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SB Nation pulls Daniel Holtzclaw longform piece

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Steak Snabler, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    On Wednesday, SB Nation ran a longform piece on Daniel Holtzclaw, an Oklahoma City police officer who was sentenced to 263 years in January for serial rape. Holtzclaw was a former Eastern Michigan linebacker, and the thesis of the piece seemed to be that his failure to make it in the NFL started him down the criminal path.

    The backlash was enormous, so much so that SB Nation took the piece down.

    Here's a link to some of the backlash:

    SB Nation pulls Daniel Holtzclaw longform they were blasted for [updated]

    And here's Spencer Hall's explanation for taking it down:

    A note from the editorial director

    Thoughts? Right move or overreaction?

    (And you can still find a cached version of the piece on the Internet, at least for now).
  2. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    Well, without reading the story itself, given the overwhelming negative reaction, I'd say they made the right move. Sounds like it should never have been posted it to begin with.
  3. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    Jeff Arnold, who wrote the piece, was feverishly RT and replying to everyone who said something nice about the piece.
    Currently his Twitter is set to "private."
  4. JC

    JC Well-Known Member

    It was a painful read.

    But I'm not so sure you should pull it.
  5. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Assuming this is an apt description of the article ...

    this one took a rather different approach, relying heavily on Holtzclaw’s former teammates’ and parents’ comments that he couldn’t possibly have done this and alleging that he was only accused thanks to national backlash against police officers through movements such as Black Lives Matter. It also carried a rather substantial potential conflict of interest just from its author, whose background wasn’t disclosed until the end of the piece:

    that's the worst piece of sportswriting I've ever heard of. The gold standard has always been that Whicker column, but this one sounds worse.

    Lesson to folks in sports: Read the fucking real news once in a while. Good goddamn hell, understand what was happening in that community, where he was using his badge to prey on black women.
    cranberry likes this.
  6. JC

    JC Well-Known Member

    Old Tony has finally found somebody who was wrongly convicted.

    It was a rapist apologist piece, should be left up to be judged by all.
    Riptide and YankeeFan like this.
  7. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Yes, probably true too. Does the genie ever go back in the bottle?

    I guess SB Nation has come a long way, but that's a reputation crusher. Especially rough that according to Hall there was sentiment among top editors not to run it.
  8. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Should leave it up and endure the shame:

  9. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Any prominent writers praising it before the reaction turned negative?
  10. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    If you check out EDSBS (Spencer Hall's) mentions on Twitter on the editorial note, someone posted a link to the Google cache of the story. I read it. It's long. It's painful. And the ending basically is the author saying that the player was convicted despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. That evidence, apparently, being the word of the dude's friends. I think it's a career killer for Jeff Arnold, truth be told.
  11. wicked

    wicked Well-Known Member

    Haven't read the piece but unless it's outright fabrication, you don't pull it. And even then, I'm not sure if you should.
  12. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

  13. wicked

    wicked Well-Known Member

    No such thing anymore, IMO.
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