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Where were the journalists?

Why is the bridge press as impotent as WBF?

A modern society depends on the investigating reporter and the free press to uncover secret and unsound practices. In politics. In business. In culture. But unfortunately not in bridge.

Why did no journalist ask the right questions BBB (Before Boye Brogeland)?

I am not saying that the ordinary bridge columnists in the newspapers should have figured out that something was rotten in the bridge community. But where were the editors of the bridge magazines and their reporters? To be precise: where were Mark Horton, Jeff Rubens and their analysts? They were on the crime site. For years. They followed closely most matches at high level: the Bermuda Bowls, the European Championships, the American championships, the Cavendish, etc ….

They sent reporters to follow the play, but no reporter thought that it was a good idea to ask questions to the players who made incredible leads with fabulously lucky results. To put it bluntly: they simply reported that Fisher led a small club from Axx and then the contract when down: “Plus 12 Imps to Israel.” They saw that Nunes misplayed contracts as declarer, but was dramatically more precise in the much more difficult game of defending. But they did not ask each other in the editorial rooms: how is this miracle possible? And they did not ask Fisher and Nunes: How did you figure it out?

Issue after issue of the Bridge World and championship Bulletins were printed with what today looks like a screaming lack of obvious questions to the cheaters.

Why do we pay for magazines and bulletins who only report good news? Who only report “all the news that’s fit to print” - according to the WBF? Who report little more than what we all saw on BBO? Why do we read articles from journalists who are too afraid to ask questions?

I have been an editor and a journalist most of my life (specializing in personal finance and politics). I know that in the bone marrow of every decent newspaperman lies one continuous, big question: what is it that does not smell right today? What is really going on – behind the smoke screen of propaganda, marketing and politically correct blablabla? Why do bridge journalists seem to lack this instinct?

Did the bridge editors and journalists go to bed every night at 9 o’ clock, so that they did not overhear the frustrated rumors about cheating, thrown out in the air at the bar at night during the championships? No, of course they heard them, as we all did. But why were they not curious enough to try to find out if the rumor was true? Are they journalists - or part of a propaganda machine?

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