Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Realist

I called into my guy Bomani Jones' radio show this morning to talk about my take on the Albert Haynesworth situation and how the NFL and the Redskins have successfully manipulated the media and the fans on the issue. I definitely think its worth a listen. Warning, NSFW language.

Piggy backing on the things I said on air another story came out today about our local media and the way they handled a story from last week. Buccaneers GM Mark Dominik told the local beat writers last week that the team had the ability to fine left tackle Donald Penn for missing the mandatory mini camp as well as training camp and any regular season games he misses even though he hadn't signed his restricted free agent tender. This story didn't make sense to me on its face but just about every local sports media outlet reported it as fact. It was a curious assertion because it came just a few days before the deadline for Penn to either sign his tender or risk having it reduced to 110% of his salary from last year. Now I have already blogged about why I thought Penn should hold out until they offer him a long term deal, but him being fined would obviously complicate that calculation.

Well it turns out the story was bullshit. Absolute unequivical bullshit. And not one member of the local media fact checked the assertion before the deadline passed. Obviously if Penn's agent had fallen for the ploy and urged him to sign a tender based on false information it would have been on him for falling for the okie doke. But how sickening would it have been for him personally to sign the contract because of that threat only to subsequently find out he had been played? Better yet what kind of apology would any of those members of the media been able to offer for their role in perpetrating what could have been a VERY costly lie?

Its crazy because all of a sudden today all of the same media outlets are simultaneously reporting that they "discovered" that the assertion wasn't true. As if they all at the same time decided to do some fact checking. I will leave it up to you to decide how they all came to this revelation at once but the question remains, why in the hell didn't they fact check it to begin with when the assertion was made and before they "reported" it?

And that in a nutshell is the problem I have with members of the media and in this case specifically the sports media when it comes to reporting on NFL players. Instead of reporting nowadays they are instead doing more repeating than anything else. Hell if I was Dominik and I knew nobody would call me out for spreading false information I might do it too. What exactly is the downside for him if the media is willing to be his happy accomplice? People this is why I keep telling you to make up your own mind about these situations. Im not saying you should back the players on every issue, but at least be open to the fact that you may not be getting the whole or correct story.

You certainly didn't get the truth this time.

*To listen to my segment just click on the archives button

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