Monday August 5,2013 : CNBC'S NEW SPORTS BETTING PRESENTER CONTINUES TO GENERATE PUBLICITY (Update)
A disturbing trend in how media portrays sports betting….
The fall out from CNBC's signing of controversial "Steve Stevens" as front man for its upcoming reality TV show on sports betting continued over the weekend as more recognisable and respected sports betting personalities chimed in on the row.
Writing on his blog, Todd Fuhrman, owner of ToddsTake.com and a former odds-maker at Caesars Palace, said that signing someone like Stevens constituted a "disturbing trend" in the US sports betting world.
“We’re seeing a disturbing trend start to emerge; the proliferation of docudramas, movies and articles that lead to sensationalizing dishonest personalities within the sports betting industry,” Fuhrman wrote.
“The media consciously chooses to validate the wrong personalities, creating an aura around characters that are no better than modern-day carnies.
"No one, and I mean no one knows Stevens.
“My disgust with the topic runs deeper and is with the supposedly reputable [television] network for their half-baked attempt to do appropriate research on the featured personality. Did they talk to respected voices in the field? Did they reach out to actual sportsbook operators? Did they track Stevens for at least two seasons to see if his claims were warranted before giving him his own show?” Fuhrman asks.
Howard Kurtz, a Fox News media analyst, joined other media personalities in criticising CNBC on the issue, commenting:
“It certainly doesn’t inspire confidence for CNBC to showcase a man with this kind of checkered history. What I find particularly stunning is that the network is telling viewers to draw their own conclusions as if this were a guy who was merely controversial for his opinions as opposed to his financial shenanigans.”
“By giving Stevens this platform, CNBC is implicitly vouching for him and no corporate PR statement can change that.”
Las Vegas-based Stevens responded to a Fox News telephone call inviting his comment by disconnecting the call after saying “Why the [expletive] you calling here so early?”
There have been allegations that Stevens, who runs a website titled VIP Sports in Sin City is in reality Darin Notaro, who has telemarketing convictions in 1999.
CNBC says it is aware of Stevens' past, telling Fox News:
“We are aware of Steve Stevens’ 1999 conviction, and while we are very clear in the press release that VIP Sports clients risk big dollars in the hopes that Stevens and his agents have the expertise to consistently deliver winners, viewers should tune in on September 10 at 10pm ET/PT to draw their own conclusions about VIP Sports.
“We are merely betting that viewers will be interested in the world of touts and handicappers and in no way endorse either Stevens’ picks or his business model.”