It hasn’t been a very good week for former CONCACAF President Jack Warner. He was arrested and indicted Wednesday and spent a night in a Trinidadian prison, which I’m sure was very unlike what he’s used to. He then had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital for “exhaustion” but was then seen dancing at a political rally a few hours later.
Now, Warner is launching an attack on those who doubt his claims that he’s completely innocent. In particular, Warner is targeting his wrath on the United States. Warner released an eight minute video where, among other things, he questions the motives of those who he feels is unfairly targeting him.
You can skip to about the 5 minute mark where things get really interesting. Warner shows an article that says that the United States was being given a special World Cup tournament this year and uses that to accuse the US for having “double standards.” Apparently, the US Justice Department only carried out the investigation because the United States lost out to Qatar for hosting the 2022 World Cup. Then by carrying out these indictments, the US forced FIFA to give them a World Cup in 2015. So by that logic, the United States is being just as or more corrupt than everyone else. There’s just one problem with that argument.
— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) May 31, 2015
Yeah, the former head of CONCACAF and at one time, Sepp Blatter’s “right hand man,” got “fooled” by an article from the satirical website The Onion. The article in question, called “FIFA Frantically Announces 2015 Summer World Cup in United States” explained how the United States will begin hosting a World Cup “later this afternoon” (May 27).
The vast majority of us knows that The Onion is satirical and isn’t meant to be taken seriously. That however isn’t known by everyone. Warner sourcing an Onion article for this purpose, can be taken one of two ways.
One, Warner didn’t know what The Onion was and assumed it was a factual publication. If that was the case, I would be very worried that someone who was that close from running one of the most powerful sports organizations in the world would believe a story that concluded with, “At press time, the U.S. national team was leading defending champions Germany in the World Cup’s opening match after being awarded 12 penalties in the game’s first three minutes.”
Two, and sadly the most likely scenario, Warner knew that the story is fake and it was meant as a joke, but the audience he’s targeting don’t know that. He’s essentially using the story as a form of propaganda for those in Trinidad and Tobago to get the Trinidadian people to support his cause. The United States has the luxury of being open for people to read a variety of different articles and process a vast source of information from variety of viewpoints to form an opinion. In Trinidad and Tobago, and many other countries who support people like Sepp Blatter, there aren’t as many sources to obtain that information. That lack of information gives people like Warner the opportunity to be rich and powerful by getting people who may not know any better, to inherently trust him and believe anything he says. The more that happens, the richer and more powerful Warner gets.
Jack Warner is a very powerful person in Trinidad and Tobago and he didn’t get there by being an idiot. He’s going to manipulate whatever he needs to manipulate to get people to believe him. And if that includes trying to use an Onion article as a source of fact, he’s going to do it. Warner isn’t doing this to convince Americans to believe him. He doesn’t care if we laugh about this and think he’s a buffoon because we’re not the ones who make him rich and powerful, he cares more about if the Trinidadian people believe him. That’s how someone like him stays in power. It’s up to people like Attorney General Loretta Lynch to take people like Jack Warner out of power.