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E&P piece criticizing 1990s baseball writers for not breaking 'roids stories

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by hockeybeat, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. hockeybeat

    hockeybeat Guest

    Was linked on Jjobs.com's main page.

  2. MacDaddy

    MacDaddy Active Member

    "Claims" is an interesting choice of words here:

  3. Defensive much, Tracy?

    News side gets critiqued plenty. Way more than we do. Iraq coverage, for example, is constantly dissected. Go on Romanesko on any day and any number of mainstream news media issues are being put through the wringer.
  4. Jesus. Not this again.
    What were beat writers supposed to do? "Mark McGwire hit a possibly steroid-aided three-run homer last night to push the A's past the Toronto Blue Jays, 4-1." Which desk does that sentence get by? Were they supposed to monitor Mexican drug labs? Cover Customs?
    This story went nowhere because, until they kicked down the doors at BALCO, there was no documentary evidence available, or at least not enough to write that a player was committing a crime. And the Iraq comparison is ill-founded. There were CIA -- and other -- reports available that contradicted what the Administration was saying. The McClatchy DC guys -- and, to a lesser extent, Walter Pincus -- got those into print. There was no equivalent reservoir of evidence on the steroids thing.
  5. Dave Kindred

    Dave Kindred Member

    I ask again, if a $20-million, 20-month, MLB-blessed, FBI-supported, federal prosecutor-assisted, senatorial level-staffed investigation can be given access to executives, managers, players, doctors, and journalists and yet turn up nothing but the public record and the uncorroborated accusations of two -- two! -- lowlifes seeking reduced sentences, how in hell was any newspaper's sports department supposed to report on steroid use?

    Anyway, I'd prefer less self-flaggelation. It seems to me that the San Francisco Chronicle's reporting on BALCO was the steroid story's equivalent of the Washington Post's reporting on a burglary at the Watergate apartment complex. Both grew from police stories, both led to federal investigations, both reached congress, both changed the cultures in which the crimes grew. That's work to be proud of.
  6. You misunderstand. We're on the same page here. All I'm saying is that Ringolsby takes a shot at news side - hinting that they miss stories as well and don't get criticized. What I'm saying is that news side gets constant scrutiny by publications like E&P and CJR, and used Iraq as an example (i.e. Judith Miller). Not saying the stories are parallel.
  7. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    This is a reprint of E&P's 2006 story. Here's the thread on it:

  8. I wasn't aiming that at you PulWan -- I can't call you PW, can I? -- although I see where you might have thought so. I agree that Ringolsby's reaction could have been more graceful.
  9. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    A lot of media folks brought this problem on themselves by issuing their mea culpas in the first place. Without the mea culpas it would have been awkward to point fingers at others so, rather than missing the fun of blaming baseball officials for missing the boat, they needed to offer up a small apology so they could avoid looking like hypocrites (see Lupica) themselves. For many, a little self-flagellation was just the entry fee for the blame game.
  10. beardpuller

    beardpuller Active Member

    I agree completely with Fenian and Kindred.
    Yeah, I'm a beat writer, though not baseball, maybe my perspective is self-serving, but I say, asking us to ferret out the nuts and bolts of the steroid story is like asking the movie critic why he or she isn't all over Lindsay Lohan's problems. If you want to argue that newspapers, as a whole, should do a better job with this kind of stuff, sure. But beat writers? "Sorry, fellas, the sidebar's a little short tonight, I've been going through some grand jury testimony." Yeah.
  11. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    I don't think the media fell alseep on steroids. There was no way they could find the evidence, and there was frankly no pressure to come up with the story, since no outlet was agressively pursuing it. The story was there, it was impossible to get, the end.

    I'm more interested in seeing how many journalists try to sift through the facts and non-facts of performance-enhancing drugs, now that the Mitchell Report is out. Will reporters be asked by their outlets to really play up this story, and will they be able to gain information on it without the assistance of the feds?
  12. SockPuppet

    SockPuppet Active Member

    I would much rather the efforts of news organizations be focused on the dastardly deeds and lies of the current administration.
    I would much rather federal prosecutors and the FBI spend less of their time and resources putting NFL QBs in jail for dog fighting and chasing the ghosts of baseball's steroids use.
    Unless and until there are positive drug tests proving steroids/HGH usage, the Mitchell Report did nothing but kill a few more trees. We can be suspicious of Bonds, Clemens, etc. but until there's evidence that would pass the court-of-law test we're all just wasting our time.
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