Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Adventures in Journamalism

Only tangentially connected to baseball, but I had to crack on Rick Morrissey for this:

In place of the “o” in “Chicago” in its front-page nameplate, the [Chicago] Sun-Times has taken to using a Bears helmet next to a palm tree.

If you don’t get the message, it’s that the paper is rooting for the boys in blue and orange to get to the super Bowl in Miami. Swell.

Pandering to the emotions of fans is not our job in journalism, although the other message the editors are sending with their banner-waving is that covering sports isn’t journalism.

Maybe they’d like to talk with the two San Francisco Chronicle reporters who are facing jail time for their reporting on star athletes’ alleged use of steroids.
1. Hello, kettle? This is Rick Morrissey. You’re black.

When it comes to bottom-of-the barrel journalistic standards, finding fault with the Sun-Times is like…well, shooting fish at the bottom of that barrel. But Morrissey might want to look at what’s going on around him at the Tribune Tower before shooting his mouth off.

Like the “Hunt for SOXtober” the Trib has treated us to the last two years. That seems to indicate that the paper was rooting for the boys in black and white to get to the post-season.

And pandering to the emotions of fans? Would that include activities such as tarring players as surly (LaTroy Hawkins), lazy (Aramis Ramirez), or lazy and surly (Corey Patterson)?

Morrissey is notable as one of the few Chicago pundits who at least tried to keep the discourse about Dusty Baker’s performance out of the gutter. But did he not notice his cohorts’ pandering behavior during their two year War on Baker?

Pandering might not be their job, but it does seem to be a popular hobby.

2. Rick, if you’re going to talk smack about pandering to emotions, at least get your facts right.

The Chronicle reporters are not facing jail time because they dared to write about Barry Bonds’ alleged steroid use. They’re facing jail time because they may have illegally revealed sealed grand jury testimony.

One might think that framing this debate in terms of Bonds vs. intrepid investigative reporters instead of focusing on the fairly straightforward legal question of whether or not grand jury testimony is confidential could also be considered pandering to the emotions of fans. One would most likely be correct.

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