As many of you already know, the subsequent fallout from John Romano's article of AMI chairman and CEO, David Pecker, during our lunch meeting has caused quite a stir at AMI. In fact, I was even told that if Team MD was to be granted press access to the Olympia I was to submit a retraction along with a wholehearted apology to David Pecker and print such as my editorial in our November issue. As you'll read, I made as good and as reasonable an effort as I possibly could without coming off like a jellyfish. I sent an excerpt from my editorial, which contained the apology, to the AMI offices in the hope that it would smooth things over and we could all move forward.
My executive assistant sent a fax to AMI/Weider requesting press credentials for my wife and co-publisher, Elyse, photographer Per Bernal, writers Flex Wheeler, Dave Palumbo, Hany Rambod and John Romano and myself. A short while later, the letter was faxed back to my office with the word "DENIED" scrawled in huge letters across the length of the page. I guess my apology wasn't good enough.
Now we're faced with boycotting the biggest bodybuilding event of the year in protest, or rising above it and going as paying guests and being a bit more creative in our coverage.
The point to debate is one of principle. MD gives- and I mean "gives," as in literally for free- tons and tons of pre- and post-Olympia coverage. I even give them free ads in MD to promote the Olympia Weekend! Now, because we've been critical of last year's Olympia production and printed Romano's editorial, they would rather us not be there.
Team MD is going! And we're going with guns blazing. Boycotting the biggest event of the year just isn't an option. It would neither be fair to you- the readers- nor fair to our athletes, to the other athletes and to Ronnie- who's going for his unprecedented ninth Sandow.
You know, Ronnie called me the other day to thank me for this month's cover. He was so grateful and appreciative; how could we not cover him in his quest to do what no other human on earth has ever done? And most importantly, not covering it would not be fair to the Olympia. The industry needs to support the Olympia. It's the most revered and honored bodybuilding title in the world- and so is Joe Weider's legacy.
Our focus at the Olympia will be to bring you the highest quality, most thorough and honest coverage of Olympia Weekend 2006 you can get anywhere. We're going to keep it real and do it better than ever!
We want the Olympia to do well-- for the athletes, for Ronnie, and for the entire industry, advertisers and vendors alike.
On behalf of Team MD and myself, we look forward to seeing all our fans in Vegas and we wish all the competitors the best of luck.