Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Call the Waaaah-mbulance

Shorter Mike Downey: It's just not fair that reporters get fired for making up stories, enjoying pool parties with their sources, and calling young women prostitutes! After all, athletes get in fights in the dugout, cork their bats, and call other reporters f@gg*t and they don't get fired.

This post is only tangentially about baseball, but it's a great example of how your press corps works. Downey's column nominally expresses outrage that these pampered athletes get away with murder ("or at least assault," he waggishly says), while "Average Joes" get canned for much lesser offenses.

His case would be more persuasive if he spent some time talking about those "Average Joes." Instead, every one of his examples was a print or broadcast journalist whose transgressions were on par with the sins of those privileged athletes.

And Downey goes on to claim that famed New York Times fiction correspondent Jayson Blair isn't any worse than Corky Sosa and that Ozzie's homophobic slur was just as bad as Don Imus' wacky brand of racist, sexist "humor."

Perhaps most incredibly, Downey is shocked that a TV news reporter covering a local woman's disappearance can't chill by the pool with said woman's husband (who, it turns out, is a person of interest in the police inquiries) without generating a Vortex of Armageddon™ at the same time bad, evil, naughty Carlos Zambrano gets away scot-free after punching out his catcher.

Are athletes given breaks that the rest of us mere mortals aren't offered? Of course. And so are the journamalists Downey defends in his self-serving piece.

But Downey isn't interested in telling us about the perks he and his cohort enjoy. Neither is he interested in the "Average Joes" he panders to. He just wants them to undersand how unfair the world is.

Don, Jayson, and Amy got canned -- but Sammy, Carlos, and Ozzie got to keep their gig. What a world, what a world!

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