Monday, June 23, 2008

Spinning It & Spinning It & Spinning It Well....

Spin (Def.):

In public relations, spin is sometimes a pejorative term signifying a heavily biased portrayal in one's own favour of an event or situation. While traditional public relations may also rely on creative presentation of the facts, "spin" often, though not always, implies disingenuous, deceptive and/or highly manipulative tactics. Politicians are often accused of spin by commentators and political opponents, when they produce a counter argument or position. In the modern world, most PR practitioners are discouraged to use spin because it is fundamentally counterproductive to the industry's ultimate goal of building relationships with constituents.

The techniques of "spin" include Selectively presenting facts and quotes that support one's position (cherry picking), the so-called "non-denial denial," Phrasing in a way that assumes unproven truths, euphemisms for drawing attention away from items considered distasteful, and ambiguity in public statements. Another spin technique involves careful choice of timing in the release of certain news so it can take advantage of prominent events in the news. -

Scott Moore, head of CBC Sports, has Blogged about Hockey Night in Canada dropping the Hockey Theme from its broadcasts. I have left my Comment, but for some reason, even though it says the discussion is still open, he is choosing not to approve what I wrote. He does state they will not post a personal attack, and I concur that it probably does come off that way. Really though, it's not a personal attack, it's just me stating the obvious. So, I'll post my two cents here, because I can. :P

For all of you here that are saying "Thanks for the truth", you are being led like a bunch of sheep. This is Mr. Moore playing "Cover Your Ass".

I have never seen more blatant use of a media platform being abused than here. It just gets worse as other Media outlets pick up the articles from the CBC. In legal circles, wouldn't this be considered "Fruit from the Poison Tree?"

The CBC is taking selective info from CP Releases and leaving out key information. (see "Cherry Picking" above) Your statement "it turned out we could not outbid CTV" is not true. CTV did not get involved until AFTER the CBC announced their new contest. You admitted, televised, one day after the news broke that the CBC had been developing this Contest for over a year. And why? Because the CBC obviously had no intention of keeping the song in the first place. Let go is what the CBC did, not lose it.

Because the CBC says one thing and has the power of the Media, it doesn't make it true. From Madeleine Morris, daughter of Dolores Claman:

"For 25 years, CBC paid my mother no license fees at all for the music...Last week, after more than a year of CBC bullying, threatening and endless changing of positions, we offered the CBC the following deal: forget the lawsuit -just pay our legal fees (which we incurred because of CBC's breach of usage as agreed in the license deal) and let's keep the same licensing deal as before. That's it...same as before. $500 per episode of HNIC. They did not accept. They kept bullying us, telling us the song was worthless, threatening to drop the song altogether if we didn't give them exactly what they wanted, absolutely on their terms. If not, they'd hold a national contest and replace the song." Read the whole Post here.

I'd also like to take the time to address the "Poll". The question asked was loaded and the Poll is discussed on the Inside the CBC Blog:

"A Canadian Press Harris-Decima poll (who did this Poll anyways? An update on the Inside the CBC Blog states: "To be clear, Canadian Press, nor any company, was the “client” in this survey. Harris/Decima frequently releases its data with CP, as part of CP’s media sponsorship with the firm. What?) reports that the majority of Canadians — 56 per cent — feel the CBC did the right thing by refusing to pay more than $1 million for a year’s licence of the song. (27% of people think the Corp should have shelled out.)

One Million Dollars is not an accurate monetary number for per year use, as is asked. What was also left out is that there were many options for consideration. And the CBC should really get their facts straight as to who really commisioned the Poll.

Quoting Mr. John Ciccone from the blog Comments:

"Wow. Sure sheds a whole new light on ‘polls’. Is that a typo in this headline, or did they actually so drastically incorrectly state “$1M for a year’s license”? If so, my hunch is that the other options of $500/game etc. were not presented either when polling. Can’t wait to find out.

Mr. Ciccone, who represents Dolores Claman, Composer of the Hockey Theme, has also been very forthright with all information pertaining to the whole breakdown of events and dealings with th CBC:

Chronology of Events (from

Although it seems to be crystallizing lately for most folks, inconsistencies in CBC announcements have prompted this outline of events leading up to their dropping the song to run a contest. First, the short form. Then more details below:

CBC is offered same-as-before deal. Offer open 'til next Friday.
CBC does not accept and advises that if no deal by Tuesday, they will move forward with a contest.
CBC extends deadline to Wednesday.
CBC states "I am sorry that we seem unable to continue our relationship."
We fax short notice that CBC is dropping the theme.
Country is angry.
CBC says 'What deadline?'
CBC advises that if they don't have basis for agreement in one minute, they will announce their contest.
We later fax short notice that CBC is dropping the theme.
CBC publicly announces their contest.
Country is angry.
CTV acquires all rights in the song.
CBC offers arbitration. At same time as contest.

From "The Spin Cycle: What you're not hearing" and please, go READ IT ALL, you'll be amazed.

It has become necessary to provide more details in the way of direct quotes given the inconsistencies in CBC's public announcements issued over the past week. The statements seem to be confusing some people. They're confusing me. And I was there.

Tuesday, June 17th (Globe & Mail):

Scott Moore, the head of CBC Sports, charged that CTV deliberately interfered with the CBC's negotiations for the famous song, suggesting it was a publicity stunt to embarrass the network."CTV management characterized their actions as 'saving the song,' " Moore wrote on a CBC blog. "But they knew the negotiation hadn't run its course. I firmly believe that if they hadn't inserted themselves into the negotiation, the result would have been different."

(Ed: How distasteful and desperate. Simply glance through the above chronology and decide for yourselves. Hide the cat lest she be the next one blamed.)

But CTV president Rick Brace sharply disputed Moore's allegation, calling it "accusatory."Brace said CTV, which reportedly paid in seven figures for the song, did not contact the representative of songwriter Dolores Claman until after the CBC issued a news release on June 6, stating that negotiations had failed and that network would launch a contest for a new Hockey Night song."To try to lay this at our feet or suggest we somehow interfered with their negotiation is just ludicrous," Brace said. "They made a decision. They announced it to the world. And they walked away."

Well, there you have it. You asked and you have received. This has been the past couple of weeks. Imagine what the last six years have been like.

It has been difficult posting this, but as mentioned, the CBC's 'inconsistencies' have created such confusion that this is the only way to clarify.

As such, it is up to the CBC to determine what is issued to the taxpaying public, and what isn't.

John Ciccone
Copyright Music & Visuals

As for me, all I can say is "Mr. Moore, keep on Spinning it!" The truth is out there for those of us who wish to seek it.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this information.

Our public broadcaster should not be abusing its media position in this manner. Sure, it's Scott Moore who's generating the spin but others at CBC are not calling him on the deception.

It's a shameful exercise CBC Sports has engaged in misleading Canadians. They calculated wrong, though, in thinking most Canadians would swallow Moore's Kool Aid.

BrandCowboy said...

I honestly think that people need to remember that this whole thing is just business. The original deal for rights was just business; nobody pointed a gun at anybody to sign it. This deal for rights is just business. CBC trying to put the best face on it is just business. And Ms. Claman's people trying to make her look like a victim is just business. We are not dealing, here, with an artifact of historical importance. It is, as someone here pointed out, just a jingle. A jingle made valuable not by the inherent quality it possessed in 1968, but by forty years of repetition. Everyone whose underpants are in a bunch over it is going to feel foolish when the next hockey season rolls around and nobody cares. Meanwhile, if this is what passes for a corporate conspiracy scandal in this country, then I'm damned proud to be a Canadian.