03 July 2010

Around The World In About 30 Days

Or, look what a Major News Item has to go through when there is no press release about it

The Carrot is a keen observer of the Fourth Estate, and while we ponder a long-winded treatise on equestrian media, we were intrigued by the extraordinary difficulty a certain Major News Item from USEF was having getting noticed. We thought it might be interesting to follow the path of this Major News Item, neglected by its parents to its near demise.

Where in the world is Major News Item? Major News Item starts out in the self-proclaimed-but-disputed Horse Capital of the World, Lexington, Ky, USA, home of some of those whose antics made it so Major to start with. But despite the magic of being published on the interwebs it languishes for an unknown period of time, existing as nothing more than a rumor at horse shows.

1. June 3 - Vancouver, Canada: The intrepid Karen Robinson, following up on the original story just like a real live journalist, investigates (!) with the FEI and USEF to find out if there has been any legal development, and announces the very obscure USEF notice resolving on May 6 their end of the jointly disgraceful Morrissey cluster.

2. June 3 - Through the magic of the interwebs and RSS technology, Major News Item quickly travels the very same day to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, where despite very sporadic Internet access the Carrot has followed Horse-Canada's Straight-Up blog to see if its author hears any further bullshit to be apprised of any developments. The Carrot re-publishes Major News Item along with a partially pre-written, long-winded diatribe about legal precedent, proportionality and transparent motives, blah, blah, blah.

3. June 5 - Stockholm, Sweden: Hastmagazinet, always on top of things, diligently if briefly mentions Major News Item.  Awaiting full Hast coverage, it enjoys an unexpectedly long stay in Sweden, meeting many beautiful people. It infiltrates IKEA headquarters and learns all their corporate secrets.

June 19 - Major News Item is so at home in Sweden that while seeking the limelight it even manages to score an invitation to Crown Princess Victoria's wedding, proving the Swedish royal family IS truly welcoming of nobodies!


But it's not enough. Emotionally drained after the excitement of the royal wedding, Major News Item feels betrayed by its parents who have so neglected it. It can't imagine why it is so unwelcome in its home country. What did it do wrong? It contemplates heading to Lausanne, Switzerland, to commiserate with the FEI Nation's  most famous orphan, The Industry.

4. June 23 - United Kingdom: Major News Item returns to the Anglosphere and gets radical in a desperate bid to gain recognition. It decides to don a "ladysuit" and a long wig, and ride naked through a quaint English town. But some old cow named Lady Godiva resurfaces and spoils everything. Despite being way past her prime she manages to score major column inches in The Chronicle of the Horse even as they lament the summertime dearth of major news items. Two Lady Godiva stories in one week will never do.

June 24 - Disconsolate, Major News Item hops on up to Aberdeen, Scotland on a whim, where it disguises itself as a man disguised as a horse, hoping to capture the attention of Internet-public. But some pot-bellied asshat with way too much time on his hands steals the idea (update: Horse Boy gives an interview).

5. June 27 - New Zealand:  Major News Item spends the last of its money on a lengthy flight to throw itself at the mercy of Horsetalk's Felicity Foxhunter, who had shown interest in the original story. But she was either not interested or she might have actually been kidnapped. We're still investigating; strange things have been happening Down Under.

Major News Item has now fully given up. It wraps itself in one of those bothersome tangled telephone cords that had recently proven so newsworthy at Horsetalk, and threatens to end it all by strangling itself of the last bit of life it has left. Enter Horsetalk's Robin Marshall to the rescue, who writes a real live, non-blog article about Major News Item despite never having received a press release about it!!! Incredible.

6. June 27 - Toronto, Canada: Major News Item, now a recognized member of the Anglophone Media Establishment, is picked up by horsejournals.com on the Barnmice site.

7. June 27 - Somewhere on the east coast of America: Hunterjumpernews.com, perplexed at such real journalistic initiative, republishes Horsetalk's article verbatim and attributes it to . . . a USEF press release! Explained HJN, "It was like a desert mirage; we in the media were so hungry to be spoon fed a press release, we imagined one where none existed."

HJN later edits their piece to link to Horsetalk and credit the actual author as they no doubt got a "hey guys, WTF?"

8. June 28 - Virginia USA, which even borders Kentucky, birthplace of Major News Item. How perfect!:  With a link to HJN, Major News Item is featured on Eventing Nation, so now it's REALLY news.

June 28 - Still Virginia, USA: Major News Item finally makes the hallowed pages of The Chronicle of the Horse, five days after Lady Godiva, 25 days after Major News Item was first published on Horse-Canada.com, and a whopping 53 days after USEF's judicial ruling.

Maintaining a hard-line stance, Horse & Hound still refuses to acknowledge Major News Item (despite having reported the original story with a most oddly sensationalized headline). To be deemed Horse & Hound worthy, a North American news item really needs to feature some summertime gore. Commented Horse & Hound, "Without either a press release or some blood and guts, we're sorry it's just not news." And this Major News Item is not willing to be torn apart by a grizzly bear just to make the Nag & Dog.

So there you have it: what a Major News Item has to go through when USEF wants to keep it quiet.  One thing is for sure, Lady Godiva must have a really great press rep.

Subscribe in a reader      Subscribe by email