Did Mal Meninga Get Draw Into A Fight To Sell Newspapers?

Think of this as a conspiracy theory that has a lot of pieces that fit very neatly into place…

I wrote yesterday about Mal Meninga’s Ignorant Rant against everyone and everything from New South Wales. His article titled Queensland’s triumph a victory over the dirty rats of Origin was full of venom, and its got him in a lot of trouble.

So where did it come from? Let me throw a scenario out there for you to have a think about…

Mal Meninga is the Queensland State Of Origin coach and he also writes for the Courier Mail, which is the main newspaper in Brisbane. Because of this, Meninga would be in constant contact with people at the Courier Mail. He would have a good working relationship with some of the people there.

Now, in a number of stories the Courier Mail has written in the days following the Meninga rant, they have made reference to Meninga being made away of a “campaign” being run by the Sydney media against him personally.

I saw the articles they are talking about. I didn’t read too many of them because, for the most part, they were rubbish. They were all produced by the Daily Telegraph in Sydney.

Now, the Courier Mail in Brisbane and the Daily Telegraph in Sydney are both owned by the same company…News Limited. The 50% owner of the National Rugby League itself.

Is it a stretch to suggest that Mal Meninga was drawn into a media stunt that’s aim was nothing more than to sell more papers?

Think about it. Someones close to Meninga has been saying “I’ve heard they were going to do a number on you in the Sydney press Mal. They are going to say you don’t really coach the side. That you’re a patsy. They are even trying to suspend our players Mal. Anyway, I’m just warning you because its going to be pretty full on. Its a personal attack Mal, I’m just letting you know good buddy”.

The problem here of course if that “They” are really “Us” when it comes to the Courier mail. The Telegraph and The Courier Mail are the same company!

So the seeds are planted in Meninga’s head, and then the Daily Telegraph in Sydney, like clockwork, starts with its attacks on Meninga.

Now I would suggest that in the middle of a State Of Origin series, Mal Meninga has a million better things to do than be reading any newspapers, let alone Sydney newspapers. However these hit pieces are obviously were read by Meninga and lets face it, they would have pissed anyone off.

So Meninga goes on and coaches Queensland is a record sixth straight State Of Origin win on Wednesday night. He has an article that has to be submitted to the paper by Saturday by the latest.

Once he gets through the celebrations with Queensland, riding the high point of achievement in his career as a coach, it is now time to sit down and write his news paper article for the Courier Mail….and what better forum to use to shove it up everyone in New South Wales!

The rest is history…

If you look at the Courier Mail today, they have taken this entire fight and ran with it. Its a huge story in Brisbane as those bastards from down in New South Wales attach our coach. Hell, they are even talking about suing him!

In the Sydney press, the story and its reporting style is very difference. The story is now about a defamation case that is likely to be brought against Mal Meninga by NRL Judiciary members.

The hit pieces are not needed any more you see, job done.

Through all of this, the Courier Mail and the Sydney Telegraph sell a shit load of papers!

At the end of the day, isn’t that all they both want?

There are a lot of people in Rugby League who will honestly tell you “I don’t read newspapers” and there is a pretty good reason for that! I think maybe in this instance, Mal Meninga has been taken for a ride by one of his media employers.

The Courier Mail is playing one side against the other, and the fact is, they are on both sides of this one. Caught in the middle is Mal Meninga and NRL Judiciary members why are just the pawns being used in a chess match between one company that keeps swapping from one side of the board to the other.

I think Meninga is screwed. Unless he apologizes and the NRL Judiciary members accept his apology and move on, he is going to at least end up paying a settlement.

It is a perfect lesson for anyone within Rugby League about the media though.

Don’t let them play you. Don’t let them wind you up. Don’t let them tell you what is being said about you, and what ever you do, don’t trust them, not even for a second.

A lesson that is not just confined to the Rugby League world I would suggest.

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