||Issue No. 194||05 September 2003|
Interview: Crowded Lives
Activists: Life With Brian
Industrial: National Focus
Unions: If These Walls Could Talk
Economics: Beating the Bastards
Media: Three Corners
History: The Brisbane Line
Trade: The Dumping Problem
Review: Frankie's Way
The Locker Room
Spicey and Tart
Tony and Pauline
PNG Bags Plastic
Fighting Words Craig Emerson
His Masters Voice
By Phil Doyle
- Never to work for the Telegraph
Peter Frilingos crawled out of Rupert Murdoch's preferred orifice this week to have a whine about NRL players threatening to boycott the Dally M awards.
The Dally M awards are a product of the rather appropriately named News Limited, so Frilingos is obviously prepared to comment without fear or favour on an issue with which he has no conflict of interest.
The whole News Limited approach smacks of the arrogance that tore the game apart - when Rupert Murdoch set out to steal the game from the people. Frilingos acts as Rupert's barking head. Sounding off in this week's Daily Terrorgraph about the Rugby League Players Association bringing about the end of the world as we know it.
The fact that the RLPA is setting out to make the game a sustainable proposition, and protect the interests of the many young kids, many of them teenagers, whose dream of playing NRL football is ruthlessly exploited by the corporate entities that now run Rugby League.
The Rugby League players managed to defeat the draft, a move that would have turned them into glorified slaves, and now they want to take back control of their own images - images that have been used to make a few fat men rich since the days of Tina Turner. It's a move that will iron out the sad charade that is the salary cap.
But the saddest charade is "Chippy" Frilingos' laughable attempt at objectivity. In a short and feeble rant, where intellectually he sets out to flay the RLPA with a wet lettuce, this tired old hack invokes the interests of the fans and compares the RLPA action to the 1989 pilot's strike.
Our Tool Of The Week is no stranger to competing agendas, evidence his performance during the Super League fiasco, when Chippy showed where his true commitment lay. While fellow reporter Ray Chesterton (an ARL backer) was hived off to cover the Police Royal Commission, Frilingos, after a brief flirttation with objectivity, ran the company line.
Frilingos invokes the pathetic 'think of the kiddies' argument, urging that the Dally M Awards should go ahead for the sake of the players and their fans. He manages to keep a straight face through all of this by not mentioning who actually sponsors the Dally Ms to start with. We are not ungenerous and are prepared to believe he may just have forgotten to include this fairly relevant piece of information.
He then urges us to consider that what the RLPA is doing - guaranteeing a minimum wage and entitlements for the most vulnerable footballers - is somehow going to "reduce opportunities for young players". It would be interesting to see what his position would be if, for example, he was an Auckland Warriors' player still waiting to get paid two years after his team had gone broke and been revived by some creative corporate accounting.
Then again, Frilingos doesn't actually play the game does he.
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