Friday Fire Repost: How Do You Want Your Sports Reporting? Mistaken or Blurrrrred?

I’m sure some athletes feel this is their life

Posted this previously in the context of athletes writing their own blogs to offset inaccurate and overly cynical journalism. All is not lost for I gotta give props to folks who are doing the right thing. With all the outcry going on with blogs lately, I thought the time was relevant to repost the question.

Should athletes take a stand to make sure their legacies are accurately reported? Are they entitled to such? Should we the public hold editors more accountable for the work of their reporters? Is it all about money? Should athletes surround themselves with more conscious folk so their PR is stable? Is sports merely entertainment or athletics packaged professionally? Are you happy with the way sports is reported? What would you change? Is it personal to you or could you care less? Do athletes get too much attention? Should they care about the fans? Why so? Are they entitled to personal time even when in public? Is cynical and snarky reporting necessary? What purpose does it serve? Should bloggers be held accountable for their words? Why or why not?

Trust me, I could go on and on…

Spoke with Buzz Bissinger for around an hour yesterday. The interview will be posted Monday morning. It’s a doooozie, but you know how we do at TSF, so what do you really expect?

**The interview will be posted Tuesday because of the holiday. Holidays creep up on us in this business. My bad**

10 Responses to “Friday Fire Repost: How Do You Want Your Sports Reporting? Mistaken or Blurrrrred?”

  1. Temple3 says:

    I find it interesting to compare the television coverage of athletes and entertainers. On the one hand, ESPN covers athletes in several ways. The report events (usually through the jaundiced eye of the Associated Press). And ESPN does this without full attribution. They don’t declare AP as the source of the news and they don’t provide the name of the author. You have to find that on your own.

    In cases where the story comes from AP’s new practice of scouring police blotters, ESPN also convenes groups of “personalities” to serve as judge, jury and executioner of the athlete. Often times, the jury comprises former players. The executioners are almost always journalists (at least that’s what they call themselves these days). This dual function clearly sets ESPN apart from their counterparts covering entertainment news.

    Television and online entertainment news is entirely different. For one, there is an obvious “racial” difference in the images that dominate ESPN vs. Entertainment Tonight or Access Hollywood. ESPN is blacker – browner – and decidedly male. The entertainment shows skew toward women and invariably toward those with blonde hair (bottle or natural, your choice). Entertainment shows do not convene panels of media writers or magazine editors to pass judgment on the behavior of “stars.”

    The shows are full of quotes from media people – but the use of panel discussions – to purport expertise is absent. The entertainment shows are basically gossippy, “he said-she said” stuff without the intense moral indictments which cloud reporting on athletes. The entertainment shows tend to move faster and serve as showcases for new events (movies, tours, etc.) The police blotter for drunk driving is not a staple of those programs. The foundation of those programs is the generation of new revenue by informing the audience of new opportunities to consume new offerings.

    With athletes, it’s different. Surely ESPN and others deliver highlights and post schedules and create lead-ins for games…but the use of routine, structured discussions to discuss behavior (and only on specific persons) is unique. What the entertainment shows have done is conflated ALL of their “behavior judgments” into a critique of 3 women. (Do I need to say their names? Didn’t think so.) The sports shows apply a broad ethical brush to classes of athletes which reflect their biases and inclinations.

    So Favre and Clemens emerge relatively unscathed for their transgressions. While others (Adam Jones, Vick, Bonds) lose Nigger Rights (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) for their alleged transgressions, unindicted transgressions, and the like.

    Simply, ESPN believes that they are duty bound to tell you that Barry Bonds is the devil incarnate. ET and AH believe it is their duty to show you those three young women – every day – so that you remain titillated and return tomorrow. They do it without the moralizing from crusty old white men who’ve never been beautiful. ESPN has Skip Bayless.

  2. Mizzo says:

    Damn…that’s the response I was looking for. Thank you my brotha.

  3. Miranda says:

    Wow…that was great T3…lemme guess Britney, Paris and Lindsey??

    I want to respond Mizzo, but right before I read this, yet another breaking news on sports radio about some non-story on Pacman Jones. I’m hating the mainstream media too much to respond rationally at the moment.

  4. origin says:

    What happened sista miranda…………Pacman didn’t walk his dog today???

    I know pacman owes the casino 20K…..big fing deal.

    Whats next breaking news that pacman likes zero coke better then classic coke.


  5. origin says:

    Anyway great post Temple. You laid it down like concrete.

  6. Temple3 says:

    Thanks y’all. The key to sanity is to exclude these people from your lives. When you catch a glimpse of the Perpetual Perp Walk in Black Face, turn the CHANNEL or better yet — HIT THE POWER.

    Everyone is doing their job — and the job of folks who moralize about athletes is to ignore your pleas for balance and equity. Their job is to continue to provide those images so that the Pawns in the Game (Dylan) continue to derive psychic satisfaction from not being nigras. When the middle-class white guy actually realizes that the overwhelming majority of athletes are not whom they’ve been led to believe they are – that inflated sense of racial ego will depart faster than fast. In an ideal world, they’d shift their animus from the Black entertainment to the “in-the-black” ownership who manipulate cities and states for sweetheart deals that erode the tax base.

    But then — if they did that, they truly would not be American. That’s what makes this country great. Folks with money can tell consumers anything (as long as there is a way to demonize the help). You can do that and go straight to the bank — all day, every day. And in that respect, you can be Black, white, pink or purple. It works as well for Pat Buchanan as for Thomas Sowell as for Roger Goodell or David Stern or Bud Selig.

  7. Co Co says:

    What Temple said.

  8. Temple3 says:

    CoCo – you know you’re a riot, right!?!? Keep up the good work Sis.

  9. Carolyn says:

    “The hand pointing to the moon is not the moon.”

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