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Does Appearing in a Movie Impair A Sportswriter's Objectivity?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by eyeonsportsmedia, Jan 12, 2008.

  1. I went to see a "The Game Plan" with my kids last night, and one scene that immediately caught my eye were all of the Sportswriters playing sportswriters (sorry, but Jon Saraceno just cannot blend into a crowd, nor could many of the others). Here are some of the people who were in the movie:

    Ron Borges Boston Globe (retired)
    John Clayton ESPN.com
    Jay Glazer Fox Sports
    John McClain Houston Chronicle
    Gary Myers NY Daily News
    Jon Saraceno USA Today
    Steve Serby New York Post
    T.J. Simers LA Times

    So my question is do you feel that appearing in a movie impairs a sports journalist's objectivity? Does your answer differ because the movie was made by Disney and is laced with ESPN product placements?
  2. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    totally harmless and inconsequential
  3. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    Didn't CNN make their folks stop playing "themselves" in movies a few years back?
  4. Hense the question. In this movie, you would only know who they were if you knew their faces, as their names or affiliations were never stated. But if they have received a check from Disney, the parent company of ESPN, for their participation, could this not give the perception of tainted objectivity down the road?

    The credits of the movie do not list them as playing themselves, but as playing members of "The Hack Pack"...
  5. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Actually, the best part of that is pompous ass Simers blasted ESPN when he walked away from ATH, but happily accepts Disney dollars for a cameo in a movie.
    Hypocritical scumbag.
  6. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Guys remember Allan Malamud in virtually every movie?
    He was great. I miss Mud.
  7. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Disney or Simers? ;)
  8. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Ask Larry King...
  9. Jeremy Goodwin

    Jeremy Goodwin Active Member

    I don't see how it could impair your objectivity, unless they want to pay you more than other extras or actors and somehow want favorable coverage or a favor. I'd say it's no different than appearing on a talk radio show or some kind of TV sports show. Most people probably didn't realize those guys were actual journalists, besides Clayton since he's on TV. If anything, it gives you and your paper / Web site some more exposure and that can't be a bad thing.

    My answer doesn't change because it's a Disney movie with ESPN product placement, but the opinion of my higher ups or whoever would approve me doing this might change because of it. They could see this as working for a competitor.

    I have a coworker who was an in a role like this. There was a sports movie being shot close to his coverage area, so he went to do a story about the shoot/a feature on one of the movie. While he was working on his article, someone asked if he wanted to be an extra and play a sports reporter. He ended up doing it. I guess the director or some casting person figured it would be better to pay my coworker to be an extra and have it look real, than have some random extra try to look like a reporter.
  10. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member

    This thread title disproves the theory that there are no dumb questions.

    Short answer: No. Long answer: Nope.
  11. Birdscribe

    Birdscribe Active Member

    Beat me to it, Fish.

    "White Men Can't Jump" and "Cobb" among others. Perhaps I'm missing a movie or two, but Mud added quality to both.

    One of the LA Times' biggest losses of the last 20 years. RIP
  12. It didn't inhibit Olin Buchanan's objectivity (Varsity Blues).
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