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Bamberger's year on the Philly beat

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Aussie_Nick, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    People seem to really eat up the media stories, actually. Blows my mind. I think the proliferation of blogs in the Internet age has shown us how interested people really are in the process of news gathering. Perhaps it always troubled them that the day's news was always delivered as if by magic. They want to know how it got there, warts and all.
     
  2. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    they "eat it up?" on what planet? "tabloid wars" is changing it's time due to lousy ratings. back in the day, "lou grant" had lousy ratings. people don't give a damn about the behind-the-scenes machinations on beats. they just want to see the finished product.

    much like i don't give a damn if my lawyer doesn't get along with his partners. just win me my case.
     
  3. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    Would it be fair to say that there is a vocal, media-obsessed portion of the population that cares about this stuff? Though I'd say they care much more when we clash with players, coaches and management than each other.
     
  4. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    again, not in my opinion. hey, some people like to watch hockey, too. not enough to generate any ratings, but...

    and television is a totally different medium. it's hard to imagine s.i. readers starting to read bambi's piece and not thinking, "wtf??!!".
     
  5. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    i can see where the general reading public might read this and say 'um, ok, interesting but who the fuck cares?' but as someone formerly in the business i thought it was interesting.

    to me bamberger didn't come off as a whiny mofo, but maybe that's because i was in the unpopular crowd when i was in high school and i sure as hell resented the high school equivalent of assholes like brown.
     
  6. ink-stained wretch

    ink-stained wretch Active Member

    I remember my reaction reading this the first time. Same reaction the second. It was a good piece of writing coupled with some difficult reporting.

    It obviously struck a chord with a number of people here. That's called universality. Whether we identify with Brownie or Mikey, we connected with the story.

    Sorta like our readers when we write something that gives them something more than the score — something important.

    None of what we do is rocket science: write the lede, get the quote, throw in the color — push the button, Igor, it's deadline.

    But sometimes, at the oddest moment, a story comes along that needs telling.

    At least have the cajones to try to tell it.
     
  7. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    Maybe.

    But SI readers also likely are thinking "wtf??!!" if they see a story on surfing (last week's SI) . . . or Sam Kellerman . . . or deep sea diving . . . or suicides among a high school football program.

    Done sparingly, done interestingly . . . these stories are great to read.

    I doubt we'll see SI venture into the "beat reporting angle" again anytime soon. But the one time they did, it was a fascinating read.
     
  8. again, this is Bambi's version of the story, and Brownie's version isn't represented because this was written after he died.

    Bambi can add all the self-depracating garbage he wants years later, after he realizes why he was a failure on the Phillies beat.

    that's not how it happened.
     
  9. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    Let's hear it then. I'm not doubting you. Nor am I challenging you or trying to call you out.

    But you say things were one way, Bamberger says they were another. What really happened? Why was he so out of his element? How did he act that rubbed guys the wrong way?
     
  10. Outta Here

    Outta Here Member

    Bambi was a foof, plain and simple. An elitist foof who thought he was better than everyone else covering the team. He didn't think he needed to "work" the beat. Part of it was because the Inky was attempting to "revolutionize" beat coverage. Sal moved from covering Philly politics to the Eagles, but the attempt on the Phillies was a mess. Dick Polman (now doing a great job on national politics for the Inky -- at least the last time I checked) also tried the Phils' beat and struggled at times as well.

    But while Bambi was a foof, Brown was a pompous, arrogant prick who treated virtually everyone else in the media but his selected friends like shit. He was a piece of scum, and that's putting it politely. He wanted to suck off the players, at least in print, so he could be part of the "inner circle." And on a team with plenty of the same mindset (Dalton, Dykstra, Kruk, Hollins, Mitch Williams), he fit right in by ripping the likes of Schilling whenever he had a chance.

    Basically, both were imbeciles in their own way. Bambi wasn't wired to cover such a beat and his opinion of himself was far too high. That said, he sure as hell didn't deserve the treatment dumped on him by Brown and a few others.
     
  11. Bambi had a great deal. He flew home from road trips for the weekends because he didn't feel he could mentally handle working that many consecutively days. He routinely would show up just before the game started and then pout because the team didn't have releases that detailed what transpired during the time the clubhouse was open to the media. The first day he got the job he complained he felt like an outsider.
    When he did the story on Brown, who had died of cancer, he went to Brown's parents and widow's homes, saying he wanted to do a piece on Brown, acting like he was being compasionate, and then twisted and turned things and wrote his personal vendetta which Sports Illustrated for some reason felt a need to run. Here's a publication making space cuts and running one guy's whine.
    Let me say, from experience, that Brown didn't just dump on Bambi or new guys. I'd been around awhile and never felt comfortable around him, but I didn't have a chip on my shoulder and feel such self importnace to feel like he was picking one me. I just thought he was a rather unpleasant guy to be around. But no one was unpleasant as Bambi, who walked into a visiting pressbox with an amazing arrogance and self-importance. He was too good to be around those ink-stained wretches destined to cover a beat. It was below him and he felt we should all bow and thank him for lowering himself for that year to bless us with his presence.
     
  12. suburbanite

    suburbanite Active Member

    I don't have a horse in this race, OK? Brown certainly seems to have been the type of beat writer who kissed players' asses because it made him feel a part of everything, rather than as a sincere effort to get more info to his readers. And he also seems to have been a major-league [pun intended] scumbag.

    But BTE, here are three passages from the story that demonstrate to me how Bambi felt he was 'above it all' and how he just didn't get it. And again, this is not a defense of Brown, but he was right about one thing--Bambi didn't belong on the beat.

    Yeah, I'm sure Hollins had never been made fun of in a baseball clubhouse before.  ::)

    Uh, Mike, the hardcore fans are interested in that minutiae as well, sometimes a lot more than the most well-written 30-inch feature on the planet.

    Getting there three, 3 1/2 hours before the first pitch is part of the gig, OK? Too bad Michelle Wie's dad didn't report you.

    And if what poke said is true, that Bambi deceived Brown's relatives about the intent of the SI story, that's freakin' reprehensible.
     
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