Football

It should come as no surprise that Fox Sports will not address the moral dilemma of choosing Qatar as host during the network’s coverage.

Christian Pulisic (left) and the rest of the United States squad will open Monday’s World Cup match against Wales. PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

It should come as no surprise that Fox Sports, the rights holder of the World Cup, intends to shirk all journalistic integrity and will not address the moral dilemma of choosing Qatar as host during its coverage of the tournament. Frankly, the only surprise is that whoever believed that Fox’s parent company, which has had many practices in recent years of disregarding the truth for ratings and profits, has retained any journalistic integrity.

Executive producer of Fox Sports David Neal confirmed that its broadcasts would make no mention of Qatar’s long list of human rights violations, including the criminalization of homos*xuality, the treatment of women as subservient to men, and the reported 6,500 d*aths of migrant workers since it awarded the World Cup 12 years ago.

“We really believe that viewers are coming to us at Fox Sports for the World Cup to see the World Cup,” Neal told The Washington Post, admitting it was an editorial decision.

In other words: we’ll shut up while they dribble.

A more appropriate approach would be to emulate the way NBC Sports addressed human rights abuses in China during its coverage of the Beijing Winter Olympics earlier this year. Host Mike Tiricotogether with Savannah Guthrie, spoke at length at the opening ceremony with China experts who explained the country’s treatment of minority Muslim Uyghurs and other issues. NBC’s honesty didn’t hurt the Olympics. But Fox, which The Post reports is sponsored by Qatar Airlines, is there to keep us informed of what is happening on the pitch, not what may have happened during the construction of the stadium.

Stuart Holden (left) and John Strong will once again be the number 1 tandem on Fox Sports World Cup broadcasting.
Stuart Holden (left) and John Strong will once again be the number 1 tandem on Fox Sports World Cup coverage.MATT SLOCUM / COLLABORATE PRESS

The network sticks to sports, and here’s the truth: they have an stellar roster of broadcasters helping them do just that.

Jan Strong and Stu Holden they return as a leading tandem, just like during the World Cup four years ago in Russia. They will call their 300th match at the World Cup. Other couples include JP Dellacamera and Cobi Jones, Derek Rae and Aly Wagner, Ian Darke and Landon Donovanand Jacqui Oatley and Warren Barton. Oatley is the first female voice to announce live men’s World Cup matches for an American network. All five broadcasting teams will announce matches on-site. I wonder which airline they flew to get there.

Rob Stone and Kate Abdo they return as the studio’s lead hosts, with Abdo handling the nightly hosting. There are plenty of New England connections among analysts, including former Revolution players Alexei Lalas and Clint Dempsey and former patriot Chad Johnsonfootball lover. Carly Lloyd, Maurice Edu, Eni Alukoand Kelly Smith they also have prominent studio roles.

The coverage starts on Sunday at 11:00, when Qatar will start the match against Ecuador on FS1. The US men play their first game on Monday against Wales at 2pm on Fox.

Holley shows up unexpectedly

Michael Holley returned to radio with Toucher & Rich on Wednesday morning.
Michael Holley returned to radio with Toucher & Rich on Wednesday morning. JAMISON WEXLER

It was a pleasant surprise to turn on Toucher & Rich in the car on Wednesday morning and listen Michael Holley as the third voice. Holley has been busy since leaving WEEI in February 2018 – she works full-time at NBC Sports Boston hosting “Brother From Another” with a longtime buddy Michael Smith at Peacock and taught journalism at Boston University – but he didn’t run any radio until he was contacted by producer Toucher & Rich a week ago. The usual third voice Jon Wallach scheduled to call in 20-25 Celtics games at Sports Hub when Sean Grande moves to TV when Mike Gorman it’s off, co-host Rich Shertenlieb he made a list of potential additions, and Holley was high on his list. There’s nothing planned for regular appearances, but Holley fit in seamlessly. . . NESN says household viewership for Bruins games has increased by 34 percent in terms of views – or estimated viewers – over the previous season. The most interesting detail of their data: the number of views increased by 44 percent compared to last year among women in the 25-54 demographic. Much of the increase in viewership can be attributed to an attractive team that plays with a playful style under a new coach Jim Montgomery. I would suggest that the Bruins’ NESN neighbor Red Sox could learn something from this – assemble a convincing, successful team and ratings and viewership will increase – but honestly, it’s something they should already know and strive for. . . I’ll miss Twitter if a billionaire clown Elon Musk pride will destroy it for good, and I will write more about what is – was? – so good if the chirping stops. Think for now: These masterminds and information peddlers with massive followings like Adam Schefter (9.9 million followers) and Adrian Wojnarowski (5.7 million), must be very upset with the fate of Twitter. Their prominence and salaries were boosted by being able to upload nuggets of information to Twitter even before they got their jobs at ESPN.

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