By Ivan G. Goldman
Floyd Mayweather had a difficult time controlling the story of the assault on his ex-girlfriend Josie Harris — that is, until he ditched his previous network HBO and went over to Showtime, which allows him to be executive producer of his own false tale.
But Mayweather’s campaign to bury the criminal facts suffered a slight glitch lately when Harris, aghast at what she was seeing on his slick series of pre-fight TV publicity, found an enterprising British reporter named Martin Rogers and described to him the beating she took in the early morning hours of September 9, 2009, while her three children watched.
The police report described him grabbing her by the hair and rabbit punching her “with a closed fist several times.” His children also described him hitting and kicking her and twisting her arm. Clearly the court in Las Vegas believed her, the children, and the attending physician, which is why he was sentenced to 90 days in the slammer. It wasn’t the first time he was found guilty of slapping around women, something that Showtime and CBS programming fails to note.
Mayweather inserts the children repeatedly in his series of shows. They sometimes come off looking like props to disprove the court’s finding. His current partner, Shantel Jackson, tells the camera, “How can someone who really didn’t do anything have to suffer a consequence for something of this magnitude? It really does anger me, because how can a lie get so far?” This hearsay testimony is presented as part of a general portrayal of Floyd as a long-suffering, fun-loving dude who didn’t do nothin’ but did his time anyway and came out of the Clark County clink an even better man.
“He sucked it up and did what he had to do,” his pal Leonard Ellerbe tells the camera as sad music plays behind him. We also get plenty of praise from Kobe Bryant, Oscar De La Hoya, Sugar Ray Leonard, Magic Johnson, and New York Daily News columnist Tim Smith, a longtime Floyd supporter who has lightly criticized him just enough to be portrayed as an honest broker.
When Floyd signed a long-term contract with Showtime, we were informed that it was a record-breaker that would clearly give him an even bigger piece of the pie. No financial details. Only later did it emerge that “Money” Floyd would be given the keys to the production studio and take virtual control of the CBS and Showtime propaganda machines.
“24/7” reality programming on HBO carefully gave equal time to both fighters. Now Mayweather sits in the pilot seat, star of show after show that, using typical reality programming gimmicks, divorces itself from reality. The programs politely treat Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero, who faces Floyd May 4 in Las Vegas, sort of like an Elvis backup singer.
Among this deluge of Floyd-ashian programming are “30 Days,” “Mayweather,” and various episodes of “All Access.” When you own the microphone, you own the story. Ask HSBC, a London-based bank that was caught laundering a minimum of $881 million for Colombian and Mexican cocaine cartels and also laundered petrodollars through Saudia Arabia, Iran, and elsewhere that were destined for al-Qaida and other terrorist groups, said respected Al-Jazeera news network.
The bank agreed in December to pay a record $1.92 billion fine to the U.S. for its perverse activities. But the public is far more likely to believe chief executive Stuart Gulliver, who proclaims on its Website, “By setting the highest standards of behaviour (Stu prefers British spelling) our aim is that all of our employees and customers can be proud of our business.” No one advertises otherwise, so fictitious crap becomes the story.
Harris and her children have since left Las Vegas for Valencia, California. She took with her the medical report that describes her bruising and contusions along with a written report given to the police by her son Koraun, who was denied exit by a member of Floyd’s entourage so he ran out another way to get help for his mom.
Mayweather insists on making his private life our business by blazing false pieces of it across the TV screen. But if he would own up to these offenses and apologize for them he might find that a better solution than mounting a massive campaign to submerge them in a sludge of deceit. Or he might try sticking to his craft. Inside the ring, he’s actually impressive.
Ivan G. Goldman’s critically acclaimed novel Isaac: A Modern Fable came out in April 2012 from Permanent Press. Information HERE