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Leitch on Darren Rovell

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Double Down, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member


    Will Leitch devoted his SOE column this week to reasons why he dislikes Darren Rovell, and thinks D-Rov should just go all in an do a full heel turn because he's so disliked.

    Leitch uses anonymous comments from a bunch of people to help illuminate his points, including one that calls Rovell is "like a terrible prick character from a shitty Ayn Rand novel brought to life and given a microphone."

    Fair? Unfair?

  2. CD Boogie

    CD Boogie Well-Known Member

    I've said it before, but Leitch does nothing for me as a media critic. He's mealy-mouthed and seems unwilling to own up to his opinions when they seem contentious. Worse, in this instance he gets other people -- anonymously -- to make his detailed case for him. He seems like a genuinely nice guy, but he seems miscast in the role of critic, mostly bc his overriding concern is the potential hurt feelings of the person or work he's criticizing. I'm not saying he has to scorch the earth, but too often I read his stuff and feel compelled to say, "Come on, man, grow a pair."
  3. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    I get the value of criticism. I just find this whole era where people attack other journalists, often out of boredom, to be a little bizarre. Maybe Leitch sees this as Woody Allen-as-himself standing up to a bully. I don't know.
  4. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I think the recent history of Journalism Topics is, in small part, a history of you and I expressing a healthy disagreement on this precise issue. But I think that in an age in which Tom Verducci writes for Sports Illustrated and Major League Baseball, in which Judith Miller serves as stenographer to the Bush administration, in which Stephen Glass is permitted to piss all over the pages of the staid New Republic, in which Joe Posnanski writes a 300-page defense of Joe Paterno, in which an All-Star team of sports journalists botch the biggest college football story of the season ... there might be a niche - nay, a need - for a little watch-dogging of the watch dogs.

    If your main disagreement is with tone, though, as opposed to content/existence of criticism, then I'm more inclined to agree with you.
  5. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    As for the main topic: I actually like Rovell's stuff. More specifically, I like the idea of Rovell's stuff. Leitch is right. His sympathies seem to frequently lie with the business side. He wrote a piece a few weeks ago about colleges selling specific player jersey numbers - which I find to be an abomination - and didn't seem to question the ethics of it at all. Just wrote it up like it was a terrific business turn by the universities.

    But I think some fans hate to see sports covered as business at all. Leitch admits as much about himself. So, ultimately, I can't tell how much of the dislike is because of anything that Rovell specifically does, and how much of it is because he exists at all to piss in the fanboi punch bowl of sports.
  6. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Tone probably has something to do with it. Depends on the criticism and the critic espousing it, I suppose. Depends on what you're trying to do, I think. Is the primary purpose change? Or to embarrass the subject? Is it born out of page views, or is it born out of a real love and interest in journalism? I think with Deadspin playing the role of sports media ombudsman, some of it is quite valuable. Some of it is silly, though, and clearly meant to be hateful. Some of it is weaponized by Twitter, and some of it would have happened 25 years ago, without any assists from technology.

    I'm not sure what to think of this one. I like Leitch, and I think Rovell can be a meanie on Twitter, but I guess I'm not sure this one rises to the level of a full column.

    Anyway, I think I'm tapping out on this one. Just figured it would be of interest for some people to discuss.
  7. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Leitch has become what he set out railing against -- the clubby group of sportswriters who seem to write only for themselves and each other instead of the audience. Only instead of other sportswriters, Leitch just aims to appease bloggers and other assorted new-age media people. This Rovell piece is just another take on something that is a constant source of discussion throughout the Internet.

    None of his thoughts are original anymore, and his columns carry little reporting and even less insight. I think he's out of ideas, he's burned out, he probably even knows it, but the money's too good.

    Again, just like the people whose awfulness motivated him to start his site.
  8. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Yeah, see, I didn't even know that Rovell was such a hot-button issue until I saw the Leitch column. I just kind of thought of him as a high-profile sports business reporter. Didn't know he was so polarizing.
  9. ringer

    ringer Member

    He lost me at "... I honestly can't find a single person who likes Darren Rovell."

    It tells me instantly that the writer is either lazy and/or not resourceful enough to look past his own navel.

    I don't have any allegiances in this fight -- just sayin' that no good reporter would ever say that he/she can't possibly find a source on the other side.
  10. Norrin Radd

    Norrin Radd New Member

    I don't mind Rovell.

    I follow him on Twitter, and think a lot of what he posts is interesting. Let's put it this way: ESPN had another sports business reporter, who promotes themself that way and who is liked by a couple of people I know. Yet, the exploits of that individual were insufficient for their needs, and they hired Rovell.

    Rovell comes up with a lot of interesting items. Comes off a tad smarmy, but he serves his purpose.

    I really enjoy Leitch, but he is not responding well to having to produce regularly for Pigs in Space.
  11. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Criticizing a sports business writer for "commodifying the human experience" is a weird criticism.

    Bottom line is that most sports owners care about the money, not fans.

    Someone who recognizes that and approaches the beat though that lens, instead of a naive view, would seem to be valuable.
  12. YGBFKM

    YGBFKM Guest

    Of course you didn't. :D
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