Monday, 25 October 2010

When Words Fail

Radiohead - Twisted Words 3Image by thismanslife via FlickrToday's soaraway 7Days reports on the American swimmer, Francis Crippen, who died on Saturday during the Fina swimming competition held in Fujeirah. A world class swimmer and an experienced athlete, Crippen had reportedly told his doctor he wasn't feeling well but had decided to continue his swim. He didn't finish the race and his body was found in the water.

The response of the executive director of the UAE Swimming Association, as reported by 7Days, seems almost incredibly unfeeling. "We are sorry that the guy died but what can we do. This guy was tired and he pushed himself a lot." are the words the paper attributes to Aymen Saad.

I have to confess the callousness of the response to an event that the President of Fina called "A terrible tragedy" amazed me. Then I read Gulf News' report of the same official's response to the tragedy. GN quotes Saad as saying: ""The medical report from the doctor corroborates the fact that the swimmer was extremely tired and that is the reason why he lost control during the competition. He died due to the effort he made to finish the race."

The difference in tone is remarkable. From callous, offhand and unfeeling to appropriately factual and sober in the face of tragedy. We have two stark choices here - and I am deeply concerned that two papers can report one man's words so differently. So which one is wrong?

And what DID the official say?
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Moe said...

It's tough to tell. In my opinion 7Days has a habit of spinning stories to the point where they may not even be entirely factual anymore. It's hard for me to take anything they write seriously.

GN on the other hand, almost always butters things up to make them more "poltically correct."

Still, I'd rather go with GN.

Anonymous said...

Both publications are unprofessional in every form. I know that's off topic, but the fact is that these newspapers cut and paste from wires and other publications, and then their attempt at adding value almost always end up in misguided information. Who still reads either, anyway?

Mich said...

It was better when 7Days published once a week. At least we were spared their rubbish for the other 6 days. I wonder why people still read it! But once a week I save a copy for when I wash my car and clean the windows with it.

Andrew said...

Was the quote translated from Arabic?

Duffy said...

"So which one is wrong?"

Why do you assume that one is correct? They can certainly both be wrong.

the real nick said...

The are both correct in their own way. The first statement relays how local knuckleheads really think and talk. The GN statement has been filtered, perhaps on behalf of FINA, through politicial correct PR English - but actually says exactly the same.

Anonymous said...

Why couldn't both be correct? It's certainly possible he said both to different reporters, or during the course of a longer statement.

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