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Monday, May 11, 2009

Who's reporting on the sports reporters?--Whitlock

"And dictatorship is the proper description. Despite its obvious power, the mainstream media virtually ignores ESPN. We leave the coverage of the most powerful institution in sports to basement bloggers and a For the most part, bloggers can't do it. They just don't know enough. Their instincts are horrible. so the coach could leverage his current school into a fat raise. And if a blogger did think of it, he/she would be unlikely to have the wherewithal to do the necessary reporting.

Our industry has changed.

  • There's more room for

The money that has flooded the sports world has seeped over into sports journalism. A-Rod's celebrity and enormous contract mean there's a major payday for the writer who uncovers the most dirt on the star. If she plays it right, Selena Roberts might get a TV show out of her gossipy book. To insist her motives in hunting Rodriquez are purely journalistic is to insist that you know nothing about human nature....

  • Honestly, I wish that I had the necessary profile to be called before Congress to share my opinions. I don't have the solution that will save newspapers. But I do know what will restore some of the lost credibility of journalists.

We must acknowledge that we're part of the story, reinvent our rule book and

We need to be held accountable. We're no more virtuous than Bernie Madoff or Rod Blagojevich. Every day we pretend that we are, we throw away additional prestige and integrity.

The truth is I've been one from the moment I entered the profession in 1990. As a kid, I grew up reading the Indianapolis Star and was highly suspicious of the motives of the writers covering my favorite team, the Indiana Pacers....

  • Seriously, I write about the media because we're far from infallible and we certainly have great influence over the sports world. We impact lives and the institutions we cover. We deserve scrutiny, and the public clamors for it.

Some of my critics are troubled by my focus on ESPN. They wrongly believe I'm hostile toward ESPN because I split with/was fired by the network. I chose to liberate my mouth from ESPN because the

  • network's business relationships with all of the major sports leagues stand in the way of free, creative speech.

I'm occasionally hostile toward ESPN because it's an arrogant, reckless, destructive monopoly,

and I still enjoy being a journalist from time to time. American journalists, last I checked, should be occasionally offended by arrogant, reckless, destructive monopolies. They're generally seen as

No one can deny that ESPN is the most powerful institution in the sports world.

It is more powerful than the NFL, Major League Baseball or the NBA.

  • The Worldwide Leader decides when games will be played.

Some journalists foolishly believe it was a big deal that Paul Tagliabue got ESPN to cancel "Playmakers" or that David Stern pushed Stephen A. Smith off "NBA Shootaround." Those are small, public skirmishes that ESPN loses almost intentionally

"Time to Rethink role of Sports Journalists," by Jason Whitlock, FoxSports.com, 5/8/09, via Neil Best Watchdog

  • All correct and important points, but if anything will make the perps and their employers giggle and dig deeper into their bunkers. sm

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