But is the union already troubled?
The raging surf media war, which has captured hearts and minds over an otherwise dull weekend, is sadly dying down. Though who could have seen a poorly conducted, though otherwise innocuous, interview with the World Surf League’s Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer on the premium subscription surf blog Stab exploding into mutually assured destruction?
“Mutually” referring to Stab and the World Surf League, of course.
Certainly not me, referring to the “seeing it.”
But let us review the past few days’ events.
On September 20th, Stab published the World Surf League’s 2024 Championship Tour schedule hours before any other surf outlet, chasing it, later, with a softball interview with the World Surf League’s Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer, where no tough questions were asked.
After a small bit of tweaking from readers and anti-depressive surf sites over the goofy softball business, Stab’s founder Sam McIntosh became angry enough to publish The Dickhead Index in which he, very white teeth flashing, defended the commercial art of being a pussy.
JP Currie responded with a fierce takedown which led to comment threads here and there with even more revelations, from Stab’s editor-in-chief Mikey Ciamarella, detailing that the aforementioned Jessi Miley-Dyer was only allotted fifteen minutes of chat time and required a North Korea-esque minder to be on the phone.
Now, Sam and crew could have easily let the Miley-Dyer interview slide, taken a few licks in the comment section and moved on. In trying to defend, their cozy relationship was spectacularly blown up in what can only be called an act of sheer editorial incompetence.
“Paid media” is never supposed to be obvious. The payer, in this case the World Surf League, is already struggling with legitimacy and, therefore, attempting to curry quiet favor through favors (“access” and footage). The payee, in this case Stab, was supposed to simply provide cover while accepting said favors.
Instead, Stab made the notoriously controversy averse World Surf League look thirsty then pathetic, and also the center of an unfortunate story.
No doubt McIntosh is beating himself up, tonight, over the disaster he created.
World Surf League brass, likely, quietly fuming and reconsidering the coupling.
Stab’s Google byline.
It used to read “Trusted media of core surfers everywhere.”
Now simply “We are writers, video editors, and photojournalists. But mostly, we just like to surf.”
Goodbye, integrity. I’m flying over you.