"We appreciate your time and candor, Riss, and apologize for the time you had to spend putting out spotfires."
Wild times of change, wild days of upheaval but at least we can count on three certainties: The sun will rise each morning, grown men who take their coffee with cream carry some heavy secret burden and Stab magazine will apologize profusely, publicly to professional surfers whom have had their feelings hurt by the editorial staff.
But shall we hasten to the latest in what has become its own literary genre?
The scene is set somewhere between Australia’s Gold Coast and Hawaii’s Gathering Place where Mick Fanning interviewed Carissa Moore for one of the Venice-adjacent publication’s hundreds of podcasts.
Now, I was unable to make it through the actual chat, as Mick Fanning was interviewing Carissa Moore, but apparently a quote from the conversation was posted to Stab‘s Instagram that caused much hand-wringing, falling on knees, tearing of garments and hollering “Mea culpa! Mea culpa!” to the heavens and/or Hawaii’s Gathering Place.
Per @stab: “We’ve pulled down the IG main feed and stories from our Stab Unplugged with @mfanno and @rissmoore10. The pull quotes said in jest (Kelly doesn’t write me back etc) were shared in a loose, throwaway sense and take a different light immortalized as text. We appreciate your time and candor, Riss, and apologize for the time you had to spend putting out spotfires. The YouTube and podcast are still live in their original form. Sam McIntosh, Stab.
To clarify, Carissa Moore said something that was quoted then vanished with tear-stained amends.
While none of this is surprising, it continues a thoroughly vexing trend. Journalistic integrity being traded for access is nothing new, but the way in which propaganda is now being delivered as fact is.
Take, for example, the recent, much-lauded ESPN documentary series on Michael Jordan.
The Last Dance was praised high and low… except by teammates, Jordan family members, honest critics and those who knew the actual truth. Jordan, you see, produced the special and, while enjoyable on the surface, propagated a whitewashed lie. Certainly not “the untold story of Michael Jordan’s Bulls.”
Access granted. Legitimacy jettisoned.
Now, Stab still positions itself as a “slightly edgy, independent voice” but is so starving for acceptance from the pros and pro-adjacents that it regularly makes an absolute mockery of backbone.
The “slightly edgy” and “please-please-please-accept-us” tripping all over each other with every apology, each chubby ringed finger’d backslap.
Subject rage is part of the game, though.
Filipe Toledo was recently very aggrieved by the short CANDID, barking and hollering and claiming he will no longer be available to BeachGrit.
“You don’t five a f what the surfer thinks! No respect at all”
The piece was honest-ish though didn’t slot in with his self-narrative, apparently, but his self-narrative, Michael Jordan’s self-narrative, Carissa Moore’s self-narrative, Mick Fanning’s self-narrative…… UGH!
They are all only slightly tethered to reality which is always a more compelling, more interesting, more beautiful story. What we writers, journalists, tabloid muckrakers should be perpetually hunting.
The damned truth-ish.
Filipe is right, at the end. Nobody in “surf media” should give a f what the surfer thinks, only what is fair, authentic, entertaining.
The “f” should only ever be about The People™.