Is This Ethical for a Blogger/Journalist ?

A couple months ago I agreed to do an interview with a major national magazine that I enjoy and respect. I rarely do face to face interviews because I have significant trust issues with how an interview can be reflected in a story.

I try to stick exclusively to email for all my interviews. In this case I made an exception because I had developed a good relationship with the magazine.

The interview process was unexceptional. Meaning that it went well. The writer and I got along and I thought it was a fun interview to do.

The article came out last week and I liked it. No problems at all.

Then yesterday, the person who interviewed me, who is also a blogger, decided to blog about our interview. The blog ran on a site that he is associated with, but is not affiliated at all with the magazine the interview was for. He never asked, nor told me that our interview would be blogged about. While I respect the magazine, I am not a fan of the site he works for, or of its affiliated site that the blog ran on. A point I let him know. I would not have done the interview had I known he would blog about it for this site.

As it turns out, he did not clear the blog with the magazine either.

So he traveled on their dime to do an interview for their magazine and then used the interview to generate a blog for his site from a subject that was not expecting to be blogged about.

Ethical or not ?

129 thoughts on “Is This Ethical for a Blogger/Journalist ?

  1. Lior Kahane MD Speaks the Truth of Why He Lost His Medical License

    In life there are always two sides to a story.

    The feature headline, \”Doc Who Lost License Becomes Love Guru written by Carla McClain about me in The Arizona Daily Star on Jan 28, 2007 is simply untrue.

    It shocked me to read this article using words like gross negligence and egregious in an attempt to defame my character.

    In the process of getting a move on my life over the past couple years I made the best of the situation by letting things just be.

    At this point, I realize its time I speak my truth.

    Rather than go into the detail about the real reason why Carla wrote this story and her agenda of trying to destroy my career through the manipulation of the press – its not worth my time.

    Instead its important to focus on the reality of what happened in my legal case by sharing the facts of my story. The false judgments need to be corrected so others are justly informed.

    As a Trauma Surgeon I dealt with life and death on a daily basis. Throughout my career, I have operated on thousands of patients, including celebrities, politicians, physicians and their families and regular people just like you.

    The accusation that I was involved in deaths or wrongdoings of patients is false and misleading.

    The patients alluded to were very complex sick patients that did not die under my knife, nor was their demise attributed to my surgery.

    If anyone at the Arizona Daily Star paper would have taken the time to review public court documents they would have seen that world renowned experts have denounced my involvement in these so called botched and unnecessary cases.

    During my practice I was one of the busiest and most well respected surgeons in Nogales and Tucson. Over the years I also developed a reputation as a surgeon who was known to give freely of my compassion and empathy to patients of many different cultures.

    The Federal Government of Tucson sector honored me with commendations, and even an honorable citation for saving a Border Patrols agent life after a gun shot wound to the abdomen. The story was highlighted in the Arizona Daily Star on August 11, 1995.

    Its been my honor to speak to audiences throughout the world and receive standing ovations based on the knowledge, wisdom and experience in the medical field.

    The bottom line is: I lost my medical license due to peers attacking me and not due to patient care.

    One peer in particular was Dr. Edward Schwager, a family Physician who knew me in Tucson, sat on the Board and persuaded them to revoke my license base solely on this ridiculous chart review.

    He too, is no longer on the Board and was not reappointed by the governor. Incidentally the attorney for the state medical board Stephen Wolf whom tried to make a name for himself by sensationalizing his comments against me has been removed and demoted since my case.

    My license was revoked in 2003 despite an administrative judge\’s recommendation not to revoke it. The revocation was based solely upon one Board\’s medical expert opinion Dr. William Kennell whom turns out never re-certified his Board Status and later admitted in not keeping up with his Continuing Medical Education as required by both Federal and Arizona state statutes.

    When complaints about this were posed against Dr. Kennell, the Board ignored these statutes.

    It is interesting soon after my case was finalized Dr. Kennel no longer qualified as an expert with the Medical Board. It is equally important to note all my experts completely disagreed with Dr. Kennell and there was no patient harm or complaints from any patients.

    Experts who testified on my behalf stated these few cases out of thousands of my cases met the standard of care.

    These experts are all well recognized Surgeons which included Dr. James Malone Professor of General and Vascular Surgery at the University of Arizona Medical School, as well as Tyler Kent MD, Alfredo Guevara MD and John Taylor MD, who is an internationally highly respected Surgeon and program director at The Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

    Unless youve been involved in a media scandal its hard to understand how easily the press can manipulate the truth of what really has occurred at one point in time and the power over the people the media has regardless whether what the press says is true or not.

    The business of the media is often to put a spin on a story, sensationalize an event and mislead the public in order to catch your attention, sell more papers and make more money.

    - Lior Kahane MD
    April 13, 2008 Unethical and Immoral Journalists/reporters ie. Carla McClain Tucson Az, Az daily Star

    Lior Kahane MD is a trauma surgeon and graduate of the prestigious Baylor College of Medicine and studied under the auspice of Michael E. DeBakey MD.

    Comment by Lior Kahane -

  2. I blog and I am a columnist with full disclosure to my employer, but that was agreed to and known from day one. I can\’t help but think that if I syndicated interviews that were on their dime to other commercial sites it would tick them [employer] off.

    Comment by Chris Griffith -

  3. There\’s nothing unethical about what he did. Is it unethical for a reporter to take his experiences and turn them into a book? Nope. Same difference.

    Comment by Joshua Wells -

  4. This is pretty simple. Did Will sign anything with GQ that said he couldn\’t use the content for any other purposes? If not, fair game. Is it unethical when journalists write opinionated columns about sports figures, celebrities, politicians, etc. after they\’ve interviewed them? Same thing in this era of extensive digital content.

    You\’re a billionaire, Mark. Buy a nice box of tissues and quit caring that a guy you don\’t like doesn\’t understand why you don\’t like him. Here\’s a secret: A lot of people can\’t stand you and a lot of bloggers write stuff about you that\’s monumentally worse than what Will or Rob at DS ever write about you. And they actually like you.

    Comment by Burnsy -

  5. If I get hired to photograph a story and then use the pictures from the trip for my own public use, I\’d never work again. Not ethical.

    Comment by Lou Lesko -

  6. I would answer ethical, but doing so was in poor taste on his part. I think we forget sometimes the day and age we live in with the power of the internet. It almost doesn\’t seem real, the incredible reach it has. Prior to the interview did you ever think to have him sign a consent form not to blog? It\’s crazy isn\’t it? I\’m sure the last thing you thought he would do was to blog about the interview. Given the fact that you have a reputation for not doing interviews, common sense and respect should have held back his desire to blog about the interview with you. Unethical? No, not at all. Immoral? Most definitely!

    Comment by Brett -

  7. Perhaps morally permissible, but not ethical.

    Comment by gyakusetsu -

  8. I think the argument of \”ethical or not\” is kind of irrelevant. In this digital age, he made a stupid decision to maximize one interview at the probable expense of alienating GQ and other major publications and interview subjects from ever granting him access to anyone high profile again. It\’s similar to NBA beat writers, who could write about player indiscretions for what would surely be fun columns to read. But, they\’d also be thrown out of the locker room. Ethical or not – dumb move.

    Comment by Andy -

  9. I also write for major magazines and, given a similar situation, would not have written about it for a blog. Then again sometimes the situation is hazy. For instance, often if a piece generates a lot of buzz, you might be invited by a television or radio show to talk about the subject, in which case you might add some stuff you left out of the article, if it seems relevant. To be honest, what struck me most about the blog post by Leitch was how poorly written it was. (I haven\’t read the GQ piece.) It was a simple point he was trying to make: \”Mark Cuban will never own a baseball team because of the owners\’ old-boy network.\” But fair point or not it was ruined by paragraphs of innuendo, repetitive conjecture and inelegant writing.

    Comment by paul -

  10. I manage my own blog which covers a number of topics specific to my industry. Now I am privy to a lot of insider information. Information that flows through to me via my employer and information that flows into me via the companies I meet. Either way my conversations with these people are built on trust. If I where to blog about these items it would break that trust. I would also lose my job :)

    A blogger who is able to obtain information that is not \”public\” through employment, needs to be extra cautious not to disclose what they know. It can be difficult at times, but it is necessary to do. Its not to say that you can\’t use the information at all. You can use it in ways to make smart and informed commentary about topics in your blog.

    Mike
    Dropthemike.com

    Comment by Mike -

  11. Sadly, I feel your pain, but I don\’t believe that this is a question of ethics. It\’s really more about relationships 101. And, honestly, no matter how respectable GQ is, they most likely won\’t have a beef with him using their material. We all know it will also give them more exposure … hell, now I\’m even more interested in reading the interview.

    Comment by Tanya Ryno -

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    Comment by sell wow gold -

  13. Give an interview and the information is out. The person writing has the information and can use it whenever wherever he or she wants especially when it is a freelancer working for a publication. Even if it is a work-for-hire interview, when the interviewer is off of the clock, the information is not restricted. Best advice, — if in doubt, dont give the interview.

    Comment by James Byous -

  14. It is definitely unethical, but honestly, who cares? You are a fairly well known public figure, and so you should expect the world to talk about you, even if it occurs in a forum you don\’t approve of.

    Furthermore, I don\’t think the majority of blog readers would read a particular blog and associate the interviewee as supporting that blog. I\’m sure liberal blogs all over the country post Bill O\’Reilly interviews. But people would have to be complete morons to actually think that O\’Reilly actually supports that particular blog.

    The whole concept of the blogosphere, and the internet as a whole, is predicated on the free flow of information. If you can\’t tolerate your words floating around the internet (which is understandable that one would want privacy, but someone of your public stature should probably realize that publicity comes with the job) you should probably make yourself less visible. The majority of NBA team owners are businessmen, who sit in their offices and go to meetings. But the fact that you\’ve taken an active role in the Mavericks organization (which I actually respect, I think it shows your dedication) would naturally mean that you would get some unwanted publicity.

    It\’s really not that big of a deal. Your publicity, even if it has been unwanted, has still given the Mavs a whole lot of positive exposure. So, I don\’t think you should really play that \”I don\’t like to do interviews because I fear I will be misrepresented\” card. People are obviously going to misrepresent you, that\’s just the nature of the American media. But it comes with the territory.

    Comment by Al Lulla -

  15. Mark –
    As someone who actually works in the magazine publishing business I\’d have to say that I view this as unethical. Whether there is a fine line there or not is debatable I\’m sure. However, one thing that is certain is that the \”writer\’s\” actions were certainly disrespectful. Especially in light of the start of your interview – the writer obviously misrepresented himself as well as his intentions. Can you think of a business that you have been involved with where this would be OK? I doubt it.

    It\’s unfortunate that this is what the world of \”journalism\” is becoming. Anyone with a computer and an internet connection can become a \”blogger\” and therefore a \”journalist\” the only formal training they\’ve had being an eighth grade level english. Most have a hard enough time with basic grammar let alone journalistic \”ethics.\” Not to say there aren\’t very qualified and insightful bloggers out there — however, you didn\’t run across one of those.

    So, Unethical? That\’s debatable. Disrespectful? Absolutely. Of course the bright side about blogs and most bloggers is that they tend to be flavors of the moment. Here today, gone tomorrow – not like real journalists that build a career on respect, ethics and quality work. So I hope you can take heart in the knowledge that this guy will likely be sending you an application to be a beer server at the American Airlines Center in another year or so.

    Comment by Jon -

  16. You..you\’re not going to cry, are you, Marc?
    It\’s ok little buddy.

    Comment by Blaise -

  17. As someone who used to be a professional journalist and who is NOW a blogger, I could see myself in this situation and am wondering what I would do.

    1st I think the issue would arise between the publication and it\’s reporter. Not necessarily the publication and you-although we\’ll get to that.

    Anyone who blogs needs to have an agreement with whomever they write for in regards to what experiences, on the company clock, are to be shared via any other media than the publication itself.

    Currently I\’m covering election \’08 for BlogHer.com. This means I\’m going to events, exchanging emails with campaigns, etc. There has been a discussion as to what is public knowledge and what isn\’t, and if I have a question (for instance- can I twitter from the debate this week in Los Angeles?) I ask and we come to an agreement.

    Your agreement to the interview was for that publication and to be used in that publication only. That\’s part of the trust you spoke of. Did anyone else in the room break that agreement? If it was the person who brought the coffee-and they blogged it, is that the same? Different?

    Now, when I get to sit down with Barack Obama and he answers our questions -we blog the interview on blogher and then can I share my personal experience on my own blog? Did I agree not too? Did I discuss it before hand with BlogHer or with the Obama campaign?

    All valid questions-and I\’m not sure there is a clear answer. As you raise the issue I think I would mention \”we\’re all bloggers\” or \”in addition to blogher I write at my own site\”

    -or if you are anywhere public saying anything to anyone is it automatically on the record?

    Hrm. Need to think more.

    Comment by Erin Kotecki Vest -

  18. Mark,
    The ethics are definitely questionable, but the writer may have infringed on your \”right of celebrity.\” A lot of the comments focus on the journalist\’s rights to the material from the interview, but there is a legal precedent (Cher v. Forum International, Ltd., 1982) in which it was determined that a celebrity has the right to control the commercial use of his/her name and likeness. In the Cher case, a freelancer represented that he was interviewing her for Us magazine, and the singer stipulated that she wanted to approve any other uses of the interview (much like you did). She didn\’t like the way the interview went and convinced Us to kill the story. The freelancer then sold the tapes to Forum magazine and The Star tabloid, both of whom played up Cher\’s name and image to sell copies.
    This is long before the age of blogging, of course, and you would have to show the writer enjoyed financial gain from the unauthorized use of the interview, your name and your likeness.

    Comment by Frank Finn -

  19. If the article was not altered anyone should want the article blogged. BUT it sounds like this CLOWN added a little yeast to the mix for his own benefits. Thats shady.
    Peace…Iron Mike

    Comment by Educated Bet -

  20. I think its probably ethical for Will to write a pure opinion piece and reference that he did the article for GQ.

    I do have a problem with him including the direct quote without letting you know he was going to do it. Had he left the quote out and merely written his opinion on your chances to buy the Cubs, I think it would have been much more acceptable.

    Comment by Matt -

  21. Context, as always, is needed. The blog isn\’t really about Mark. It\’s about the exclusive atmosphere surrounding MLB. It even lauds Mark for being correct in his fights within NBA circles. Should he not have used the quotation? Yes, definitely. After that, there is nothing in the blog that references the interview. The quotation is used to support a position, but it really isn\’t necessary to make the blog work. Poor judgement on the writer\’s part, probably. Unethical might be harsh.

    And I don\’t see how conducting the interview by email would have made any difference.

    Comment by taylor -

  22. Hmmm…Seems somewhat questionable, though more on not clearing it with the magazine than not clearing it with you. On your side, its just bad business practice for him. He\’ll get a bad rep. and people won\’t want to interview.

    Comment by David Mackey -

  23. Come on! You should know, if any body knows its you. A blog is like someones thoughts, regardless what affiliation they are apart of, its a damn journal. Imagine if bloggers needed someones permission each time they wanted to blog about what they did at work or where they went or who they talked to. Come on Mr. Broadcast.com, lets get back on with the times, you are usually with it, not on this post.

    Comment by Robert Mena -

  24. Mr. Cuban,

    I understand that it must have been a great disappointment for you when you realized the interviewer used that information without asking if it was okay. I hope that they didn\’t misquote anything that you said. Is it ethical? No, I would say it is not.

    I guess it is the same as my disappointment finding out that you financed the movie \”Redacted\” when I have so many friends over in Iraq. I was such a fan of the Mavericks and you until I found out. Jeopardizing their lives is so uncool. As this interviewer did not understand the implications of his actions – you do not understand the implications of yours.

    I soon will be heading to Iraq to do my part. And I wanted you to know that I am no longer a fan.

    May God bless you.

    Sincerely,

    Major Elizabeth Sharp
    Tennessee Army National Guard

    Comment by Elizabeth Sharp -

  25. He figured you wouldn\’t mind since you do your own blogging. I think he should have just asked you first.

    Comment by frankie pacheco -

  26. Totally ethical. A journalist can write about what he or she wants to. No one owns (as another commenter said) another\’s experience.

    Comment by Mike Kretzler -

  27. You should buy and sell him a few times… That would show him.

    Very very borderline. In my life, if something is borderline, I stay away.

    Comment by dan -

  28. And Mark Cuban is surprised by this whole scenario? As someone who has been doing PR for over a decade in the technology industry and has seen the developmentof blogs over this period this doesn\’t surprise me at all. Everything you say and do in your interaction with journalists is fair game these days. With the web there are no bright lines anymore between journalist, blogger, analyst, pundit or anyone else who covers or comments on topics.

    Either Cuban is so out of touch with the reality that is now since he sold his business or he wants special treatment.

    The only surprise here is that Cuban was surprised.

    Comment by GB -

  29. I think it was very unethical.

    Comment by Laura -

  30. Unethical.

    Comment by Billionaire Strategies -

  31. It\’s a mischaracterization to say he blogged about your interview–he mentions some details about your interview (and includes a link to the original article in GQ), but the piece is about you as part of a larger issue.

    If Larry King writes an autobiography, is it unethical to include anecdotes about what interviewees said or did when the cameras weren\’t rolling? Is he obligated to tell these people that he might write about them someday in his biography? Does Larry owe CNN royalties because they footed the bill for his bowties all these years while he was gathering these anecdotes? I\’d say no to all of them.

    If you don\’t like the blog the piece appeared on or don\’t ever want to do an interview again with Leitch, just say so. The way you presented this anecdote seems misleading and your response naive, and I\’ve never associated either of those qualities with you.

    Comment by Joe -

  32. It happens all the time in sports. I\’m surprised Mark finds it an issue.

    A writer covers a sporting event on their employer\’s dime also \”strings\” for someone else or uses that trip to do a feature interview for someone else. It\’s not journalistically unethical. The issue for the writer is falling afoul of the employer\’s \”house rules.\”

    I disagree wtih the commenter who says the employer owns the intellectual property. The employer owns the writer\’s work product produced for it, not the mind or soul of the writer. If the employer allows outside work for outlets that aren\’t \”direct competitors\” (which many do), then it\’s OK. Direct competitors are usually defnined by the employer.

    Quotes from interviews often are used in different stories. \”Cuban said in a 2000 interview ….\” I don\’t think the interview subject has a journalist ethical expectation that they can control the publication venues. They do have an ethical expectation that the writer is representing the publication they claim to be with (if a claim was made).

    Comment by Jack Lail -

  33. I think he just is representative for the magazine he works for when he interviewed you and made it into publicity under the mutual will. But he blogs this under his own will, that is beyond certain boundary.

    Comment by Echo -

  34. What are you afraid of, Mark Cuban? A conversation is a conversation, no matter where it\’s being reported. Your words are your words.

    What\’s the difference if they wind up in a \”prestigious\” magazine you approve of, or a dirtbag blog?

    He\’s a good writer and reporter, no matter where his work is published.

    Comment by JS -

  35. In the spirit of full disclosure, I must first qualify my response with a very robust \”Go Suns!\”

    Definitely not ethical. The writer needs to separate his day job from his blog. Blogs have democratized journalism by allowing virtually anybody to voice their opinion. However when written by a professional journalist, a \”blog\” is really an extension of that journalist\’s career and likely an exercise to increase individual exposure to further that career. Consequently a professional journalist should get permission from all parties (in this case the magazine and yourself) to use the experience for their own benefit.

    Comment by brian fidler -

  36. I don\’t believe that Will\’s actions were unethical. While I can understand you not wanting to be involved in a site like Deadspin that often posts content that is wildly inappropriate for business, and not wanting to provide additional publicity for something you don\’t support, you don\’t own the experiences of the author. Even had the author been someone that you did like and respect (which it seems like he isn\’t) and then that author (say, Bill Simmons, or Malcolm Gladwell) gone on and appeared on a radio or television show and mentioned the experience of interviewing you, you wouldn\’t have any recourse or complaint. I understand your disappointment, but I don\’t think it was unethical or dishonest, just unfortunate. Particularly since you had no complaint with the article in GQ, it doesn\’t seem that you should really complain, unless there were untruths or factual errors on the blog posting.

    Comment by Jordan -

  37. Definitely not ethical. You have a right to be a little miffed and his employer as well. He did not represent himself accurately.

    Comment by Hugh -

  38. I think it depends on EXACTLY what is in the blog post.

    If he is blogging about \”I met this famous billionaire and we chatted about sports, finances, etc\” I see no problem with it at all.

    If he is blogging about the specifics of the interview then I would think that the magazine owns the information, and it\’s potentially illegal, and certainly unethical.

    The \”grey\” are I could see would be if he interviewed you about HD Net and other businesses, then blogged about other \”non interview\” things you discussed, such as the Mavs. I would tend to feel that \”sports\” are fair game, but for you, sports are a business as well, so that could fall into the same unethical/illegal group as above.

    Really to be certain though, I\’d have to have more background on the original article, the blog post itself, and any guidelines that were set up in advance of the interview.

    Comment by Rodibidably -

  39. It seems that the interviewer in question used information that anyone reading the interview could have commented about. Additionally I\’m not sure what the fuss is about as you\’re spun in a positive light, Cuban. You are talked about as a progressive agent of change who will be blocked by a bunch of old money codgers for no reason other than that fact that you do not fit all the criteria for their social niche. While this may not have been the most ethical thing he could have done, I fail to see why there would be a problem when he did not use the interview to be overly critical.

    Comment by Yokogleeton -

  40. If everyone that responded with \”absolutely unethical!\” while wagging a finger from atop a soapbox or high horse read the article posted by Leitch, they\’d realize something:

    There\’s no off-the-record stuff there. Its an opinion piece, one in which he actually empathizes with Cuban\’s plight.

    So can someone explain how Leitch\’s opinion of a question he asked in the interview is unethical? What makes it different from, say, me writing an opinion post on the same topic?

    And why hasn\’t Cuban responded to Leitch\’s apology email?

    Comment by Alex -

  41. The writer apparently lacks judgment and did not act ethically by using his interview notes, etc. for the blog. His use of the information probably did boost his blog activity, so the short-term gain to him was beneficial. Though the act of using the information for his blog has jeopardized his relationship with you, which is not good. Society is often after short term gain…consequences seem far off for most. It is sad.
    p.s. Is it unethical for me to ask you to use my chair, http://www.LaunchPadChair.com, on this blog? I do not know…I hope I am only trying to convince you of its great technology.
    -You posed the question…\”Ethical or not?\” which implies that in most cases ethics is a matter of judgment.

    Comment by Lee V. Alderman -

  42. Dude, get over yourself already. It\’s SOP in the magazine industry for freelancers to sell their pieces to print on a \”first North American reprint rights\”-only basis. Any and all other rights to the work remain with the freelancer. S/he can use them online, compiled with other articles in a book, excerpted elsewhere, etc. It\’s not the job of the freelancer to articulate every possible future use that *might* be made of the article and interview. Furthermore, other journalists are entirely free to lift quotes from the same piece to run in their own articles as well. (Who hasn\’t read an article online or in print that reads along these lines: \”According to the Wall Street Journal, Mark Cuban announced to the world that he\’s an egotistical putz. More after the jump.\”) Was it the job of the freelancer to apprise Mark of fair use rights that allow other pubs to engage in such excerpting. So you don\’t like Valleywag because they say mean things about you. Jesus, would you get over yourself.

    Comment by Charles Farley -

  43. It amuses me what a journalist says is ok ethically.

    Let me get this straight. He can call Mark for an interview for GQ — never mentioning he\’s going to blog about it on a blog he owns. And because Mark believed he was simply giving an interview to a magazine and nothing else, it\’s Mark\’s problem he didn\’t go all Perry Mason on the interviewer? Mark was supposed to cross examine this guy?

    Journalists have earned their sullied reputations through decades of hard work.

    Comment by jeff Brown -

  44. If it\’s the Deadspin article, I don\’t know what the deal is. It is unethical because you\’re basically giving an interview for two publications with permission for only one (knowingly) or on the record. From now on, a lawyer is going to have to write up a contract between you and the publisher with the author signing a disclaimer for information discussed in the room to appear only in said publication as they own the rights to the conversation. And you should charge them a fee so that if the writer renegs on it, the magazine will personally come after them as well. But as a sidenote, you\’re a celebrity. Your name sells/garners attention. This is really the only reason they chose to interview you in the first place. I haven\’t seen the Maloof bro\’s on very much or maybe I wasn\’t paying attention.

    Comment by Kemit -

  45. Not ethical. I would kindly ask him to remove the blog post and explain to the readers why he has removed the post.

    Comment by Seth -

  46. good question. he probably just assumed it would be ok, but one never knows.

    Comment by etavitom -

  47. It sounds like a classic case of double dipping. I don\’t think GQ would be too happy that he used their resources to provide content to his side project. having said all of that would it be an issue if the blog read… I just interviewed Mark Cuban for GQ and he is the greatest… and he is awesome…

    Just curious. people bad mouth me every day and it hurts.

    Comment by Mark Anundson -

  48. It would be much more helpful for you to give us some inkling of what about the blog you had a problem with, but
    I would have to agree with some of the other commenters about the difference between an interview and a blog. This is something that I think media has not yet come to terms with. A blog is not an online magazine nor does it have the same responsibilities depending on how the blog is run and organized.
    Of course these comments are made site unseen as I have not read the interview or the blog, but I would have to say that:
    a. if I go to a Mavs game (or even the Bobcats game last night which we were both at) and blog about how much fun I had there do I have to clear that with you first. What about if I meet you before the game or see you during the game, and tell everyone a third person account of the meeting.
    b. This is the gray part: Depending on how he blogged it I can see your point. If he is including the interview in the blog that would be unethical and borderline plagiarism depending on how his contract with his employer is worded, but I think the issue is not so much on your side as it would be an issue between the interviewer and his employer.
    c. what happened to your idea that publicity is neither good nor bad, but simply exposure. It sounds like you got exactly that and it is hard to see what you would be upset about.

    Comment by Raaden -

  49. I\’m thinking not ethical at all. I\’d call him on it.

    Comment by Sharon -

  50. balls

    Comment by J Lindy -

  51. That is unacceptable and unethical. He knew going in that you rarely do face to face interviews and seems to have wanted to get his 15 minutes of fame by bragging about it on a blog site. That is so wrong!! He has betrayed your trust. I would hope that you can trust others in the future.

    Amy

    Comment by Amy Krut -

  52. i think it was unethical for 3 reasons:
    1. he was representing the magazine
    2. at some point there must have been a discussion about the blog because you said you mentioned to him how you didn\’t care for the company that sponsors the blog site, or it\’s affiliates. so he knew of your displeasure with it.
    3. he was a journalist. when was the last time a journalist did anything ethical?

    Comment by Nate -

  53. This brings a similiar question to mind. What if it is the same scenario, except he is writing a book on the side? Is that any different? My guess is that, other than the quickness at which the posting can be made vs. publishing a book, that is isnt.

    With that said, Im not sure that either scenario is ethical. Im only sugesting that it is reality in a world where media is so competitive and profitable.

    Comment by George Welsh -

  54. that\’s so unbelievably unethical it\’s unreal!

    Comment by jp -

  55. mark, just watched \’diggers\’ and thought it was great.

    congrats, really well done film- ken marino has a bright future

    Comment by Ian Granville -

  56. Assuming the interviewer is Will Leech I guess GQ will certainly have a problem with this. For starters, other high profiles that they want to interview will start backing out of interviews if they are re-quoted out of context elsewhere. That\’s bad news for GQ and its image. I\’m guessing the journalist in question has a problem when it comes to getting more work from the magazine from now on… and anyone worth interviewing will certainly think twice before sitting down with him.

    Comment by Sam Daams -

  57. Ethical? Are you kidding? We are talking about America here.
    Journalism lost its ethics decades ago. Journalistic integrity and objective journalism fell by the way-side to the mighty dollar. It is all about greed and status now.
    I must get out of this country for a few years. See you in China.

    Comment by Mark -

  58. It\’s totally unethical. GQ bought first North American serial rights — and that\’s for a specified period of at least six months. Plus, any decent journalist is upfront with his subject about where the material is going to appear. Mark agreed to be in GQ. If the material from that interview was going to appear elsewhere, Will had a professional obligation to be unfront about that. Otherwise, he\’s no better than tabloid hack.

    Comment by terrence222 -

  59. I do not think it was ethical, but you did grant an interview, so you should not be shocked that the material was used for a blog. I would just chalk it up as a lesson learned. The press brings the good and the bad, I would not let it bother you too much. If that is the price you had to pay to never have to deal with that person again, I think you got off easy.

    Comment by Andrew -

  60. piss poor ethics if ya ask me.

    Comment by Anton Alferness -

  61. He\’s an author, so I don\’t think it\’s a matter of someone being naive. So therefore… no, he should be blackballed. He\’s lost the trust of anyone he interviews. That was classless.

    Comment by Christopher Bowen -

  62. I\’m not sure how Intellectual Property works for journalists but as an IT worker, If I produced a product for my employer and then detailed the product on a blog, I would expect a call from the company\’s legal department and a quick walk out the door.

    This seems similar although there isn\’t the same level of propretary knowledge involved. If you create a product using your company\’s resources, the company has a right to expect that you will not attempt to profit from it outside of work unless it was explicitly stated before hand.

    Comment by Levi -

  63. Sounds like he was looking for the Edge .

    Comment by Justin -

  64. Well it seems perfectly legal. And in my opinion, perfectly ethical. If a music magazine were to pay a reporter as an employee to follow a band on tour, and said reporter were to write a book about the experience, using quotes from conversations and interviews done during the tour, I think that\’d be fine, ethically. Same for the soldier who comes home from Iraq and is compensated for some op-ed articles he writes. Or the waitress who maintains a profitable blog ridiculing her coworkers and customers using quotes from her conversations. So yes, I believe the behavior is morally and ethically sound. I\’d say it was inconsiderate, since he probably didn\’t foresee your disappointment in his actions. He probably owes you an apology. But I wouldn\’t call it immoral.

    Comment by Shane -

  65. While it may be an ethical gray area, I\’m with you. You agreed to do a interview with GQ, not Valleywag, and Leitch should have honored that agreement. As a blogger myself, I feel like regardless of whether the site is \”for-profit\” or not (and Leitch definitely gets paid a pretty penny by Gawker media) he overstepped his bounds in writing that post and was out of line. It\’s not often that I question the integrity of my fellow bloggers, but part of me definitely thinks less of Leitch as a person now.

    Comment by Loren -

  66. Now Mark, I\’ve been reading your \”blogs\” for 4 years. The topics of discussion that you decide to post are posted by you. I would think you make the determination of what you will or will not post. Case in fact, somebody else said it earlier, \”blogs\” need to be better defined. Mark, you know in your \”blog\” posts you have talked about plenty of people and did not get their permission.
    Didn\’t you just say something along the lines of, \”I remember the interview well. Michael Humecki the Prez, and Doug (don\’t remember his last name), his partner double-teamed me. Michael did most of the talking to start.\”
    Now, Mark.
    Did you get their permission?
    So now your on that \”I make the rules\” trip.
    C\’mon Mark.
    It\’s a blog.
    Is it really that serious? Did it somehow get you close to a tragedy?
    Lighten up man.
    C\’mon Mark. You\’re trippin …

    Comment by partyhardy -

  67. Hey Mark, Ethics? Give me a break dude. Ethics in business is a long lost art. When you find someone that says they wont do something and means it for ethical reasons, you have a gem of an aquaintance. I\’m sure you hear it all the time in your place of the food chain, \”Oh its not personal, Its business.\” Bullshit and rationalization is what it is! Valerie Plame ring a bell? When you meet someone and know that when they say,\” You have my word\” and you know it without a doubt, Hold on to them, hire them, anything to keep them in your circle, because unfortunately people like that are few and far between. As for the blogger, He stole from his boss and if his boss is naive enough to condone it, he got what he desevers from the hiring of such shallowness. Thanks for the thoughts

    Comment by Frankie from Lawnside -

  68. Totally unethical! Kinda makes it easy to understand why you don\’t do interviews face to face.

    Comment by Thom -

  69. Well, I would guess that neither you nor any of your friends will consent to an interview with this individual again, and possibly not with the magazine he represents. Ethical, maybe, who cares really. Good for business? Definitely not

    Comment by zach wilson -

  70. Easily unethical. Like a snake, he was hiding in the grass. An opportunist/\”ho\” using you and his magazine to pimp his blog.

    Like my son used to say when he was young and \”fudded\” alot, \”I don\’t yike him, Pop.\”

    Comment by JT Taylor -

  71. Are you kidding? Did you actually expect an interviewer who is also a blogger NOT to post something about it later?

    Absolutely there is no ethical issue here. Blogs link to and discuss print media articles all the time. Now you have lots of people talking, linking, opinionating about this – I\’m guessing that\’s the point of the post above.

    Mark, I know you thrive on making controversial statements but this gets ridiculous.

    p.s. everyone should see Will\’s (the author/blogger) response here:
    http://www.alleyinsider.com/2008/01/mark-cuban-i-like-gq-not-valleywag.html

    Comment by tonyleachsf -

  72. If it\’s for his own personal blog and not some commercial venture then I don\’t think it\’s wrong. You can edit somebodies personal experiences.

    Say I were to sit by you at a sporting event and blog about it later? Would that be wrong.

    Now – if he went and blogged about his personal experience on a site that is more of a commercial venture than personal then things would be sketchy.

    Comment by Paul -

  73. Mark,
    I don\’t recall reading about ethics in your sport of business blog. With so much junk being published daily with the sole goal of selling media, one would expect and hope that he would blog about his experience interviewing you. And also hope that he makes a buck doing it! In my opinion this would be called progress in the online media industry. A blog (or article) about an experience with an intelligent and successful person is far more entertaining than one that has a catchy title but rambles and fails to actually say something.

    Comment by Braden Mcloughlin -

  74. (Full disclosure: I\’m a \”professional\” journalist, an unpaid blogger, and a professor of journalism at a community college.)

    There\’s a big difference between professional courtesy and ethics, by definition, but in this case the line between them is at least blurred, if not crossed.

    It\’s very common for journalists, especially freelancers, to try to make as much money as possible off any assignment, i.e., you make one trip for a travel magazine, but then spin more stories for a wine magazine, a hotel magazine, a golf magazine, etc.

    Assuming the reporter knew of your preference for pre-approved outlets, then what he did was unethical. He certainly knew of the exception that you made to meet with him face-to-face, so at the very least he owed you the courtesy of asking if he could sell the story somewhere else.

    And, as always happens with issues like this, he has ruined it for the next reporter who wants to sit down with you.

    Unethical? Possibly. Discourteous? Definitely.

    Comment by Ken Carpenter -

  75. Doesn\’t seem ethical from what you wrote.

    But with 90% of my students thinking it\’s okay to get whatever music, movies or software online for free…I don\’t know what the majority considers \’ethical\’ anymore.

    Comment by david -

  76. To me, he has lost influence and credibility. Whether it is right or wrong legally, probably nothing wrong with it. But, it only takes a couple of unwise decisions to ruin a reputation.

    Comment by Brad Bretz -

  77. I would say that if his company is ok with his behavior, then it\’s fine. If it wasn\’t ethical to blog about things that happened at work, a lot of very interesting blogs would disappear. This should just be the learning experience that will get you to ask some more questions before your next interview…

    Comment by Michael Sartain -

  78. Completely unethical
    Just another instance of someone thinking that \”their experiences\” are there own. If my boss pays me to do something and it creates IP, he owns it. If I want to spend my time creating it then it is mine.

    The sharing of information on a blog is FAR different than relating a story to your friends or writing in a diary. It is in the public domain forever. To be endlessly copied as future facts for someone else.

    Comment by rand -

  79. Absolutely ethical. Sounds like he was an independent contractor, specifically contracted to write the story. They can\’t disallow him from talking about his experiences on his own blog. That\’s why they\’re called \”independent\”.

    Now, the magazine is fully within their rights not to use his services in the future.

    Comment by Nick Davis -

  80. In this particular instance, there does not seem to be any sort of ethical problem. He didn\’t mention anything that wasn\’t already in the published interview for the magazine. And the short excerpt was used as a jumping point into an opinion piece that involved Mr Cuban only as an example of a larger issue. He makes mention of other owners in similar situations. As long as the publication has no problem with him directly quoting a piece of their interview, then it should be fair game. Would the same questions arise if a third party bought the magazine, posted the part in question and presented a similar (hardly unpopular) opinion? I realize the issue is that he is ostensibly benefitting from work that was paid for by a different outlet, but he did not present any information that you would not be able to get from reading the interview in question.

    Comment by James -

  81. \”The magazine that paid for his travel and wage, likely owns all of the intellectual property generated.\”

    This is a radical misunderstanding of journalists\’ rights.

    If the journalist was a freelancer (depending on the contract with her employer), she owns the copyright to her work. She simply licensed the first-use of the article to the magazine and after a period of time the rights revert to her.

    If she was getting paid by the blog, she was likely in violation of her contract. But if we agree blogs are simply public conversations, no one would deny her the right to have a conversation about her most recent magazine article.

    Finally, this reporter\’s experiences are her own. If she chooses to sell the story again in a year to a different magazine with a new spin, she has that right. If she wishes to write a book about it one day, she may do so. Most of the books on the shelf in Barnes and Noble are by reporters who\’ve spent their life researching specific subjects and making a living off their accumulated expertise.

    There are societies that try to control this sort of information and we probably don\’t want to live in them.

    Comment by Matt Forsythe -

  82. \”I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.\” – Voltaire

    Comment by Matt -

  83. Since he quotes the actual interview that he conducted and credits the source with mention/link, I don\’t think it\’s unethical. Any blogger could have read the interview and posted a similar article (minus the insight of having conducted the interview), and bloggers typically do this kind of linking with mainstream media.

    It\’s definitely not polite given how much you dislike the site and his general attitude in the post. If he was concerned about maintaining a reputation with you, he probably would have handled it differently. Considering that is his day job, his experience with you in the interview was bound to find it\’s way there eventually. It\’s not the nicest thing and maybe against traditional journalistic etiquette, but I don\’t think it makes him unethical. He conducted the interview and produced one article (fulfilling his contract to the magazine) and then posted a second article to the blog.

    Just my two cents.

    Comment by Jacob -

  84. i\’m not sure there\’s really any reason to get your panties in a bunch here. (sorry for cutting to the bone, just being honest).

    if you and i had sat down for the interview and someone listened in, albeit weird, and then proceeded to blog on what he/she heard, would that be unethical? there\’s tons of sites based on rumors along (trumors comes quickly to mind).

    i can only imagine the level of effort it must take to maintain a private life when thrown in the spot light as you are, marc, but at the same time:
    relax.
    at the end of the day, month, year, lifetime, nobody is going to remember what some silly journalist said about you being an appropriate sport franchise owner.

    as for compromise of your assumptions, those were simply *your* assumptions and knowing who you\’re interviewing with is a responsibility of the interviewee prior to accepting/conducting the interview. the journalist in question was simply operating under different assumptions.

    good luck w/ the issue.

    Comment by messels -

  85. Hmmm. This one might require a lawyer to answer, and I\’m not that guy. The work for the magazine was probably freelance done by an independent contractor, and as such the writer would control the right to reuse the material in fora not covered by the contract with the magazine. And the blog post\’s focus might be quite different from the magazine piece\’s. Still, there\’s a pretty clear conflict of interests here: Company X paid the writer to obtain the material, but he used it to benefit a competing Company Y. So unless I had the explicit permission of the magazine, I\’d feel uncomfortable repurposing the material for another publication, regardless of the format. As far as him not telling you he intended to sell the material to more than just the magazine, that strikes me as caveat interviewee, particularly when it\’s a freelance piece. Say the writer turned in the piece to the magazine and the magazine decided not to run it; would you have expected him to come back to you and ask permission to sell it to someone else?

    Comment by Jon Healey -

  86. This is a horrible violation of even the lowest standards of journalistic integrity. I was an editor for my college paper and we had a code of ethics that violated this kind of conflict when working for outside media outlets.

    I can\’t find GQ\’s code of ethics online, but Business Week\’s code can be found here: http://www.businessweek.com/ethics.htm . It follows the American Society of Magazine Editors code of ethics and you can see in the \”freelancing\” section that this is totally out of line.

    Comment by Bill -

  87. I think it\’s important before judging the situation to read the contents of the post in question.

    Assuming the link some commenters have provided is the right one (which seems likely), then I\’m not sure what the big deal is.

    That post was nothing more than an opinion piece on the odds of you getting into the baseball owner club. It\’s not like he quoted something you said out of the context of his interviewing you for GQ.

    If he\’d been writing snarky things revealing new details of that meeting then there might be an issue, but I just didn\’t see it here.

    That said, I do think what he did was really bad form considering the fact he must\’ve known how skittish you are about face-to-face interviews. Why he would risk torpedoing his relationship with you and potentially GQ is beyond me.

    And potentially even worse than that is because of his actions the odds of you giving another interview like this any time soon have likely gone to just about nil.

    So ultimately it\’s we the readers who have lost out on the most in this situation as it means fewer opportunities to peak inside your brain to see what you\’re thinking.

    Luckily we\’ve still got Blog Maverick to get this insight!

    Comment by Geoff Daily -

  88. Have you ever quoted someone on your blog without their expressed written consent? Have you ever told stories from your life on your blog, that referenced other people without their expressed written consent? I\’m pretty sure you have… so perhaps you could answer your own question.

    Comment by Mike -

  89. as a working journalist with nearly 10 years experience, including seven at one of the largest publishing companies in the world, i\’ve come to understand that there are no more ethics in journalism.

    if you agree to be interviewed, then you\’ve essentially given the interviewer carte blanche to do whatever he so chooses with the content of the interview. period. that\’s the harsh reality of living in the age of the blogosphere that so many don\’t seem to understand.

    if i blog about what i\’m writing here, is that unethical?

    i\’m currently on the clock with my employer, but surfing around as is my wont at the end of my day to catch up on whatever i might\’ve missed while conducting my interviews, researching for my piece, writing said article, and otherwise working.

    so have i deceived my employer my typing words on web site not affiliated with my employer?

    sad but true in 2008: ethics are in the eyes of the beholder

    Comment by jrp -

  90. Unethical? I\’m not sure. I\’d like to think that in his position I would have disclosed my intent to reference the interview in another publication. But I\’m not everyone (nor am I a journalist).

    My question: why, if you knew in advance (as both the GQ and Valleywag pieces state) that he was associated with Deadspin, did you not come out and ask him if he intended to use the interview for Deadspin or any other publication he was associated with? I would think that sort of knowledge would raise a red flag that you would deal with before you continued the interview.

    @16: Why do you think the personal/for-profit distinction is no longer valid? When did it stop & why? (I don\’t necessarily disagree with you, but you gave exactly zero supporting evidence or even theory as to why that might be.)

    Comment by Justin -

  91. Did he act ethically towards the magazine? Sure. Freelancers almost always sell \”first serial rights\”, which means after it\’s published in XYZ magazine, the freelancer can republish the EXACT same article anywhere else.

    Did he act ethically towards you? Unless you said otherwise, in advance, yes. Interviewees set limits all the time. This is for background, they will say, or this is for DEEP background, or this may not be attributed to me or my organization, or this may not be attributed to me, but you can attribute it to an insider at this company. Anyone who watch many TV shows knows how THAT work, and as a broadcasting executive, you should be especially aware.

    So an interview with the mother superior shows up first in Moody Monthly, and several months later, in Hustler? You might assume that a nun is naive, and argue that the writer should have clarified the situation. But is Mark Cuban naive? I don\’t buy that. Does he speak without thinking? Quite obviously – and that\’s part of his charm. Live with it, Mark.

    Comment by Paul Ding -

  92. The article is titled \”Why no rich techie should ever buy a sports team\” and the point of the article (aside from another misleading cheap shot about the previous post) is that \”new money\” is not welcome in sports. Clearly we can debate this guy\’s writing skills right up there with his ethics.

    I don\’t think there is anything per se in the article that is unethical in context of the interview. Leitch, however, does strike me as just another douche pandering to the lowest common denominator in entertainment.

    If anything Mark\’s mistake was giving this guy any more pub than he deserved.

    Comment by Mike A -

  93. I think it\’s only ethical if youn don\’t disclose your relationships to sponsors or people you work for, so as readers don\’t realize that the story may be slanted by economic interests. I\’m a Web 1.0 guy, and censorship of any kind sucks. You, Mark, may have been unhappy, but that\’s freedom of speech, for you. Love it or hate it, gotta respect it. I\’d shudder to think of a world where freedom of speech didn\’t exist. Love ya!

    Comment by Mark Sandcones -

  94. I\’m not sure what his intentions were, but to be ethical would have been to go out of your way to ensure you have usability rights.

    He should have asked you AND the magazine first. That\’s ethical.

    Comment by Mike Hirst -

  95. Well, considering that journalistic ethics is an oxymoron, I\’m not sure what you expected.

    Comment by Skip -

  96. At the very least, the reporter should have asked you if they could blog about the interview.

    As a ex-journalist, I know first-hand that writing for a media outlet AND running your own blog can be a delicate balancing act. You get access to interesting people because of your day job, and your employer expects you to use this access to write content from them.

    The question is whether this information can be used by the reporter when he\’s not working for another purpose. Does the employer own the information or does a reporter have the right to re-purpose it?

    It\’s an interesting ethical issue that\’s not easy to answer.

    Comment by Mark Evans -

  97. In my opinion, it is wrong. He should have at least asked for the opportunity to post a blog about the interview from you. His actions make him an opportunist and someone who cannot be trusted , especially by his employer.

    Comment by Search Engine Optimization - Terry Reeves -

  98. Of course it\’s not ethical. He just burned a major bridge for the advancement of his career on a blog. A typical example of how not to last in the business you\’re in.

    Comment by joey -

  99. NOPE!

    Comment by Nick -

  100. I\’d say UNETHICAL! It would be the equivalent of my company sending me to for training on a new development language (or updates to a language) and then I turn and use that knowledge I gained from the training to try and make a profit on my own. Or the equivalent of me sitting at my desk in my cubicle and doing development work for outside companies while my company pays me as well – this seems more along with what he did

    Comment by James -

  101. Not ethical.

    This brings up a bigger point, though:

    Journalists are not credentialed workers. And with the proliferation of blogs, anyone can rationally claim to be a \”journalist.\” This is dangerous, since we often afford journalists special powers: not turning over notes, revealing sources, etc.

    Comment by dl004d -

  102. I understand making a buck, but journalism, especially today, needs higher standards. I think the writer hi-jacked his own work and exploited it. He was paid for a job and he apparently did it well, but the arrogance and ignorance associated with leveraging the conversation to include in a blog for some other ultimate financial gain basically destroys whatever journalistic integrity you thought the writer had.

    Unethical.

    Comment by Bobby J. -

  103. While he did use the interview to make a post on another site, none of the information (except for the fact that you compared his blog to Inside Edition) in his post was new or not included in the article. He didn\’t keep a juicy quote from GQ to use for his own gain, which would be obviously unethical. His view expressed in his blog post could have been made even if he hadn\’t done the interview. I don\’t see anything wrong with what was done in this case.

    Comment by Brandon -

  104. blogging — ethical? you must be joking. it starts with the biggest blogs and the industry and runs down from there. the whole thing is an unethical mess. so nothing out of the ordinary here.

    Comment by jt -

  105. Personally, I would\’ve linked to the article, suggested people check it out and added a personal antidote about the experience.

    And that\’s it. If he wanted an interview for his blog it should\’ve been framed as such.

    Comment by Chris -

  106. I don\’t think what Will did was wrong. He only used a quote from the article, and the substance of his post wouldn\’t have changed much had someone else written the article.

    Comment by Steve -

  107. If you remove the quote AND the reference to the interview, than its probably okay. But, adding the quote and putting in the part about conducting the interview, that crossed the line from opinion piece to reporting. Mr. Cuban signed a deal with GQ, which likely included terms and conditions of the content collected. Valleywag is likely not in the terms of use. Since the author so clearly linked the interview to the story, including a direct quote, I feel its unethical. This guy, as an employee of GQ, likely violated the terms of the Cuban-GQ contract.

    Comment by Chris -

  108. I think this definitely leans toward unethical. Especially since he did not clear this with his employer. I think that he abused his relationship with his employer to use the interview for personal gain.
    At a minimum he should have cleared it with his employer.

    Comment by Mike -

  109. Is he staff or freelance? I don\’t think it\’s unusual to repurpose interview material. A freelancer has to get as much mileage as he can. The original magazine got its article, and as long as he doesn\’t violate the copyright they likely hold on the article, I believe he\’s free to re-use it. I might inform a source that I\’m reusing the material, but only as a courtesy. I would also inform the source at the time of the original interview that although I was interviewing on a specific assignment that I intend to pursue as many publications as possible.

    If he\’s staff, that might be a bit more of an issue, but only because it depends on his relationship to his employer, not to you as the source. Does the employer \”own\” all interest in his writing or writing that develops out of his work? I\’m not sure that it (always) does, though I bet his employer does. I don\’t think it\’s unreasonable for him to notify you of the additional use, but I\’m not sure that failure to notify is a sign of unethical behavior.

    While it\’s probably not fair, I think in the future the key is for you as a source is to define the terms of use (e.g., I consent to this interview for this specific publication only). Similar to informed consent for scientific research studies. Informed consent for one study does not imply informed consent to perpetual reuse of your data, as much as scientist might prefer.

    Comment by Robert Saunders -

  110. He filfuilled his contract with his employer, then blogged about it on his own time. I don\’t see that as a problem unless his employment contract specifically forbids it (and we don\’t know if that\’s his deal or not).

    I\’m sorry your name is now associated with a site you don\’t approve of, but surely this is not the first time you\’ve gotten publicity you have no control over? It\’s business, man, get over it and move on.

    Comment by Sprezzatura -

  111. these days a lot of wannabes try to be \”disruptive\” ..they think its cool without knowing what it means. Point here mark is it wont hurt you a bit, though annoying, and clearly will stifle the pricks career growth. His choice to use the blogosphere and your goodwill to his advantage will turn out to be catastrophic for his next celeb inquiry and job interview. You can\’t take advantage of good people and get away with it , unless of course your NBA referees and have other motivations.

    Comment by zwe -

  112. I wouldn\’t be so quick to condemn. The Valleywag post is essentially an opinion column – why Will thinks that Mark wouldn\’t be allowed to buy a major league baseball team. He does use a quote from the GQ interview (I assume that\’s where it\’s from – don\’t know whether it\’s in the final printed edition or not.) to lead into the column, but he could have just as easily written the post without that quote.

    What if the Valleywag post had appeared without the highlighted quote from Mark? Does the same question — ethical or not — apply?

    Comment by Jeff Beckham -

  113. It seems to me to be transparently obvious this action is one that is absent of basic ethics. I see no reason for this other than to be deliberately provocative.

    I don\’t know about illegal. It is a crime to be a bonehead?

    I have two questions: One, who is he? (come on Mark, you know what curiosity did to the cat) And two, did you not like what he wrote of you?

    Comment by Toni -

  114. My 2 cents (and IANAL or a journalist):

    Totally ethical, as long as:
    1) He didn\’t explicitly promise not to blog on the site in question as a condition of the interview (you didn\’t say he did, so I\’m assuming not).
    2) He didn\’t claim in the blog post that he had interviewed you *for that blog* (as opposed to for the magazine).
    3) The blog post wasn\’t simply a recap of the interview, but a specific opinion piece that incidentally refers to the actual interview.
    4) His contract with the magazine doesn\’t explicitly prohibit him from blogging about his interview subjects.

    The fact of the matter is, freelance journalists today are gathering information that they could express in a whole bunch of public forums, including blogs. If you want to tell this blogger that he can\’t mention you on his blog AT ALL if he wants to talk to you, that\’s your call — but otherwise, you talk to the media, it\’s fair game.

    Think about it this way: would there be any question if *another* blogger had posted the same thing, based on his/her own reading of the published interview? What\’s really the difference between those two cases?

    Assuming Jeff B is correct that this is Valleywag/Deadspin\’s Will Leitch, and the post in question is the one he linked to in comment 9: I think Will did a pretty good job of disclosing:
    1) that he had interviewed you for GQ, and
    2) that you had expressed significant displeasure with Deadspin, at least (if not Valleywag as well).

    For the record, I\’m not a big fan of Valleywag either, and wouldn\’t blame you particularly for just refusing to talk to anyone affiliated with the site. But in this case, I don\’t think there\’s anything unethical.

    (To folks making the for-profit/personal blog distinction: I don\’t think that\’s a particularly valid distinction anymore. I\’d say that as long as the author linked to the interview itself, e.g. the published source that\’s being referred to, he\’s fulfilled any ethical obligations to the magazine.)

    Comment by Adam Elman -

  115. Depends on how you see blogs… if it is a \”conversation\” then you have to treat it like one – if you\’ll talk about it with your friends, colleagues, or whatever, then it should be ok to extend that into the blogosphere imo.

    Obviously, this is a threat to people used to tightly controlling their message, what people say about them, etc, and have the resources and legal peeps to exert that control. Honestly, I\’d say that\’s old thinking though. In this new world, we need to live with conversations, and new forums for those conversations.

    Another thought… would it be polite to ask you first, if he knew people would be interested? Yes, I think so, and if his replationship with you was important he\’d avoid doing it. Unethical? No, I don\’t think so. By any \”technical\” definition journalists don\’t really place hardly any \”ethical\” limits on themselves anyway when it comes to talking to newsmakers. I\’m not a journalist, but I\’m sure they view it as a two way street too. (ie, if you want them to print things from time to time as you want it, this is part of the deal.) Who knows. I\’d classify this in the \”good problem to have\” category of problems.

    Comment by Duncan Lamb -

  116. I don\’t know if it\’s a question of ethics, just intelligence. But then I don\’t know the details of the implicit or explicit contract you had with this person. If you said \”I don\’t want any contents of this interview on that site,\” and he agreed, obviously a line was crossed. But if he did the interview, knowing you don\’t like the other site, and posted it anyway, then he\’s just a douchebag. Plus I\’m sure the magazine would have a beef with him using their material for gain elsewhere. That\’s just bad business.

    Comment by Mike -

  117. If the blogger\’s site has ads and generates revenue for anyone other than the magazine then the the answer to the question is plain and simple, this is definitely not ethical. He did the interview as a representative of a magazine and any quotes or references on a personal blog are probably out-of-line unless the blog is associated with the magazine.

    Comment by David -

  118. If his blog was personal, and not for profit, then I think it was ethical. Otherwise, not at all.

    I have seen you blog about your experiences with people in meetings and other such events that have happened to you. Did you ask all of them if you could blog about the experience before you posted?

    Your experiences are just that, your experiences. Other than the number of viewers, how is it different from telling a group of your friends about what you did, except on a much larger scale.

    Like I said though, if it was for profit, then I think he owes his employer some royalties from advertising on that article, if it was personal, then he has every right to tell whoever he wants if he didn\’t sign an NDA saying he wouldn\’t talk about it.

    Comment by Kray -

  119. Here\’s the Valleywag post (meant to include it before):
    http://valleywag.com/347396/why-no-rich-techie-should-ever-buy-a-sports-team

    Comment by Jeff Beckham -

  120. Completely unethical, possibly illegal.

    The magazine that paid for his travel and wage, likely owns all of the intellectual property generated. When the author took that property and used it for his own benefit outside of the company on blog, he may have violated the law.

    Even if he did not break the law, it was unethical, and bad journalism.

    These are new issues that have to be tested and figured out though…

    Comment by PRoales -

  121. the background is here:
    http://valleywag.com/347396/why-no-rich-techie-should-ever-buy-a-sports-team

    Comment by _ryan -

  122. I think you need to call his name out. It seems you feel he crossed an ethical line. For journalist the way you keep them ethical is when they cross that line, you mean it know. You make them lose a little credibility, because as a journalist, that\’s all you\’ve got.

    CALL HIM OUT BY NAME. You don\’t have to link to his blog, but call him out. That way if somebody else is considering an interview with this guy, they can google him and they will know what may happen to them. If you feel he\’s unethical, tie his name to it.

    Comment by duhblow7 -

  123. The description seems to fit Will Leitch of Deadspin. Will interviewed Mark for GQ, then wrote some blog posts yesterday about it on Valleywag.

    Comment by Jeff Beckham -

  124. I think a blog is too general of a term these days. A blog can be a venue for a journalist to get their reporting out, but it can also be used as a personal journal.

    If his blog is more like a journal that talks about his daily personal life and does not generate revenue for himself, then i don\’t see a problem with him blogging about an event that happened to him during that day. Even if that includes meeting somebody that would prefer not to be in another\’s journal.

    If his blog is a commercial blog, used to promote himself in any manner or used to generate revenue, then I believe he cross into a newsreporter/blogger and must ensure he remains ethical.

    Comment by duhblow7 -

  125. Totally not ethical. He basically lied to you and then used your interview for his own personal gain. I\’d be more than upset with him and hopefully, the magazine is as well. That was very unprofessional in my opinion. His work for the magazine should be kept separate from his blogging life.

    Comment by tiffany -

  126. From the sounds of it, is this a blog for commercial purposes? Or are we just talking about a personal blog. I guess if it\’s a personal blog, I don\’t see any harm in talking about something you did for work. However, if the intent behind blogging about the interview is to gain some kind of profit from the whole experience, then I would have to agree that it is unethical. The benefit of the interview from their side is supposed to be for the magazine, not for the promotion of whatever blog he works on.

    It\’s one thing to blog about your job on your own personal space, it\’s another thing entirely to try and further profit from an interview you were asked to perform as a function of your job.

    Comment by Mike Maloney -

  127. He fulfilled his obligation to his employer. Then he blogged about something he did. No one owns your experiences.

    Comment by Scott -

  128. Definitely not. I\’m sure many would be interested to know who pulled this stunt.

    Comment by Scott Cropper -

  129. We\’re sure that he doesn\’t care about ethics, only blog hits and garnering attention for increased book sales.

    Comment by Miguel -

Comments are closed.