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The Raul Ibanez thing...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by BB Bobcat, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. BB Bobcat

    BB Bobcat Active Member

    Wondering what your thoughts are on the Raul Ibanez situation. A blogger wrote that his performance makes you wonder if he's used steroids (getting better at age 37 and all).


    Then a Philly Inquirer columnist writes a column saying the blogger is irresponsible...


    And then Ibanez goes nuts...


    Does anyone else think this is one of those things where the mainstream media makes it worse by elevating the blog accusations by way of refuting them, when they are better left ignored? The original blogger actually spends much of his time saying that it's unfair to suspect Ibanez, but he's got the word "steroid" in his headline, so there ya go.
  2. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    The blogger all but admitted that he was in the wrong, with his apology to Ibanez today, but I don't think he necessarily was. It IS true that anyone who has a career year at age 37 is rightfully going to be suspected of PEDs in this era, and there's nothing wrong with asking that question about Ibanez (although I would venture to say that having Citizens Bank Bandbox as your home park for the first time is playing a larger role in his "breakout" season than anything else.)

    That said, I don't think anybody looks good in this situation. Not sure what was the point of the Inquirer column -- it really adds nothing to the discussion. Why did the columnist get involved?

    And Ibanez, while his reaction is understandable and valid, if he's clean, should know the score by now. It's part of life as a ballplayer in the 21st century, and he should be mature enough to shrug it off. Then again, ballplayers are dumb, as a rule. So maybe he shouldn't know better.
  3. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    I think the columnist was looking for a way to play in the mud while staying clean. He didn't accuse Ibanez of using steroids. He just wrote the blogger did it! Then he gets to go on Outside the Lines and tell the blogger how a real reporter would have done it, all while saying he loves blogs and Twitter and the lines are now blurred.
  4. clutchcargo

    clutchcargo Active Member

    Too bad blogs weren't around when Brady Anderson was cranking out 50 HRs.
  5. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    Something similar happened here with the recent Alabama basketball coaching search. Jackleg blogger posts that he has it from "a member of Nick Saban's family" that the Tide will hire Tom Izzo to replace Mark Gottfried (it turned out the blogger was g-chatting with Saban's 17-year-old daughter ... seriously).

    State's No. 1 columnist then refutes the "story" online and in print. It became talk-radio and message-board fodder almost right up until the day Alabama hired Anthony Grant.

    If the "legit" columnist had left the Izzo story alone, it would probably have gone away ...
  6. BB Bobcat

    BB Bobcat Active Member

    My feeling is that of the three parties (the blog, the Inky and Ibanez), I blame the newspaper.

    Bloggers are going to write what they are going to write, and I think people know enough to consider the source. Unless the blogger is claiming to have some sort of direct information, anyone who reads it will take it as nothing more than blind speculation, which is no different from guys talking in a bar.

    Which is why I think the Inky ought to just ignore it, rather than providing a wider audience for it. Although I wasn't there, I feel it's pretty likely that Ibanez became aware of the blog only after it was published in the column refuting it.

    So my second question is this: Say you are a third-party news outlet. You didn't report on the blog in the first place, but now Ibanez has spoken emotionally and publicly about it. You sort of have to report that, but at the same time all you are doing is providing even more of a platform for the initial blind speculation.
  7. clutchcargo

    clutchcargo Active Member

    You want "community journalism," and this is what you get.
  8. "Maybe he's using" is part of every fan dialogue regarding a breakout season nowadays. I really don't get how the blogger is accountable.
  9. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    So by that standard, every "hey, did you hear the quarterback is gay" is fair game for publication?
  10. BB Bobcat

    BB Bobcat Active Member

    For "publication"? No. For a blogger? Sure.

    Blogs that are not connected to professional news organizations make no pretense of delivering the truth or delivering anything fairly. They are just words on a screen that anyone can put there. Just like I can put a sign in my yard that says: "Obama sucks" but the NY Times can't write a headline on the front page that says "Obama sucks."

    My issue here is with the legitimate news outlet giving the blogger a platform by referring to his speculation, even by way of refuting it. I say more harm is done by refuting the blog than by ignoring it.

    My second issue is, once Organization A has legitimized the blog by getting the player to react to it, how should Organizations B, C and D handle the story? I think they are sort of trapped into now making the same error that Organization A did. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
  11. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Actually, the Times <b>could</b> write a headline that says "Obama Sucks" if it chose to.

    But if you write one that says, "(Whoever) Is Doing Something Illegal," you'd damn well better have some proof.

    That standard applies to bloggers as well.
  12. The site is called "Midwest Sports Fans." He's talking what fans talk about. Hell, he went above and beyond, introducing numerous detailed theories before even tossing out the idea that he's on something.

    If he was trying to come off as a professional, investigative type, this would be a huge mistake. Why a paper would run with a passage from some random guy talking about his fantasy team is beyond me. Trying to fit "blogs" under one set of standards is like trying to fit "books" under one set of standards.
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