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NYT: ESPN pulled out of concussion doc project due to NFL pressure

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Steak Snabler, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. How about that who gives a rip what the league wants?
  2. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    My guess is Frontline isn't just doing a scientific exploration, but that there will be retired players shown to be in very bad shape, widows talking about the damage the game did to their husbands and perhaps someone on screen making an accusation or two directly at the NFL. "They knew, and did nothing until faced with legal action."
  3. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Lipsyte with a pretty good ombud column. Doesn't draw a lot of conclusions, though.


    The problem started when ESPN producers were talking up their journalistic chops at a media event to promote the thing. The producer said "the NFL is just going to have to understand" how ESPN's news team works. Uh huh, yeah.


    Upon screening it, Skipper said he found the trailer to be “sensational.” He particularly objected to the tagline -- “Get ready to change the way you see the game” -- and to the final sound bite in the piece, from neuropathologist Ann McKee. Referring to brain injuries, she says, “I’m really wondering if every single football player doesn’t have this.”

    Skipper said he found that comment to be “over the top.”

    Yeah because, I mean, what the fuck would one of the world's leading neurologists know about it compared with what John Skipper thinks is right?
  4. Morris816

    Morris816 Member

    The Nation talked to a number of ESPN journalists, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.


    Some pretty strong quotes in the article.
  5. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    That piece from The Nation isn't really very good. I challenge you to post one of the "strong" quotes that offers something more than garden-variety analysis. Everyone is anonymous -- and this is one case where I'd think you would want to stand up and be heard and that it wouldn't cost you your job, particularly if you're under contract. Some of those quotes would sound better with a name attached if these were the prominent people we're told they are, but without the names they sound like something cribbed off this thread.

    And turning to Will Leitch to tell us what's wrong with ESPN is lazy and irrelevant.
  6. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    "Sensational?" "Over the top"? Skipper knows he's working at ESPN right?
  7. vivbernstein

    vivbernstein Member

    That comment in the Nation article about self censorship is exactly what I was getting at in my column. FWIW, here are my insights from my short time with ESPN:

  8. CD Boogie

    CD Boogie Well-Known Member

    You want journalists who just watched their company put business ahead of journalism to make a comment on the record? You obviously wouldn't last long working at ESPN. The fact that everyone in that Nation article refuses to speak on the record underscores their understanding of how quickly Bristol would shitcan their asses for disparaging the company. Other than the likes of Simmons, everyone is more or less replaceable there -- and they know it, bc the brass lets them know it.

    And how is Leitch's take irrelevant? He was in the vanguard of being hypercritical of ESPN and how it operates. Who would you have liked to have heard from in his stead?
  9. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    The quotes don't mean anything without names attached, is what I'm saying. They aren't strong quotes by themselves. Post the best one here if you like and we can see how "strong" they are and how different they are from anything that was said on this thread. What quote in that entire piece moves you or offers any new insight?

    And Leitch himself is a cliche by now. A lazy, navel-gazing cliche. He was a breath of fresh air when Deadspin first started and was going up against ESPN. He is, in this case, redundant to the author himself. And going to him for quotes is just forum-shopping.
  10. CD Boogie

    CD Boogie Well-Known Member

    That is ludicrous.

    And I think this is a strong quote from one of the ESPNers: "Our corporate strategy right now is to go all-in on football no matter the cost [to journalistic integrity]. We are going all-in on football at a time when you have damn near 5,000 people suing the sports that made them famous [for head trauma]. You have empirical evidence that something is going on with this game that is really dangerous. We are now carrying water for a game that is on a deeply problematic trajectory. We are going all in on this sport and this sport is in peril."

    So the story from the Nation only has heft in your eyes if the ESPNers commit career suicide and go on the record with their quotes? Because they are actual ESPN employees with a stake in the topic, their words carry a lot more weight than any anonymous message board posts thrown up here.
  11. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    If that is the strongest quote, you're proving my point. Pick out one thing in there that isn't widely known. That could have been an appraisal of ESPN's strategy from an insider, from someone on SportsJournalists.com, from Will Leitch, or from some professor dangling a pipe at Columbia University. There isn't anything there that's new.

    I also don't know who the employee is. Is it someone I respect? Is it a clown show like Bayless or Stephen A? Is it an assistant producer? That quote really does not carry any new insight, nor does it carry the weight of the speaker.

    Thanks for doing my legwork and proving my point.
  12. CD Boogie

    CD Boogie Well-Known Member

    Wow, thanks for that obnoxious, condescending reply. You have my utmost respect.
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