would not comment on
Warren's claim that the remarks were provided by its management.
The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, said the government would press on
with the reforms, which are crucial to maintain the support of Mr