Saturday, April 25, 2009

Steven Cohen & Hillsborough or Why I Won't Listen To WSD

As I have stated on this blog and probably ad nauseam in real life, I have been a huge fan and proponent of World Soccer Daily.
I have recently decided to stop listening to the show at all.

The shows defacto leader & voice of soccer in the US, Steven Cohen, is known for his hatred of all things Liverpool probably more than he is known for his love of Chelsea FC. His every-so-often rant or ill comment directed at Liverpool FC, the City of Liverpool, or Scousers in general is to be expected and I could handle it. It always stunk of classism which I don't think most American listeners are aware of.

Recently, it was the 20 year commemoration of the Hillsborough disaster. 96 football fans died. Cohen fumes and launches into anti-Scouser rants at every mention of Hillsborough. He still clings to a long debunked theory that the fans themselves are responsible for this tragedy. Cohen is also the co-host of Fox Soccer Channel's Fox Football Fone-In (FFF). When FFF aired a segment at the end of their program commemorating Hillsborough, Cohen didn't even take part!

The Liverpool supporters were a victim of a combination of mistakes by the South Yorkshire Police (for failing to notice that the central pen was overcrowded while the pens to the left and right had room for more spectators, as well as not directing the Liverpool fans who came through the turnstiles away from the central pen), Sheffield Wednesday Football Club (Leppings Lane was ill-suited to admit the 10,100 fans, had too few turnstiles and the club failed to fix those and other issues between 1981-1989 even though they were well aware of them) and the Football Association (for deciding to play the semi-final match at Hillsborough despite previous crushing incidents).

EPLTalk posted an excellent article calling Cohen out and debunking with amazing clarity Cohen's blaming the fans.
What did Cohen do? Launched into numerous anti-Liverpool rants for the rest of the week on WSD! He has remained completely smug about the whole thing. WSD had to apparently hire a PR firm for damage control. Cohen's latest approach to all this is some disgustingly pro-USA patriotism. (I believe this to be part of his rallying his support which primarily seems to come from American fans whose first or main exposure to the history of Liverpool and Hillsborough comes from Cohen himself.) He calls the UK "pussies" because I guess they care more about getting to the bottom of what actually happened than just spouting off sectarian conspiracy theories.

EPLTalk's sister site, MLS Talk, interviewed Cohen about all things football. At the end of the interview, the issue of Hillsborough was brought up. Cohen asserted that he recognized blame was due to the police, the stadium, and the FA but that the Liverpool fans also must shoulder some responsibility. Kinda like telling a rape victim that he/she must shoulder some of the blame for the rape I suppose. Cohen also took issue with the author of EPLTalk's article, blaming him for all the threats that have been made against Cohen and family, Odd. Cohen's illogical rant about responsibility illustrated how people use the term "resposibility" as a way to assert power. The Liverpool fans are supposed to bare responsibility for a tragedy that befell them but should anything happen to Cohen, it is not his fault for speaking incendiary words but the fault of the person who critiqued those words? Very nice Mr. Cohen. Fuck off.

EPL Talk: Steven Cohen Blames Liverpool Fans For Hillsborough Disaster

EPL Talk: Steven Cohen Offers Liverpool Fans No Hillsborough Apology

MLS Talk: Steven Cohen Interview

As Cohen told me, he isn't going anywhere because WSD is his show. Perhaps, FSC should know that an unpopular sectarian hosting FFF isn't a good idea.
If you would like to make any comments or suggestions for the Fox Football Fone-In team, e-mail fff@foxsoccer.com
Fox Sports Contact Page

6 Comments:

Anonymous kt said...

Easy to call someone pussies from thousands of miles away. Come to Liverpool and share your views Steve. Are respected pundits like Tim Vickery and Phil Ball still regulars on his show? If they knew about this they wouldn't be. Those views would get him fired from every station in Britain.

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Ian (Chicago, IL) said...

I too stopped listening to WSD due to Steven's unrelenting arrogance about Hillsborough, Beckham and numerous other things.

Kenny H. should jump ship and start his own show.

12:46 PM  
Blogger shanedanger said...

As mentioned when EPL Talk first released their story on Steven Cohen's absurd take on the Hillsborough tragedy, he and WSD had to hire a PR firm.
It seems like the PR firm has gotten Cohen pieces on NPR and in NYT. Of course the pieces are primarily used to bash the criticism Cohen has received and deflect any analysis of his accusations.
_____

I will admit I miss the daily coverage of WSD now that I have abandoned the show. I just got sick of Cohen's mean spirited and classist rants against Scousers. Now I vomit at the sound of his pro-USA stance to justify his right to spout lies.

10:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WSD ROCKS!!!! Happy now that WSD if off the Air... Football in america is growing, Thanks to Steven C and Kenny H. NOW WHAT!!!! Thanks FOOTBALL Fans in america should becoming together, NOT segregating. Instead you treat'n people and act like TERRORIST! Sad......you fans stooped that low.

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

His opinion is exactly what it is. An opinion. people agree to disagree. The disaster happened 20 years ago. What can you possibly do to make it any better now?

12:16 AM  
Blogger shanedanger said...

I think I have made myself clear in all posts regarding this matter.

Just because one is allowed to say anything one wants, doesn't mean on doesn't have to deal with the consequences of what one says.

I am glad Cohen is off the air.

Go listen to The Guardian podcast or MLS Talk!

1:07 AM  

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