Assessing the Media

Anyone who reads this blog, knows that for the most part I view the media, sports media in particular, as a valuable partner who always takes the path of least resistance when it comes to doing their jobs.

Watching all the coverage of the Piston – Pacer aftermath the media critic in me had two very specific observations:

1. There is no shortage of opinions. Everyone in the media has one.
2. There is a complete shortage of factual information to backup any of the opinion.

Once the media got the transcripts of the suspensions by the league, the transcript of the Detroit authorities and the notice to appeal by the players union reported, has there been a single additional fact uncovered?

In particular the media has speculated about the impact of what happenedto the NBA, our fans, sports in general. No one in the media seems to want to do any investigative reporting to determine if there are any facts that just might prove or disprove the speculation, or maybe even lead to new questions that should be asked.

Instead I get suggestive questions based on connecting dots that are so disparate that its laughable. I have had multiple reporters ask questions starting with…

…… Sprewell’s complaints about feeding his family on the T-Wolves offer to this brawl, I just wanted to ask you how do you believe that teams and the league should move forward? Is there patching up that needs to be done between players and fans? And do you feel that there is a
disconnect between the athletes and the fans?

Spree’s trying to lobby for a raise and Artest going into the stands. Those are related?

Since when are reporters supposed to start with conclusions posed as questions, rather than uncover facts and report on them? Are reporters the “new columnists”?

Or another favorite is, “Since the fans are so close to the action in the NBA, will there be any changes in policy”? Say what ?

Yeah, fans who can afford court side seats have been uniquely identified as a demographic predisposed to violence. There are at least 20 research reports on the subject.

Aren’t reporters supposed to uncover facts and report on them rather than start with a conclusion and find quotes to build a story around it?

It’s valid to question whether there are issues that need to be addressed. It’s valid to ask what has been learned from the events that took place. It isalso valid for the recipients of the questions to expect that the media has done some homework before asking questions.

The questions I mention above came to me TODAY. At this point there are plenty of facts that could have been uncovered by reporters.

There are attendance records, there are drop counts, for all the games played by all 30 teams.
There are local and national tv ratings for all 30 teams.
There are statistically valid surveys that can be done.
It’s possible to go back through the tape of the game and look for incidents or situations that might have occored, on the court and in the stands.
One of the refs during the game was miked by ESPN. Did anyone listen to this tape to see if any new info was picked up by that mike?

How tough would have it been for a single reporter to gather any or all of this and report on it?

I asked all of the above questions, and other than access to the tape,I have gotten answers or taken action on all the above so that I could make informed decisions.

There were other questions I asked and got answered that I can’t list here. I’m sure there were some I missed.

It’s my job to make decisions based on information. I wish it was the job of reporters to report based on more than just the easy and obvious available to them. Then again, I would probaly faint the first time a reporter actually uncovered unique information and asked a question about it.

42 thoughts on “Assessing the Media

  1. All the media did was miss inform people about the war. to blame them for it is not a sensible thing to do. If you’r going to blame anyone, blame your goverment lindsay. and the American people who put
    Bush back in office.

    Comment by d.b -

  2. It’s a friggin’ game. A “sport” played by highly paid whiners. People really should get a life.

    Comment by Jim -

  3. wow…i’ve heard of the media being blamed for lots of things…but the Iraq war? The media did that? Really? Holy cow.

    Comment by rob -

  4. Interesting take on the media, but keep in mind this is only a sport. I think the real criticism should be based on the media that led us to a fricking WAR without a legitimate reason.

    Comment by lindsay lohan -

  5. the thing thats difficult for me to understand is, the sports commentators/reporters who are willing to down grade the players when something disagreeable happens. is there some list of actions and players that are to be excommunicated when the dreaded “line is crossed”? for a group of people whose very lively hood depends on these same players, bringing some pop and snap to the game,it seems like some weird vampire movie. there were some reporters who were on the air almost immediately, with “this is a no no, through the book at him” which one of us would allow some rude, spoiled creatin to throw a cup of anything in our face with out some serious confrontation? is the game that valuble that your very humanity is at stake? if so then any means neccessary is in order. hind sight is supposed to be 20/20 and i am sure artest would love to play the game and keep that 5mil in his pocket(divided by uncle sam, agents,bookeepers, family, and certainly last but not least lawyers and lawsuits)but the boot has dropped and our memories hopefully will serve us well
    when this drama plays it self out. p.s. turning the sound down and watching the game usually

    Comment by charles o. -

  6. Did anyone else find the fight exciting? I loved every minute of it. I watched it over and over. I’m not the only one, all my friends thought it was awsome. Are you telling me not one reporter agrees with me? Every reporter on every station acted as if it was the most dispicable act ever. Come on, can we not tell the truth in this country? Is Jimmy the Greek that far off on his coments?

    Comment by Jeffrey -

  7. The funny part is that some people on this board feel free to engage in the exact behavior that Blog Maverick accuses sports reporters of: Drawing conclusions without doing enough research. Or even any.

    Can’t really speak to broadcast, but when I hear someone talk about a newspaper reporter is trying to sell papers — in connection with a complex story — it does make one cringe.

    Do people go for the easy story angle? Sure. But there’s a difference between something that fills the paper (a colorful comment by a sports owner), and something that actually sells the paper (a world title). Something tells me that shareholders at Gannett and Knight-Ridder — corporations that own the papers in Detroit and Indianapolis — aren’t exactly expecting an increased stock price because of the brawl.

    Comment by Chris -

  8. Welcome to my world. I try to run an entire website on the sports media in Boston always taking the easy path, be it writing endless stories about “curses”, taking shots at the coach of the two-time Super Bowl champs because he doesn’t make their jobs easy on them and many other similar topics.

    Comment by Bruce Allen -

  9. It’s about time someone pointed all this out! Thank you for doing so! I am tired of pulling up and reading a column that states things like “There was no security in the Palace.” Now c’mon. If he had actually watched it, he would have seen plenty of blue and red shirted people rushing to the brawl. I’ve been to dozens of games at the Palace. The security is strong, and there really are no incidents. Thank you for this post.

    -Dan Joseph
    Detroit, MI

    Comment by Dan Joseph -

  10. My point is, a reporters job is to write. An adverstising reps job is to sell ads. Therefore, by definition, ad reps worry about the dollar and reporters don’t. A reporter doesn’t go around wondering, “what lead can I use in this story that will create the most money?” They simply write the story.
    Secondly, big headlines may get readers, but journalists don’t write headlines. They write stories. Writers could give a crap how many papers are sold.
    Besides, circulation is much more variable on the population of the area than what kind of articles are being written. It’s true that circulation plays a big role in how many advertisers you get, but the point is still that the easiest way for a paper to make more money is to increase ads, not order reporters to write fluff stories.

    Comment by rob -

  11. I am getting really annoyed with the so called coverage sports news is giving to the “brawl” and I can’t stand how the media is trying to make “violence in sports” some kind of trend. As a student and journalism major, I see this as pure laziness, the media circulates a term or trend, and the reporters just pick up on the trend and go from there. They are too lazy to go out and uncover facts. If a story is easy to cover and if there are thousands of sources wanting to comment then there’s the easy story. It’s annoying.

    Comment by Cecilia -

  12. >>Rob<< last time I checked, big headlines get readers. Thus, circulation increases. Hmm? I wonder why journalist in the pop culture gen go with sex stories from cover to end? It's sales. You must be one of those people when reality calls for orange, you say read?

    Comment by Sterling Wright -

  13. No, what’s ignorant is speaking of the the circulation and advertising models as separate. What do you think the ad reps are selling? Eyeballs? How are eyeballs counted? Circulation.

    And poor reporting is also based on profits because it is a cost center, one on which monopoly newspapers think they can afford to cut back.

    Comment by Peg -

  14. Journalists aren’t concerned that their stories lead to more profits. Their bosses, the editors, aren’t concerned with it either. Nor are the editors’ bosses, the managing editors. Nor the managing editors’ bosses, the editors in chief.
    The people most concerned with profits are the CEOs, the Vice Presidents, the boards, etc. These profits are largely gained through advertising, not circulation. Most print media outlets maintain a steady circulation profit no matter what they print, boring or exciting, true or false, etc.
    Advertising is how newspapers make money, not articles. All of the comments saying that poor reporting is based on profits are totally ignorant.

    Comment by rob -

  15. James:

    You make some valid and interesting points, not all of, which do I necessarily disagree with…with a few exceptions:

    Weblog’s offer an intrinsic value of extraordinary opportunity for the American people to have a voice…a voice that they have long since been deprived or abridged on all fronts. From politicians to the media we have seen a widespread control over “information” that has harmed us a great deal. Thus, while still in the infantcy stage in many ways, finding the message in the sea of opinions will become less troublesome as time and efforts evolve. To-wit, is precisely why the federal government is currently making strong plays to regulate Internet communication and moreover, weblog’s.

    In regards to the media, weblog’s offer competition. Granted at the current time it is more of a thorn in the side than a major competative source of information. Yet, such is nonetheless growing with rapid dedication, which is why mainstream media is up in arms and why we are faced with a proposed Federal Bill that will regulate Internet communication and on-line publications/weblog’s.

    Yes, weblog publisher’s can and many certainly do take things too far not only in the degree that the freedoms we have are exercised, but in presupposing that the right of free speech is absolute in its terms. And sadly there is an insignificant degree of internal structures in place to engage in and encourage self-regulation. Yet, considering the alternative of our returning back to the informational blackout that we have long since been encaged within by the control of others… I just soon deal with the infantcy stage of what is sure to later evovle into a powerful voice of the people.

    Comment by LostInAmerica -

  16. The popular belief now seems to be that traditional media is too corporate to provide objective news. I definitely agree with that assessment but I don’t think the “blogosphere” is necessarily going to change or improve that situation. The problem with everyone having a voice is in not being able to locate a message in the sea of opinions. Does substituting a handful of biased persons with millions of them truly constitute a solution? The fact is we are faced with a very serious conundrum now … almost every major decision or choice now is related to money and that denotes a serious flaw in the very structure of our world. Free market economics has shifted the wealth and resources of the planet to a small few and they are the ones who set the world’s agenda now through media “mouthpieces.” In a world that is increasingly more committed to the dollar, the IDEALS we possess are the only motivations we have to ensure that the fight for fairness and justice for everyone will continue. By selling out those ideals we take a huge step to the complete deterioration of our society. “Fairness in journalism” may be considered naive but it is an ideal that shouldn’t be abandoned just because it is not practical. Blogs aren’t a substitute for integrity. The failure of the media is a symptom of a larger failure that has far greater repercussions than we may think. Rome wasn’t built in a day and it didn’t fall in one either.

    Comment by James King -

  17. Greg:

    I do not agree that this is an “isolated incident resulting from a combustible situation”.

    Time and again as I previously pointed out, we see sports figures presupposing that their fame and glory somehow voids them of the requirement to take responsibility and accountability for their actions. And on more than one occasion sports figures have come forward describing the enviornment they contend with each and every day that predisposes them to an implied consent that it is acceptable to take this mindset.

    The double edged sword existing here comes into play in that society also is to blame because society places sports figures on such a high pedestal of prestige. The likes of which they cannot realistically maintain. And neglecting, in its’ consequence by presumption alone rather than fact, that they are people and not a pair of tennis shoes, dollar signs or the sole tourch bearer of reputation for a City or a State.

    The media is in the business of making money and as Mark has said on more than one occasion, its’ often cut throat in the corporate world. And Donald Trump’s show was a perfect illustration of this fact (which is about the only use his show held). So why should we expect the media to be any different when the bottom dollar means more than impartiality and reporting facts. And society plays to this by not demanding better, if in no other way than consumer consumption.

    Its’ easier to blame the media as the sole player here and Lord knows they bring the blunt of many criticisms upon themselves. But we cannot afford to hold the illusionary belief that the media is the only one to blame…if we actually want to solve the problems existing.

    Lost In America, Org.

    Comment by LostInAmerica -

  18. Started commenting and it turned into a blog post too long for this space. Gist is that there is a huge disconnect in the interests of customers, producers, managers and owners in the media world– much of that illustrated by the comments above– and that’s the root of the problem Mark discusses in this post.

    For those who care to read the whole thing, go here (

    Comment by Peg -

  19. SPIN/no spin… IT’S ALL SPIN. Sports reporters are part of the media circus. Is this a surprise? Each player has an image, bad guy/good guy/etc. And there are enough fan diversity out there to support them all. The sports reporter plays to the image and to whatever image basketball wants to present.

    Sports reporters not interested in presenting facts. Reporters tow the line. Create hype/excitement/curiousity/stickiness!!! So, mention Sprewell (HYPE). And, mention Artest’s CD (HYPE).

    Now, “fans who can afford court side seats have been uniquely identified as a demographic predisposed to violence. There are at least 20 research reports on the subject” is REPORTING!!! That bit of info would never be uttered by a “sports reporter”.

    MC, you’re blog is NO SPIN. And of course, you already know all that which is mentioned above. Regarding exposing pertainent facts, related criminal trials will do that. So to sum up, don’t expect sports reporters to provide “fair and balanced reporting”. They know it is not their job to do so. But did you really think that we didn’t know that already?

    Comment by -

  20. What is disconcerting to me is that for some reason, the media feel compelled to make the issue into such a social commentary. It’s as if they need to rationalize something as inherently irrational as an unstable person(s) being provoked and losing his temper, combined with a bunch of drunks getting in a fight. All of a sudden it’s about race or hip-hop culture or celebrity or fan behavior or the fans not connecting with the players. Wrong. It’s an isolated incident resulting from a combustible situation. Punish the parties involved, take measures to ensure it is prevented in the future, and turn the page. I want to watch some basketball.

    Comment by Greg -

  21. I strongly oppose the assertion that those in sports do not owe anything to the fans…

    If not for the fan’s, they likely would not be making millions of dollars every year…

    If not for the fan’s, they would be playing to a blank televison screen and an empty stadium…

    If not for the fan’s there would be no Olympics since there would be no fan’s watching or shelling out the millions of dollars they do for the Olympics….

    If not for the fan’s they would not have job to sell products on Television, radio, and so on…

    If not for the fan’s they would not be held as a role model for kids….

    Yet, what we have seen recently is problematic to the mindset that many sport professionals have adopted, e.g. that their status as a celebrity somehow voids them in responsibility and accountablity to the law. As more and more we hear about some sports figure allegedly participating in crimes of both minor and serious natures.

    None of this is to say however that any of this gives the fan’s the inherent right to act like jerks or take advantage of a situation be it presumed or actual. It is to say rather that sports figures need to also start owning up to their responsibility and stop trying to pass the buck. Apart of this means ensuring the proper internal checks and balances are in place that safeguards the whole team and the sport itself from the act(s) of the one. To-wit also means that owners and management need to re-examine their priorities, both collectively insofar as the team and individually (no insult intended Mark) and convey these priorities in absolute clarity to the team. Those who cannot or will not abide by such need to leave then.

    When it comes to the media, lets’ face the truth here…they run afoul themselves. It is a [privilege] to be allowed on the field or in the locker rooms to interview sports figures..its’ not a right….and the media would do well to remember this and serve the mandates of the media far better than they have been on all fronts.

    Lost In America, Org.

    Comment by LostInAmerica -

  22. I don’t agree that professional athletes own nothing to the fans. In the best situation, athletes and fans form a symbiotic relationship and it is very much in the interest of the athlete to forge a good relationship with fans, if only to increase his/her earning potential. Michael Jordan is the perfect example of how a responsible athlete increases his fortunes by acting responsibly (or at least discretely) and professionally. Would he have made a fraction of the money he did if he was blatantly disrespectful to fans and “phoned it in” some nights on the court? Jordan was uniquely aware that his audience came from diverse backgrounds and he wore a face that allowed him to appeal to many.

    Many of the younger faces in the NBA have not learned the essential skill of tailoring their actions to suit the public … they are obsessed with “keeping it real.” The problem with that is the very narrow view it provides of people who may be more than just ball players. A lot of people would be surprised to know that Sprewell is actually great with computers and runs a successful auto products business. And Magic Johnson is a tremendously successful businessman post-NBA, many wouldn’t have guessed about his business acumen because he made such a great living playing ball. I was surprised that Ron Artest is actually a very articulate person because of his “thug” reputation. People close to Allen Iverson say he is very generous and down to earth but most people only see and hear the bad … and much of that is his fault.

    If pro-athletes, especially some NBA players, don’t want to be stereotyped and victimized by the media, then its up to them to show sides of themselves that allows more than just certain people to relate to them. It’s not selling out, it’s being well-rounded and self-respectful.

    Comment by James King -

  23. Think you could do a better job as a reporter? Try it sometime.

    Comment by WW -

  24. Sports reporters arn’t interested in reportiing anything. Their access to players and the league (any league) can make or break thier carrers. If they were to do some actual journalism, it might create a situation where a player or team may refuse to speak with them, thus limiting the material s/he can submit to get published/tv-time. Ammad Rashad boosted his carrer by becoming good friends with Michael Jordan. Jim Grey is currently trying to do the same thing with Kobe. The only time you will see any actual ‘hard news’ on Sportscenter/Fox Sports Net is if someone else is doing the investigating (police/league offices) or if it is against a league sanctioned ‘bad guy’ (Pete Rose/Ron Artest). Instead, we get outrage over Terrel Owens TD dances.

    Comment by Mike -

  25. You guys make some valid points and in this, College courses are teaching the journalist of today what is known as “interpreative reporting” which is custom designed to lead the reader/listener into a particular direction by presenting a specific set of (so-called) facts. Though the media purports that this is occurring due to limited time for broadcast or limited space for print. Yet, I submit to you that it is done to express ones biases under the [false] guise of ligitamcy and rationalizations to avert taking any kind of responsibility for the bias expressed.

    Take for example the manner that newspapers endorce a particular candidate…how are we, the people, to believe the paper is impartial when they announce their endorcement of a political candidate? We cannot, yet, the media wants to continue insisting that they are impartial an be damned the weblog publisher’s for even attempting to report the news.

    The media has long since been referred to as the “fourth branch of government” because of the inherent power they have. Yet, in this power they are suppose to be the guardians of the people’s right to know. What has sadly become the commonplace trend is that the media has assumed, perhaps an even worse mindset than the government, of what the people have [a right] to know. Some would argue that this stems from the fierce competativeness existing between the media agencies and to some degree it is a valid point. But I believe it also stems from the age old analogy of “absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

    Lost In America, Org.

    Comment by LostInAmerica -

  26. Sport is entertainment. You should compate sport “journalists” more to E-tonight than 60 minutes or Frontline.

    Comment by Balazs -

  27. the media is also only following the rules of business in trying to satisfy its target market. If they see people responding more to one tidbit, they’ll keep jamming it into our mouths until we tire of of it. which do u think will make more profit? 1. fantasic scenerios that get our minds imagining things 2. hard facts and statistics about the league, players, etc.
    The fact is, the first choice is the one that’s gonna make more profit because most people want to be entertained. You’re looking at the media from the perspective of a manager who would like to get some hard facts to base decisions on. However, the general public isn’t like that. The brawl is just entertainment to them. They dun really care about facts; they just want to get in on the excitment. It’s quite unlikely that the media is going to change anytime soon…not with competition between reporters/journalists, etc to get the attention of the public. It would be nice to live in a world where journalists report useful things, but that’d be a world where money didn’t exist.

    Comment by charlie -

  28. The lack of rudimentary fact finding and the pursuit for profits are essential prerequisites to the emergences of the eventual massive failure of many news organizations. The optimist in me would like to thing people will be turned off and tune out. I am glad that you posed the question of how the media could—or should—represent reality. What larger generalizations can we draw from the media’s reporting of the NBA fracas.

    What are the effects on American children who will have a life-time exposure of miss reporting of facts by the media? The vocation of journalism no longer exists; journalist use to acknowledge the barrier of fact and fiction before the onset of television.

    There are interesting lessons to be learned about the relationship between legitimacy, journalism, and their influence on societal values. Today journalism demands a total ruthlessness and means that journalist must be able to ignore values, loyalty, and anything other than their own financial interest. Has anyone noticed the contemptible news reporting on Dan Rather’s retirement by Fox news subsequently followed by other news outlets?

    But, I guess it is what it is. Most Americans have become unaware the media has become institutionalized organizations of ignorance; “journalism” is disintegrating at the same tempo of the American middle class. All of the values and illusions that are the pride of American society’s cloistered world are already doomed as untenable illusions which have made it and the U.S. currency the subject of ridicule by much of the word. But Americans do not realize that journalism and historical spin is also changing their absurd, cloistered world. More serious and therefore more dangerous are the misreports of journalists.

    American rockets can find Halley ‘s Comet and fly to Mars with Amazing accuracy, but side by side with these scientific achievements is the unraveling of a scientific approach to journalism. The passing of the Presidential election in America brought about an ever greater resistance to the attempts to constructively scrutinize the problems that are emerging within and outside the country. The media will continue to manufacture presentations of a “problem-free” reality while focus on other proclivities that divide us within and from the rest of the world.

    Accordingly, American society has become a country fueled by hypocrisy and jugglery. Journalist are embittered and blinded by ambition.

    Comment by Sterling Wright -

  29. The media in this country has become a bloated mass of quick fix journalism and repetitive overanalysis. It is not going to get better as technology advances, and that is a shame.

    As far as players go…what does a player owe you the fan?


    He is an employee. The only thing he is responsible for is performing to the best of his ablities in order to help the organization be successful.

    The organization is in the business to make money. Best way to make money is to keep the people entertained. Now the organization may ask the employee to go out and market the product, but more often than not the product is sold by what is on the court.

    Look at the league: You dont have salesmen like Magic, Bird, or Jordan. These are kids. This is what the league is right now.

    The major difference between me at 21 and Amare Stoudamire at 21 is a few million bucks. I didnt want to do more than I had to, and neither to they.

    As far as the “brawl”, I think the biggest mistake that David Stern made was that he was the sole judge, jury, and prosecutor in this matter. Something of this magnitude should have been handled by the commish, the head of the players association, and ALL the owners.

    Comment by Dan -

  30. I absolutly agree. Sports Reporting is a thing of the past. They are now glorified Sports Columnists. There are shows out there that are entertaining and caller intensive, but they are more for entertainment purposes.. The FOX Sports Radio Talk Shows of the world… the true reporters though are turning into more of a columnist and entertainment reporter instead of a true sports news reporter.

    For insance, since the footage has been airing non stop, why hasn’t someone noticed that if you look closely, Artest NEVER hits a fan in the stands. He runs up there and lunges forward as he grabs the guy and asks him “did you do it”. Then before you have a chance to see if he is planning on hitting that guy or not, he gets pulled away. Stephen Jackson runs into the stands and only hits the other guy, the guy next to the one Artest grabs AFTER that fan throws a cup of water, beer, coke, whatever on Artest.

    So was Jackson going up there just to fight or was he going to pull Artest out of the stand until the other fan threw liquid on Artest? These are things I never hear talked about.

    My opinion is Artest should not have gone into the stands, but would I or any of you gone into the stands if we were in his shoes?… I don’t honestly know. Do I care… not anymore.

    I am ready to move on and start talking about the Pacers season as it stands right now. With the 6th-12th men step in and are playing great minutes and showing that they belong in NBA games.

    The crowd is pumped and is watching basketball. They don’t care who is there on the floor, as long as the players look like they are giving it their all, the fans are with them regardless of win or lose.

    I am ready to talk about those things and let the Brawl news fade away. I would like to know what happens to the fans, the players, the lawsuits, the appeals etc… but only as a brief newsclip that lets me know what the rest of my Pacers team is going to look like as they strive to win a championship for the city of Indianapolis, Reggie Miller, and for themselves.

    Comment by Scott -

  31. Mark:

    I posted an article today on my web site [url=[/url] about a Federal Bill that has gained some serious strength and targets Internet communication and weblog’s…interestingly enough it also includes a provision about reporting the news on the Internet and the manner that it will become illegal to do so.

    There is a great deal about the media that needs to be changed as they have taken on the self-endulging view that they are our second governemnt and will tell us what is and is not important and will tell us what we need to know and how much we need to know… makes you wonder just who the good guys are anymore


    Comment by LostInAmerica -

  32. Mark:

    I posted an article today on my web site [url=[/url] about a Federal Bill that has gained some serious strength and targets Internet communication and weblog’s…interestingly enough it also includes a provision about reporting the news on the Internet and the manner that it will become illegal to do so.

    There is a great deal about the media that needs to be changed as they have taken on the self-endulging view that they are our second governemnt and will tell us what is and is not important and will tell us what we need to know and how much we need to know… makes you wonder just who the good guys are anymore


    Comment by LostInAmerica -

  33. I once asked a news reporter whether he thought sports writers were journalists.

    He refused to answer. I think his non-response says it all.

    Aloha – Dan

    Comment by Dan Seto -

  34. I liked how Artest appeared on the Today Show to show his remorse and plug his cd. What a loser. Hopefully these thoughtless plugs he’s doing for his cd will kill his image even more, if possible, in the eyes of the fans.

    Comment by Jimmiejo -

  35. I agree with Robert, and can state an instance where the disjointment between NBA players and fans came truly apparent to myself.

    As a loyal Suns fan (I reside in the Valley), I recall attending an autograph signing with Amare Stoudemire last season. It was pouring (very rare in Phoenix), and I arrived close to 15 minutes before he was due.

    There had to be less than 30 fans in attendance, and after waiting an additional hour and a half, Amare arrived, surrounded by his “kliq.”

    It was then, we were informed by Suns management in attendance Amare would sign nothing but index cards (without even his photo on these cards) and would not pose for photos. It was advertised beforehand that photos would be accessible.

    Still, I got Amare’s signature and congratulated him on surviving his Sophmore season hump. As I was one of the last to leave, I watched a group of fans, obviously bothered by Amare’s choice not to pose or sign, approach him and ask him to please sign some of their memorbilia. I was astonished to see him decline (when the signing took less than ten minutes), and then when asked why laugh in the face of those who pay his salary.

    Needless to say, from this point on, Amare isn’t exactly one of my favorite guys on a team I support. Many NBA players show the disregard for fans that Amare does, and that’s what can truly sum up where the problems lie between fans and players.

    A majority of us don’t make millions, nor will we ever get close. Many of us work hard to pay for our tickets, and even harder to buy merchandise. It’s esstentially us who pay the salaries of the players, and they’ve forgotten that.

    Deep down we admire them for their talent, but resent them for how they act because of said talent.

    Comment by David Carstensen -

  36. The media portrays stuff the way they want to portray it, you should of known that, your company released The Control Room. The media will never be fair to everyone.
    Same thing here, the media wants to make a big deal out of it, to get ratings, they don’t care about the truth.

    Comment by Scott -

  37. Mark–definitely agree–media has not been covering this, or many other stories in the past year or so, as well as should be demanded by the public.

    Of course, at the same time, many of these same outlets are doing quite well for themselves (ratings-wise) by serving up Grade-A bullplop.

    When does the public actually start acting upon their disdain for the media, by turning them off?

    I’ve heard countless complaints about ESPN’s “analysts” (former players) doing a terrible job of providing objectivity. How many of those complaining will actually respond by NOT watching ESPN anymore?

    While there’s no question we have every right to demand more from our media, bitching about their shortcomings, while continuing to faithfully tune in to watch/read/listen to their coverage, is reinforcing the very media behaviours we loathe.

    Comment by Kyle Bunch -

  38. Sprewell’s comments, and Artest going into the stands may not be directly related, but I would submit to you that, in the fans eyes at least, they are both symptoms of the same disease.

    Comment by Robert Occhialini -

  39. Take for example the manner that newspapers endorce a particular candidate…how are we, the people, to believe the paper is impartial when they announce their endorcement of a political candidate? We cannot, yet, the media wants to continue insisting that they are impartial an be damned the weblog publisher’s for even attempting to report the news.

    Comment by runescape money -

  40. None of this is to say however that any of this gives the fan’s the inherent right to act like jerks or take advantage of a situation be it presumed or actual.

    Comment by wow powerleveling -

  41. Mark, I would like to use your blog comment area on this topic to write an “Open Letter” to USA Today. I have tried to get Gary Graves email address on their web site and all they have are “fill in” boxes to submit letters to the editor. No direct email addresses. Thanks for providing a forum for this topic.

    Gary Graves, USA Today
    Karen Jurgensen, Editor-in-Chief
    Monte Lorell, Sports Managing Editor

    I am writing in response to the online article by Gary Graves (USA TODAY) for Wednesday, September 21. I am so tired of reporters twisting facts and reporting them as news. Barry Bonds never said he “unknowingly used performance-enhancing substances.” From the original article that discussed the leaked testimony (by Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada, Chronicle Staff Writers Friday, December 3, 2004 in the San Francisco Chronicle)

    “Bonds said that as far as he knew, Anderson had given him only legal products to treat the arthritis and fatigue that afflicted him, especially when playing a day game after a night game.”

    And in Gary Graves’ article he made this inaccurate claim, without citing his sources:

    “Bonds’ 706th career homer, a fourth-inning blast off Washington Nationals right-hander Livan Hernandez that started a 4-3 comeback win, temporarily quieted the boos of 32,403 voicing their opinion over his leaked grand jury testimony that he unknowingly used performance-enhancing substances.”

    Mr. Graves can try all he want to publicly humiliate Mr. Bonds, and most of his readers will not double check the actual facts. Who in the media will make a stand? And what justifications will Mr. Graves come up with to his family, friends, the mirror, and me for no longer reporting news and taking part in gossip and speculation? Slowly the writers who stop becoming reporters will fall by the wayside, and accurate bloggers who report the facts and are ‘checked’ by investigative readers will take over.

    Am I a Barry Bonds apologist? No. Am I a Giants fan? No. Am I a baseball fan? Not really. Am I a Bonds fan? Well, I used to root against him in the early 90s. But now things have changed. Barry Bonds is the real hero in this witch hunt and the greatest disappointment is the journalism that has been displayed by a majority of the “National Enquirer” media. But the fact that I am taking my time writing this email is probably good for your publicity, which effects your sales, and pays the bills. Enjoy your paycheck.

    Greg Lowe

    Comment by greg -

  42. I’m the kind of sports reporter who would love to answer all the kinds of questions you’re asking here, and lots more. There are plenty more like me, and some of us are even lucky enough to cover the NBA.

    I’m sure I speak for a lot of my colleagues when I say I’ve read all the great journalists and I realize the difference between what they did then and what typical sports journalists do today.

    I also bet that I read at least as much sports journalism as you do. And as a reader, I like the tough, top quality reporting too. I loathe all the fluff.

    In short, Mark, I feel your pain.

    But you know why no one’s doing investigative journalism? Because it takes a long time, it’s expensive as hell, and no one will pay for it anymore. Without a bestselling book or a TV gig, no one’s rich in this business, period. The economic reality for me, and the vast majority of my colleagues, is that for every few hours on the job, I have to put a piece in a magazine or newspaper, or a story on the air.

    If I spend a day down at the DA’s office digging for documents, that’s a day I don’t put food on the table. If I spend $500 getting together copies of videotapes of the fight, that’s $500 very few media outlets will reimburse. You get the picture.

    In recent years, media executives have figured out the new math of journalism: you can spend a bunch of money on journalists, and get experienced ones and give them time to do the job right. Or you can spend almost nothing on people out of college, give them no time, spend a third as much on them, and only experience a slight dip in ad sales–which means a big jump in profits. (You can fix that problem, it seems, with some girls in bikinis every now and again.)

    That’s the deal. The problem is not that journalists are lazy boneheads. The problem is that we are all lazy boneheads for putting up with a greedy corporate culture that is wrecking serious journalism and misinforming all of us.

    So what can we do about it? As a reader and viewer, I try to make sure I support the people who do things the right way. If a magazine does a hard-hitting investigative sports piece, I’ll renew my subscription. I try to watch shows like Bryant Gumbel’s sports and others that take their jobs seriously. When Frontline or the New Yorker covers sports, I’m all over it–because they do great stuff. There are some good documentaries out there. Then you can always e-mail media outlets and tell them what kind of stories you want.

    In the long run, by being savvy consumers we can steer ad dollars from brainless lunacy to serious work, and encourage a better brand of journalism.

    Comment by Henry Abbott -

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