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Ray Rice and the elite sports press

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Alma, Sep 8, 2014.

  1. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Because the Ray Rice thread is its own thing, a big stew, I wanted to isolate this piece, and which deals specifically with Peter King's gaffe about apparently not confirming with the NFL that the NFL had, indeed, seen the Rice video.


    <i>"King's behavior speaks to so many of the ills of the elite sporting press. It shows the danger of using anonymous sources - notice that King does not give us any information about the source except that he's a league source and has been "impeccable." Traditional journalist ethics dictate that you're supposed to give as much information about the source's identity as possible, but never mind that. He didn't call the league for comment, which he called "a lapse," and which I'd call "a gigantic hole in your story, since you made it sound like you had talked to the league, what with your 'league source' and all."

    Most significantly, King didn't call out the source. Even though the source at best provided misleading information, or at worst lied to King. None of the members of the elite sport press called out the league sources they willfully quoted over the summer — even though those sources violated the only rule that governed their relationship with journalists."</i>

    Curious as to where journalists and ex-journalists land on this matter.

    For me, I think the concept of reporting has just plain eroded in this Internet age, to the point of where reporters almost seem embarrassed to ask the most simple, obvious, basic questions and those we talk to seem almost flabbergasted to get those questions. That's not to say reporting is simple. It's not easy, and folks who are good at cultivating sources are worth their weight in an organization.

    But it just seems like Peter King has to weigh in every other hour on Twitter, that his site has be constantly filing the minute, pointless details of a training camp meal, and the larger, key questions are just...lost. It doesn't even make any sense. PBS, Deadspin, Olbermann, TMZ...these are not, in theory, the organizations/people that should be telling the key stories about the NFL. But they are. A lot.
  2. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    I think King is lying today.

    I think someone told him for real back then exactly what is on the video, and he is now part of the effort to save Roger Goodell's job.
  3. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Harrumph. When was the last time a news reporter called out a source for lying to them?

    I'm sure it has happened, but on the high end, national level, can anyone point to a time that it did?
  4. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    King didn't call the league when it was so obvious an agate clerk would know to do it.
    Schecter doesn't talk to players or go to games.
    Glazer breaks stuff because he works out with players.
    But they're "elite."
  5. BurnsWhenIPee

    BurnsWhenIPee Well-Known Member

    I think this is spot-on.

    Even if what he says today is true, I don't see where the source did anything wrong. If, as King asserts, the source said he assumes the NFL saw the video back then, there's nothing misleading about that. King is the one who took that assumption and ran with it as a dead-solid fact.

    And there's a reason King is never going to call out his source, anyway - because he's a lying fuckstick who sold out to the league long ago, and he's not going to do a single thing that doesn't advance the agenda of Goodell and the NFL.
  6. Elliotte Friedman

    Elliotte Friedman Moderator Staff Member

    King and I have similar responsibilities (my profile obviously being much lower, and in a different sport). Here's what I think happened:

    Someone who is directly responsible for feeding these guys lied. There's no doubt in my mind. Too many reporters with serious access (King, Schefter, Mortensen, I believe LaCanfora, etc.) had the same info. It cannot have gone down any other way.

    Now, they know the truth, and everyone acts differently. In a lot of ways, you find out who a person really is in these moments. If you watched a second of Schefter, he was PISSED. He didn't burn his source, but he made it very clear he was angry being lied to...and took out his revenge by burying everyone involved. He sent a message: you will not do this to me.

    King was different. It's possible he did exactly what the above posters mentioned; take a bullet for Goodell. But it's also possible he thought the proper thing to do was accept blame himself, because it was his reporting. I don't believe he didn't make a call to double-check. That's ridiculous. I think he trusted the source, a high-level person who had fed him before and been helpful. That person burned him -- and everyone else -- this time.

    I will be curious to see if any spokesperson-type in the NFL gets fired over this. Because that may be the person who leaked.

    My reaction would be more Schefter than King. But I've seen people do it the latter's way, too.
  7. JimmyHoward33

    JimmyHoward33 Well-Known Member

    The degree of detail that Mortensen used in describing what was on the video months ago suggests that whoever his source was almost certainly saw it.
  8. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    If King's source told him that the league "must have seen the video" then not only should he have called the NFL to get their comment, he should have called one of his "impeccable sources" that was actually in a position to know the answer.

    Why is King relying on a source who didn't know? That makes no sense.
  9. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    This is what happens when nearly all the people who cover the NFL for national outlets work for companies who are also broadcast rights-holders.
  10. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    King said the source assumed the league had seen the video. Shouldn't that be enough? Jeez!
  11. RecoveringJournalist

    RecoveringJournalist Well-Known Member

    I agree with this and I am a huge PK fan. I think someone in the league office told him, directly or indirectly, "Look, my job is on the line here..."
  12. RecoveringJournalist

    RecoveringJournalist Well-Known Member

    King is protecting a source.

    I thought Schefter came across very well with his indignation yesterday. I'd be curious if it's genuine.
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