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Mortensen: Raiders lost "privilege" of him asking them for comment

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Inky_Wretch, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    Mort says Davis is selling controlling stake of team. Team denies with a pointed jab at Mort's reporting. Mortensen responds to AP with an e-mail about it ...

    "The Raiders have lost the privilege with me of running stories past them for comment," the e-mail stated. "This stems from their history of denials to most stories I have reported — as well as others in the media — when those stories have eventually proven to be true. The latest example is I reported that Al Davis planned to interview Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride and, of course, the story was trashed by a team spokesman."


    Regards of your feelings about Mortensen, ESPN or the Raiders, isn't it Reporting 101 to ask the team if the rumor is true?
    Even if you know the team will deny it?
  2. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    It is. And yet, if they trash him in the process, every time, does he deserve that?
  3. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    Certainly not.

    I was just stunned Mortensen would come out and say "Screw it, I'm not even going to bother asking."
  4. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Unless you're getting "trashed" like "your facts are wrong and your wife is a hooker," suck it up and do your diligence like it's any other team.
  5. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    Either that or find another beat or another job
  6. I don't know.
    We are not obligated to publish what we know are lies, either.
    I guess he could get the team's comment and then append, for the foreseeable future, something along the lines of, "Given this franchise's history for denying stories it knows to be true, the viewer should be careful of any statement emanating from the Raiders." The use of "privilege" in this context makes Mort sound really bad.
  7. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Agree with that.
  8. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    He backed off from the word "privilege." It was ill-advised. Without knowing who he actually spoke to and what basis he has for reporting the sale negotiations, I'd be a bit hesitant to trash Mort. What is supposed to matter is writing the truth. If he has info or documents from more reliable sources than Amy Trask and Al Davis that there are negotiations in progress, chances are he has the truth.
  9. sg86

    sg86 Member

    I mean, if they've proven to be liars time and time again, Mort has nothing to gain from asking them.

    To any reader/watcher, it just makes Mort look like a dumbass. If he's got an hour to take the info, validate it and turn it around into something, why waste 10 minutes of that time on something that's going to be a load of crap anyway?

    Mort has earned my trust and respect enough to know that he wouldn't just throw anything from anyone out there. If he's reporting it, it's at least come from someone respectable.
  10. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    You can't they are no longer a credible source. Why ask a non-credible source anything? Can't can't can't do it.
  11. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    At least this is more honest than people who write stuff like, "So-and-so couldn't be reached for comment" or "So-and-so didn't immediately return a phone message" when they might not have picked up the phone at all.

    If you're a journalist, you attempt to contact someone and lay it out in the story. If they have a history of mucking up truthful reporting, note that. But you don't stop calling. That sort of pain-in-the-ass stuff is part of many people's jobs -- just because an airline pilot never finds a bird in the jet engine intake doesn't mean he stops looking next time.
  12. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I read "so and so didn't immediately return a phone message" as "Joe Podunk Reporter only tried calling him one time and gave up.

    I usually try to write my stories to reflect the number of times I tried to contact a given source. If I've tried calling and e-mailing the source several times, I usually note it thusly. If the guy bitches that it makes him look bad, I remind him of the several voice mails I left that he never bothered to return until the paper already hit the newsstands.

    Usually, though, I've been able to get what I need and I can take out my "attempts to reach Jack Source were unsuccessful" and replace it with quotes.

    But yeah, "privilege" was a baaad word choice on Mortensen's part. I'd refer to the Raiders organization's less than up front communications in subsequent stories, but I wouldn't have worded it the way he did. I also think mustang was right when he said the Raiders can no longer be considered a credible source.
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