blog maverick

NYTimes – Dec 22, 2004, a little irony

Did anyone notice the irony of the side by side articles on the front page of the sports section, national edition ?

The lead story was from Selena Roberts, “The Name Game in Town:Blame the Messenger“. Next to it was the story on the AP pulling its media poll from the BCS bowl ranking formula.

In Roberts’ story, she discusses her perspective of how Isiah Thomas, Chad Pennington and Vince Carter have a persecution complex, basically blaming the media for negative coverage. She then asks the questions. “Do they become what they read ? Or do they read what they become ?”

Its an interesting question. Beneath it lies the question. Do reporters report facts, or do they try to impact or influence the subject of their reports ? If reporters only reported facts, the answer to her questions would be easy. You are what you are. What you read and what you have become should be the same.

Here comes the irony.

In their request to have the BCS remove their poll from their ranking system, theAP, in a letter sent to the commissioner of the BCS said that the “continued use of the poll interfered with the ability to produce the poll, undermined the integrity and validity of the poll and harmed the APs reputation”

I interpret this to mean that the AP seems to think that the participants in their news media poll try to influence the outcome of the BCS rather than objectively rank Div 1 college football teams.

So Selena, how is it that the news and sports media cant objectively rank college football teams, yet are the purest of messengers when it comes to reporting on sports figures ?

Or could it be that maybe the messenger has earned more than a little blame ?

I think the AP got it right.

Let me just add one little factoid that is applicable and interesting. Of EVERY sports story I have EVER been interviewed for a daily publication, only one single publication has ever had a fact checker call or email me to audit whether or not my comments were accurate and in context. That publication is USA Today.