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AP Reporter misrepresents herself to get interview with Steinbrenner

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by YankeeFan, May 27, 2007.

  1. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Got no problem with it. She did her job and once she got the Boss on the phone, he could have hung up and not answered her questions. Now, if he didn't know who he was talking to, that's different. And as Ira mentioned, the Yankees have been silent on it, so I don't think that was a problem. But how she got him on the phone, I've got no problems with it.
  2. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    And good ones at that.
  3. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    If she really was an old friend, why would Chess feel the need to congratulate her for telling the secretary that? Good for her, she's Steinbrenner's friend. And mayhaps I'm reading a bit much into it (though inferring that she was completely aboveboard because the Yankee PR machine hasn't torn her into shreds yet also qualifies), but the phrase "describing herself as ... an old friend" gives me pause. If she was really his "old friend," how much description is necessary?
  4. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Some newspapers make this easy for us -- it is against our written code of ethics to misrepresent ourselves in any way. Dilemma solved at those places, and I agree with it completely.
  5. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Just because Chass buried it in his column and thinks it’s ok doesn’t mean it isn’t worth discussing.

    Oh, and I’m sorry that my “YankeeFan” handle makes me come across as a “fanboy”. It’s a handle I’ve used on various message boards for years.

    If you look, you’ll see that I’ve been a member for nearly three years, though I post rarely and usually on the topic of ethics.

    The press holds others to high standards of ethics. If they won’t hold themselves to the same standards, their moral authority is lost. Whether it’s plagiarism, fiction posing as fact, or misrepresenting one’s self, it all leads to journalists being held in the same esteem as used car salesmen.

    If this isn’t worth even discussing, then you might as well just cede your position to the bloggers you now look down upon.
  6. Elliotte Friedman

    Elliotte Friedman Moderator Staff Member

    Obviously, the specifics of this situation are still in question. But, in general, I have an issue with misrepresentation.

    If you're going to do it, it better be for something of value. The Dateline stuff where the show is helping catch child predators is something of value. Getting a few words from Steinbrenner or an uncooperative college coach is not. If George's goons or unhelpful SIDs are making life tough for you, hang out at a person's car, sit outside the office building, whatever you want. But lie to get them on the phone, no.

    This particular situation is still ambiguous, though.
  7. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    The noted sports reporter, investigative journalist, and old friend of George Steinbrenner quotes Laura Bush in this hard hitting article on fashion. Maybe Laura’s an old friend of hers as well.

  8. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Well-Known Member

    First off, I echo the words of Mr. Gee: "Misrepresenting oneself to a person whose job it is to prevent you from talking to a source is A-OK in my book." Damn straight. She did her job.

    I also question the general belief that Mr. Steinbrenner's faculties are addled. Everybody knows that, huh? A thousand years ago everybody knew as a fact that the earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew that the Earth was flat. (Thank you, Mr. K, for that line.) I strongly doubt that Mr. Steinbrenner is addled --- I find it more likely that the "addled" story was put out by flacks like Mr. Rubenstein to deflect press attention and allow him a semiquiet retirement. I also suspect any directives Mr. Steinbrenner's secretary recieved to divert the media came not from Mr. Steinbrenner, but from Mr. Rubenstein. Methinks Mr. Rubenstein will be able to do exactly jack-squat to reprimand her.

    As Mr. Schoffel said, if she had misrepresented herself the Yankees (especially the self-appointed "baseball people" in Tampa) would have ripped her in every paper (and every other medium) in the country. Their silence speaks for itself.
  9. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    In other words, the ends justify the means. As long as what we want is right, what we do to get it is right. Deception is perfectly fine, as long as we're the ones doing it, because we'll still report it if one of our story subjects does it.
  10. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Well-Known Member

    Secretary: not the source.
    Flack: not the source.
    Steinbrenner: The Source.

    Did she misrepresent herself to Mr. Steinbrenner? If she did not (and signs point to her being completely honest with Mr. Steinbrenner), then there's no issue here.
  11. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

  12. Ira_Schoffel

    Ira_Schoffel Member

    This is a good debate, but it's interesting to note that the columnist didn't even say she misrepresented herself. He said she "described herself" as an old friend.

    If she had outright lied to anyone, my guess is he would have worded that differently.
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