Town Hall Meeting On Media and Sports

If you have HBO you should really check this out when you get a chance.

I’ll write something up on this a little later.

Will Leitch gets verbally chin checked in the piece.

96 Responses to “Town Hall Meeting On Media and Sports”

  1. DavidMac says:

    Hey, you have to go to the seedy valleys before you reach the highest peaks.

  2. Mizzo says:

    You have a point there.

  3. Okori says:

    so you don’t care? A lot of people do though. And i think their concerns are valid.

  4. Mizzo says:

    I will not defend what I see as negative.

    I have children and they are my top priority.

  5. Okori says:

    read this and then let me know if you see what I am trying to say.

    And I guess to this question “What fight would you share with Deadspin, or do you think they are just worthy of your contempt?” I already have my answer, and I’m disappointed in the one I got.

  6. Mizzo says:

    It’s not about contempt Okori. You seem to hang on my last word. Move past that.

  7. Okori says:

    I was hanging on the “I will not defend that which I see as negative.” not just the negative. There appears to be no fight you would share with deadspin, which is what i was disappointed about.

  8. DavidMac says:

    Link in porn, united you stand, divided you fall. Where stand means credibility maintained and fall is the loss of said credibility.

    There is much to learn from porn, sadly the true lesson is lost.

  9. Mizzo says:

    You cats are not gonna lump me in with Deadspin–or any other gossip blog for that matter–and think that I’m gonna be down with it.

    Get over it.

    I’ll be back in a half an hour.

  10. Mizzo says:

    DMac the porn stuff is getting a little out of hand dude.

  11. Okori says:

    Michael why don’t you ask to be interviewed by the Big Lead? just to see if you still think they’re gossipy.

  12. DavidMac says:

    The fact that you stick on the industry, porn, instead of the situation, is sad. You all are in the same boat as Deadspin. In the eyes of the newspapers and book writers, SOMM, TSF, Temple3’s, Sanokofa’s, and everyone elses blog is in the same category as ProFootballTalk, Deadspin, TheBigLead, KissinSuzyKolber and the rest. Buzz wasn’t insulting Deadspin, he was insulting sport blogs period. Now you can turn a blind eye to someone attacking your medium of spreading your message or you can stand united and confront such idiotic mindsets.

    If you choose to do nothing and the credibility of sports blogs are lowered, then don’t complain why the articles and topics you pick up don’t make their way to the mainstream. Just know it is because you did nothing when the medium you use to write was attacked because it supposedly had or offered any credibility.

  13. Mizzo says:

    Dude you went into this detailed case about the porn industry.

    C’mon man I’m trying to hang witcha here.

    I don’t care what the mainstream feels about Deadspin or other blogs for the most part.

    We can only do us and hope a couple of friends decide to engage in a toast with us.

  14. All blogs are not created equally. Every person however is different. No two are the same and that goes for twins, siblings, and the like. You have your opinion and I have mine. That is the beauty of blogs as variety is the spice of life.

  15. DavidMac says:

    Well if you don’t ever care about having mainstream recognized work then more power to you then.

  16. DavidMac if you consider having a show on ESPN 2 mainstream then I have that base covered. Do your research.

    And as always thank you for your kind words and wisdom.

  17. DavidMac says:

    I wasn’t talking about you Anthony, I was refering to Mizzo and TSF. I thought he had the same goal as Dwil, to have a online alternative to the MSM sports outlets.

    As for you Anthony, I don’t watch ESPN except for boxing and football, what show do you have on the air.

  18. I apologize DavidMac. I thought you were making a point to counter what I had wrote. To answer your question I was one of the minds behind the scenes and in front of the camera for 2 seasons on a show called “It’s the Shoes” a sports show that looked into the dynamic of sneaker giants like Nike, and adidas and the athletes that endorse them.

    I also used to be a regular on Cold Pizza, which has also been discontinued.

  19. DavidMac says:

    Oh I’ve seen that , Fat Joe was kissing some sneakers on that show. I think he even pulled out some sneakers where the box had his face printed on it. Hey more power to you.

  20. Yup that was the show, and thank you DavidMac. I appreciate your encouragement, sincerely I do!

  21. Mizzo says:

    DMac read what our objectives are in The Starting Five is. You’ve been around here long enough to know what our objectives are.

  22. DavidMac says:

    I guess I got you and Dwil mixed up, can’t blame me for that.

  23. Jdubb says:

    I hardly comment here but I read this BLOG everyday. I hate to say it but I agree with DavidMac on this one. An attack on one is an attack on all. I know this site does something totally different that Deadspin but all blogs were attacked and lumped together. I know the porn simile is a little bit much but it totally matches what has and will happen with sport blogs
    Even Whitlock took a subtle swipe at this blog today

    I don’t think about which blog has access or whose doesn’t, who writes hard hitting pieces or who writes mindless nothinginess. It’s about MSM believing that if information does not come from thier pen or thier lips , it is worthless.
    This is what I see and this is the point that DMac is trying to make I believe
    Sometimes we have to be our brother’s keeper even if what he writes is just junk.

    It’s about being able to do

  24. Mizzo says:

    Good lookin on the mention Jason. It’s I don’t know you to hate you. You know the differences I have with your work and it’s prominently The Black KKK reference. You created a term that will live in infamy and that’s foul.

  25. Okori says:

    I don’t think the JDubb you’re speaking to is Whitlock. As we’ve already stated he does show up here under his own name and take critiques from us.

  26. Mizzo says:

    He does post under his name. I’m speaking to Jason if he reads this post.

  27. Okori says:

    It was just a little weird that’s all.

    And Mizz…. I’d like you to do me a favor and interview me about a subject near and dear to my heart. Check the website link for info.

  28. Friedman says:

    Mizzo is right. To lump all blogs into the same category is ridiculous. Sure, that’s what Buzz was trying to do, but that’s just because he doesn’t read them. People who read sports blogs — and people who comment on them — know the difference between Deadspin and TSF.

    Both have different levels of credibility, even though their content is miles apart. Mizzo gets interviews with very well-known journalists, and Leitch and his crew have some media connects as well, for sure. In that regard, they are both “credible.” And both have sizable audiences who come back because they enjoy the content.

    Buzz was generalizing but he kind of has a point — MOST sports blogs are terrible. They’re poorly written, they regurgitate the same story they found on FARK, they attempt to be humorous and witty even though they are not, they are incredibly mean-spirited, and they loathe ESPN.

    But there ARE quality sports blogs out there, and interested readers will find them. This one, Deadspin, FJM, TBL, etc. Media people who know what they are talking about know which sites are credible, and at the same time they know that just because TSF and Deadpin both fall under the enormous umbrella of “sports blogs,” it doesn’t mean they are producing the same content, and that’s because they’re not.

  29. DavidMac says:

    When you cut on the television or the radio and listen to the debates do they say Deadspin or SOMM or TSF or do they say blogs. The problem isn’t that blogs will lose the readers they already have, the problem is it might turn off people who are not exposed to sports blogs.

    Personally I’ve seen crap on ESPN, Fox Sports, and CBS that has the same level of mean spiritness as some of the worse blogs that I’ve seen. So crap can be found everywhere its just people take the crap by the mainstream media as fact for the most part, rather than blogs.

  30. Friedman says:

    The person who looks unfavorably upon sports blogs because of what Buzz said on Costas Now is most likely not your typical reader to begin with. I think people are taking the potential effects of his comments way too seriously. Check out the interviews TSF and TBL have scored, and you will see there are MANY well-regarded media people out there who obviously DO enjoy sports blogs — the trick is simply to find the good ones, and with enough curiosity that shouldn’t be so hard to do.

    And to paint Leitch as some kind of victim is pretty amusing to me. Whitlock tore him a good one in his column, that line about his moral compass was great. And he’s right — Leitch lives for this kind of thing, playing the martyr role. Honestly some of the reaction to Buzz’s comments were much more childish than the comments themselves.

    As for the mean-spiritedness found on the MSM entities, I’m assuming you’re talking about comments and not content but I’m not quite sure.

  31. DavidMac says:

    I’m talking about the content of articles, comments don’t bother me. I think the MSM coverage of Bonds and more recently of a good guy like Josh Howard are more damaging and malicious than anything I’ve read on a blog, and that is mainly because of their influence.

    As for Leitch, I really don’t care for him personally, its the principle, just like the porn example I stated earlier. I’m not a fan of Max HArdcore, but I suppor this right to make movies.

  32. Friedman says:

    Leitch is good 90% of the time. Of course I support his right to run his site. But I also think it’s entirely fair to call him out on some of the bullshit he does publish, the Matt Leinart photos most recently.

  33. Co Co says:

    A lot of you had some good points, I think the main problem with the show was the fact that they were trying to cover way too much in 90 minutes.

  34. Mizzo says:

    Friedman…I can’t believe I’m about to say this…but damn you actually agree with me?

    Wow. I appreciate it. I spoke to a couple of prominent journalists during the Sixers/Pistons game and got one’s take on the Leitch thing. I’ll post his interview Monday.

  35. DavidMac says:

    I really don’t see anything wrong with the Lienart pics though, just like I saw nothing wrong with the Big Ben pics, Tyler Hansborough jumping off a roof pic, Rex Grossman, or Kyle Orton pics. They are just pictures of them having fun. I don’t think it affects his career at all, unless he plays terribly.

  36. Friedman says:

    The only purpose of posting those pictures is to humiliate them — NOT, as Leitch so hollowly claims, to “humanize” them. I really don’t have as much a problem with him actually posting them as I do for his so-called reasons for doing so: just say that you think they are funny, and they give your blog a ton of hits. But he is dishonest on this subject (in more than one interview I’ve seen), and for Buzz to tell him he is “full of shit” was correct.

    Same thing goes for posting Stu Scott’s “text message” thing at the Super Bowl — which Whitlock hit on in his piece — that was just low. Same w/ the links to pictures of Peter King’s daughter — disgusting.

  37. DavidMac says:

    I don’t buy the humanize angle either, but he is giving his audience what they want. Someone said it perfectly before, Deadspin has the publishing range from National Enquirer to Sports Illustrated and I don’t mind that and the audience doesn’t thats why they have such a big fanbase.

    I will agree with you that he is full of shit with that comment, but when Buzz was ranting and raving he about the evils of Blogs, he was talking about all blogs, not the post on Deadspin or a specific post on TBL.

    I don’t see how posting Stu Scott’s text message is anything different from anything put on TMZ, Mediatakeout, or other gossip sites. Like I said before Deadspin posts cover a large range and I see nothing wrong or unethical about that. Seems to me Stu shouldn’t be trying to pick up chicks in public if he is married, the same thing happens to all celebs, I don’t see why sports celebs think they should get a pass because in the past they used to.

    As for the Peter King daughter issue that was KSK not Deadspin.

  38. Teej says:

    Wow. I just read the entire comments top to bottom after I watched Costas Now, read Deadspin for the 3rd time in my life and checked out the sports blogs I used to read like TSF, stop lupica, and a bunch of others. I then read up on Buzz Bissinger’s dispute with baseball bloggers and sabermetrics (sp?) for over overstating his Kerry Wood NYT story and missing the empirical facts. For good measure, I actually listened to the Bissinger interview on Dan Lebatard’s radio show where he realizes he was wrong in tone about blogs but stuck to his substance which was the decline of our culture as exemplified by deadspin. Hell, I may even re-read Friday Night Lights again when I get home tonight. I finally read the TSF interview with the Deadspin editor. Whew! A lot to take in to make one very long comment.

    The stand up for all blog crowds and the take them one at a time and leave the fight to others crowd are both right and wrong.

    First, there is a legitimate fight about the coarsening of our collective community and the dumbing down of standards such that we cannot link all who use a medium (such as the interweb bloggers) with each other. We can endlessly debate the topic. Is TMZ/Gawker/Perez Hilton the same as People and Vanity Fair? They both do celebrities and rich people gossipy stories. But they are not the same. TSF is not Deadspin and I don’t confuse them either. In my mind we have been here before, whether it was comic books in the 50s, race music, integration, MTV, cable, video games and even books at various times (folks did burn Huck Finn and Catcher in the Rye).

    Second, the stand up for blogger crowd is also right (as a lawyer btw I totally get the porn analogy, it is the old adage about not standing up for your neighbors until the government comes for you and is too late). Here the issue is that the MSM does not distinguish between blogs and wants to annoint itself the gatekeeper, the “quality controller” for the blogs. The lack of gatekeepers does not make the internet great, but it also does not make it entirely bad. At this early stage of the medium (the same “medium” which someone wiser than me said is actually the “message”) of blogging, the medium is being assaulted by MSM writers as being bad for our culture, our conscience and our country. Even when they back down it is only to decry the tabloid aspects and frequent humiliation of athletes for entertainment and its contribution to our nation’s decline. To accept the MSM as gatekeepers to our culture and the altar of good versus bad sports writing, is to cede them the power that blogs like this are taking back, one internet reader at a time. Folks like Skip Bayliss (sp) have long been bad at their gigs to me. When writers like him or better writers like Buzz take on blogs and are wrong, I would expect TSF folks to be up in arms. First to defend the full scale assault of a medium. Once all blogs are not lumped into one, then you can defend Deadspin against some criticism or join the critics of what they publish, just as you deride Whitlock for the damage you think he has done. I think you might find more substance other than the humilation and gossip tabloid thread – Deadspin is mix of substance and gossip but so are most newspapers. Criticism of content is fair, the beating of the medium as message was and is wrong.

    Finally, in my long reading and listening journey, I often heard about the Matt Leinart pictures as an example of Deadspin’s depravity and cause for some in defending Deadspin. In my mind, there were many different slants on that story other than Deadspins humiliation meme and lack of worthiness for publishing such stories. For example, why note take ESPN to task for endlessly running the story if it was only about humiliation, what about the race angle (i.e. if Matt were black would the story have been more negative), what about the propriety of gossip stories on pro athlestes (i.e., how many athletes have mistresses or partying issues and how many sports writers know about it and ignore it until the tabloids cover it or black football players charter a Minn party boat or suspended by the NFL). Deadspin does gossip and publishes the embarassing stories. I see no way to avoid athletes being treated like celebrities in the near term and celebrities (and other public people) get treated like the substance Buzz told Leith he was full of, namely $h!t.

    I was lead to TSF (as a black male reader of 40+) because I was dissapointed in the MSM ,such as SI, ESPN, Skip, Lupica, Whitlock, and Reilly (sp). I felt that sports journalism had become stuck in a bad rut of recycled stories and slants, while it missed big issues like race, class and culture that sits at the heart of so much of our American story. It used instinct rather than empirical data, it used conventional wisdom and rarely challenged that wisdom or more importantly its readers. To provoke and get a response was better than to think. The few writers that challenged this were called mavericks when they seemed to be nothing of the sort. Then again, perhaps it is asking a lot of sports journalism because the fourth estate can’t even generate that type of coverage when it comes to politics or science or your own local stories. But bloggers in politics and sports, music and movies and medicine, law and economics and science and medicine, have given us some new ground upon which we can meet and discuss in serious and often profane and disgusting terms. The coarser the material the more readers, listeners or viewers for any medium. You don’t go broke giving the people what they want. But we need voices that serve up a full meal of substance and sometimes good frivolity. Whether they are well written or not or in blogs or musty magazines, we need the substance. The low barriers to entry means everyone can have a blog, but the high barriers to entry in the press and TV does not make any of them good or better than the best blogs. And from what I read today in my long slog through the internets, the best stuff on this topic is being hashed out largely on the blogs. Go figure.

  39. michelle says:


    Nice post! I agree with every word.

  40. Myron says:


    Is your biggest issue with Deadpsin the comments section? A very large portion of that interview with Will was discussing the comments and it’s come up in other discussions as well.

    I find this odd in the sense that I’ve enjoyed posting on Deadspin more than any other message board/blog/news site that I’ve ever been involved with. For one, there is no spam. There are no attacks among posters (that I see). Since there is an audition process of a sort, there is a certain level of talent on display. And – believe it or not – there is a certain level of self-censorship involved in the comments. During the times where Will or usually Daulerio have stepped over the line, the commentators were usually the ones to point it out. To be totally honest, if the site ever starts to fade away, it is going to be due to a commentator uprising over the tone of the site. There are already a few cracks in the armor and plenty of complaints from the commentators- Will has outsourced too much posting, Daulerio is too vulgar, Weintraub is awful.

    Anyway, the commentators drive the site at this point. Nine times out of ten, the comments make me laugh more than the posts themselves.

    But I don’t think it can be emphasized enough: Will is not the comments and the comments are not Will. They are increasingly moving into their own separate spheres.

  41. Myron says:

    Also…we are living in a world where Marvin Freakin’ Harrison is shooting people. If Deadspin didn’t exist, someone would have to invent it.

  42. Mizzo says:

    Myron it’s a combination of the content and comments.

    With Deadspin intelligence is not the issue, but anything I feel is desensitizing is just not cool.

    It exacerbates and sets us up for an emotionless future. I can’t have that.

    Sports is not entertainment in my eyes but when any athlete is disposed of with mere comedy it’s a problem.

    I don’t care if it’s Matt Leinart or Mario Manningham…it potentially could be my son or daughter.

    That’s just me.

    The people I deal with view sports not as the life resolute but an intriguing microcosm we love but also very much learn from. There’s too much going on to simply place sports in the context of entertainment. There are too many discernible issues discussed–or need to be discussed–almost every single day.

    The historical implications that can be derived from the discussion on Barry Bonds, Michael Vick or Roger Clemens are not entertainment based.

    Is that a cop out when folks label sports as entertainment just because they shell out billions? Why is it all about them? What about the livelihood of the players. Do you think they view themselves on a whole as entertainers? Why do fans get to drive the market?

    Are people being honest when laughing off life or does it pique and also contrast a dichotomy among our people?

    Why isn’t there a Black Big Lead or a Black Deadspin?

    There certainly are Black gossip sites but why not similar sites sports based?

    It’s because we see sports differently. History affects Blacks more regarding sports and by that I don’t mean in a traditionalist sense.

    General statement yes, but it certainly applies–specifically when Black journalists use our culture and upbringing to explain our vantage point.

    White journalists do the exact same thing, so yes this is about race.

    Blacks have fought long and hard to be included so I don’t think we are comfortable enough to now be able to laugh sports off.

    Again, this is just my opinion.

  43. mcbias says:

    I’m coming way late to this party.
    If Deadspin/TBL will resist the urge to be dominated by a white point of view, there won’t need to be a black Deadspin/TBL, or a Christian Deadspin/TBL, or anything really. However, at this point I think there’s a market opportunity out there.

    Looking back, I think this is an excellent opportunity for those blogs who do some real interviews to make our presence felt. I can’t believe how many other sports bloggers seem to believe that there are ZERO sports blogs that consistently do serious research, analysis, or journalism. We need to educate those folk.

    Along those lines, let me gingerly comment on the porn analogy. DavidMac, while understanding your porn angle, I have to differ with you. The right move for an industry that is perceived to be illegitimate (whether it is or not) is not to do nothing while the weirdos are rounded up and purged, OR to defend those weirdos and get down in the mud with them.

    What Vivid et al. (or us in the Leitch comparison) should have done was come up with a clear statement why they are different and make a contribution to society. If Vivid would have emphasized that Max is NOT part of the legitimate industry, while emphasizing that they do business the right way, then they could have weathered the storm. They didn’t, and now they deserve to be arrested.

  44. Mizzo says:

    McBias I’m working on it bruh. Trust me on that.

  45. […] I caught hell from a couple of my readers who assumed that because I run this blog I should have defended Leitch […]