Footy Classified’s Eddie McGuire has clashed with fellow panelists Caroline Wilson and Sam McClure on last night’s show over the media coverage of Jack Steven’s stabbing incident.
McGuire came under fire this week over comments he made about how Geelong handled the situation, declaring the club should have addressed the incident with a statement or been more forthright in not discussing the matter.
The Collingwood president believes that Geelong opened the door for speculation, while McClure and Wilson outlined how some topics are too sensitive to report on.
Here is how the exchange played out on the Channel Nine program…
Eddie McGuire: “This is what happens when people, and I’m not trying to pick a fight here, when people read the headlines on a clickbait internet story.”
Caroline Wilson: “Get over your clickbait. You said ‘Scotty, tell us what happened’, did you not say that?”
EM: “I did but here’s what I said before that and this is the key part. I said, don’t get up and scold the media for speculating. And then say ‘your speculating, and I think your speculation is wrong.’ All that does is invite more speculation. I would’ve thought Geelong could’ve held a press conference, said before it ‘we’re not going to answer any questions about Steven’. Or put out a statement in regards to that. I said the same about Lachie Hunter the other week. If it was a doorstop, then he could quite rightly say ‘get out the way I’m not doing that.’ But when you have a media conference, you’re inviting the world in to ask and the representatives of the journos, whose job allegedly is to ask the questions.”
Wilson continued by relating the situation back to Collingwood’s with Dayne Beams, who was involved in a car accident earlier this year but the club refused to provide further details on the matter as it was a mental health issue.
CW: “I agree that it is wrong to say to the media, ‘that’s wrong, that’s wrong, that’s wrong’ and then not say what’s right.”
Sam McClure: “He (Chris Scott) didn’t know what the answers were. Victoria Police didn’t know.”
EM: “Let me put this to you. Scotty got up and said ‘you’re summizing something or your assumptions are this.’ Once you open it up in a press conference then it’s open season to ask the questions, he’s lucky that no one did. The point I was saying was, don’t bring it up. and if you are going to bring it up and then open the conjecture, then you probably need to actually give some answers. My position was, they shouldn’t have had the press conference. And I tell you what they shouldn’t have done the other day, they shouldn’t have had Jack Steven walk past the media.”
SM: “What did you expect them to ask?”
SM: “The guy has just been through a huge ordeal where he could have potentially lost his life. I understand that you and Caro did this for a living for decades, but the media relations game has changed since then. If Geelong don’t want us to ask him about something that’s personal-
EM: “Who do you work for, Geelong? Or is your job to go and get the truth as a journo?”
SM: “Only to so far, Eddie.”
EM: “What? How is it so far? The guy is just going into training. You say to him, “Jack can we ask you what happened last week?”, he says, “In due course”, then you go, “How you feeling about being back at training?”. Great. There’s your grab.”
Essendon great Matthew Lloyd then put to McGuire if it was right for McClure to ask Steven if he was stabbed.
EM: “Mate, if Sam McClure walked into a newsroom any time since they invented the Caxton Press, and didn’t ask the question, you’d be saying, ‘Son, there’s the car get in it and don’t come back’. That’s his job.”
SM: “You can’t have it both ways Eddie.”
EM: “Yes you can!”
SM: “No you can’t!”
EM: “Maybe things have changed and maybe I’m a dinosaur. But I can promise you if that media conference had have been played out in front of Mike Sheahan, Caroline Wilson, Trevor Grant, Peter McFarlane, ‘Curly’ Carter, Rob Astbury, hopefully me or Tony Jones, somebody would have had a follow up.”
SM: “That’s fine Eddie, but it’s not those days anymore.”
EM: “Oh, what is it? You’re sending out tweets?”
SM: “You can’t be a part of the current media and then criticise the new generation.”
EM: “Mate, I can do whatever I like because I actually ask questions.”
Eddie and Caro have had a fiery exchange over his criticism of how the Jack Steven situation has been handled in the media 😬
— Footy on Nine (@FootyonNine) May 27, 2020