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Pujols' trainer and Deadspin

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Moland Spring, Jun 8, 2006.

  1. That's not reporting. It's kindergarten addition. 1+1= What We Think Is Two But It Might Be Five.
    "I can put my barber on Broome Street together with half the hit men in the city."
    -- Adam Schiff.
  2. WSKY

    WSKY Member

    Deadspin is hardly a credible source. But, hey, it's your story.
  3. spinning27

    spinning27 New Member

    Deadspin will forever be more credible than Rick "What's there to look into?" Hummel.

    The fact he said that is such a disgrace to this profession, I'd consider firing him on that statement alone. What's there to look into???? YOU ARE A REPORTER, YOU MORON. It's our job to look into things, even if on the surface there doesn't appear to be anything to look into.
  4. greenie

    greenie Member

    I'd treat blogs just like message boards. Never, ever attribute them when it's breaking news. Always do your own reporting, just like if you got an e-mail tip or whatever.

    I love deadspin. Read it at least a few times a week. Deadspin needs to stay out of the breaking news biz and be what it is -- an extremely funny sports-related site. You can't dabble in breaking news without reporting. And reporting consists of a lot more than an e-mail address readers can send stuff they've heard.
  5. HeinekenMan

    HeinekenMan Active Member

    Well, shit. I'll break my silence on this, probably to Will's chagrin. Lord knows that I'm frequently e-mailing him and never getting a response. He probably thinks I'm stalking him. And the truth is that I am. I want to have his baby.

    Anyway, I went to high school with Will. We didn't run in the same circles, but I have confidence in vouching for a few things. He's not just some blogger. He's a trained journalist. It's not as if he works the smoking section at Denny's and puts the site together on breaks.

    I don't know what the reality is. I don't know who his sources are, how he makes editorial decisions or whether he picks his nose and wipes boogies on the spacebar.

    What I do know is that:

    1. He has a degree in journalism from a highly respectable school and certainly knows the difference between posting rumors and reporting facts. That doesn't mean that he didn't report a rumor; I don't know. It just means that he isn't some blogger without a concept of what journalism is and isn't.

    2. He's a fairly smart guy with plenty of professional experience.

    3. His site has been a smashing success. He gets tons of hits and doesn't need to post questionable hearsay to gain favor. In fact, I once provided him with some rumor mill stuff and he never reported a word of it or even bothered to follow up on it.

    4. He probably makes the ultimate decisions, which means that his work doesn't receive as many critiques as a print guy might expect. So, there is a chance that he'll make a major blunder at some point. (Hey, I have to cover my ass. After all, he could be a robot created by the Hanso Foundation.)

    5. He gets a lot of page views from sports journalists, and he's likely to take a heavy hit if he comes out looking like a hack and is forced to retract the Mihlfeld stuff. I don't think he'd take that risk. As for the little disclaimer he put at the end of his story, I didn't see any problem with it. I guessed that it might have been more to appease the parent company's legal team than anything else. But I couldn't really say for sure.

    In closing, I saw that Mihlfeld's sister has a blog of her own and that she began to get steroid-related comments from people who learned of the allegations in the Deadspin story. I also saw where Will posted on there that he was sorry that people were posting rude things on her site. Apparently, he had her site linked from Deadspin but decided to remove it. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'd bet a nickel that most bloggers wouldn't have removed the link.
  6. greenie

    greenie Member

    The guy might have a journalism degree, but he's not practicing journalism. He's a blogger -- arguably the best. But the site says " ... without access, discretion or valor." Gotta at least go 2-for-3 to be in the breaking hard news biz.

    Again, not taking a shot at deadspin. Love the site. Just don't think it should try to break news on something this serious, especially if it has only 80-percent confidence in its source.

    And I sure as hell wouldn't attribute news to any blog, no matter what the blogger's credentials may be.
  7. HeinekenMan

    HeinekenMan Active Member

    Well, I don't think anyone is going to fault you for taking the journalistic high road. But you might look around and see how many papers have referenced his claim. While nobody seems to be putting it out there as fact at this point, I have seen several stories in the wake of his assertions about Mihlfeld.
  8. Orange Hat Bobcat

    Orange Hat Bobcat Active Member

    The KC Star's Wright Thompson has referenced Deadspin at least once, if not twice during his Mihlfield stories. Just saying.
  9. If "nobody seems to be putting it out there as fact," why in the hell are news stories "referencing" the claim? All the rules seem suspended for this particular issue.
  10. putting this "rumor" out there was a mistake when you have to come back and clarify later that you're only 80 percent confident in your source. that's not the act of a trained journalist. it's the act of a blogger who wants his web site talked about. nothing wrong with that. i like deadspin. i don't read it as much as i did in its infancy. i liked it a lot better when the site ripped the media. it's gotten soft -- probably because will has received too much praise and he doesn't want to risk any backlash. but you can still find some funny stuff on there.

    fenian, if you haven't noticed, there are no rules when it comes to the steroid witch hunt. did mccarthy have any rules when he went after communists?... same thing with steroids.
  11. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    In defense not of Deadspin, but of improved reading skills on the part of professional journalists everywhere, I'll remind you all that Deadspin's first post on this topic last week rated the reliability of its original source an 8 out of 10. Or 80%. The very first post.

    They heard from their 80% credible source that Mihlfield's name appeared in the Grimsley documents. They, like many others that same afternoon with access to any number of baseball databases, simply made note of the fact that Pujols and Grimsley had the personal trainer in common. They left it to readers to make of that what they might.

    Raw material like this only becomes a problem for other journalists if they misread it.
  12. HeinekenMan

    HeinekenMan Active Member

    I certainly agree with Whitlock that it would be a bad sign if Deadspin pulled back on this. But it's not clear whether it did.

    In any case, I'd like an explanation of just what 80 percent means.

    I think we'll all have our answers very soon, as I expect this whole thing to pick up speed before it dies down.
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