1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Trapping coaches/players in their lies

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Bullwinkle, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Member

    Make the call:

    You know a coach is full of shit, and that if you question him about something, he'll just deny everything and tell lies. But this time, it's on a more serious note: "Did he receive offers from other schools, that he's not telling anybody about??"

    So rather than asking the coach directly, "Have you received offers from other schools?" ... you instead say, "I asked one of your assistants, and he said you received a few offers from other small universities. Now ... which of them are you considering?"

    Except, the assistant said "no comment", or just didn't answer the question.

    I have a colleague who says he does this sort of stuff all the time, and I tell him it's unethical. You can't put words in another man's mouth, and present it as fact. Plus, it'll look horrible if your "instincts" turn you down, and the coach NEVER received any offers, etc.

    Has anybody ever been dumb enough to try this? If so, ever get called out on it? I understand the intent, which is to get the truth. But it seems like there must be an alternative way of getting it, while still being professional.
  2. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Member

    I really wish I would have explained that better.
  3. huntsie

    huntsie Active Member

    I get it. Should you lie to get the truth? No.
  4. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    No, I've never tried it.

    I just want to know why the google ad on this page is for Lacrosse Art prints.
  5. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    because lacrosse players are lying bastards.
  6. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Member

    Precisely the argument I made. I'm just trying to see if anybody has an argument as to WHY this would ever be acceptable? Can't criticize a man for lying when you are doing the same thing, right?
  7. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    No -- not acceptable.
    Coaches are going to lie, whether it good for them, their families or their team. Occasionally, we're going to catch them. Even more seldom than that, we're going to make them look like an ass because of it.
    We don't get much leeway for being wrong. We'll get even less for doing it on purpose, whether its in print or during a conversation.
    Don't sink to their level.
  8. e4

    e4 Member

    it'd be nice to do this. for example: cops lie all the time to get the truth out of people, but they're in a situation where, once they get the truth, they turn the perp over to the DA's office, etc. their approach is that they can build trust, even a false sense of trust, because their job is to ultimately betray the bad guy by giving him to the criminal justice system

    as a journalist, you can't become a "bad" guy... you also need to build trust, but you don't want to get caught in any of your own lies, because then your credibility is busted and no one will trust you
  9. Walter Burns

    Walter Burns Member

    I never did that, but I've been known to talk to someone (mostly when I was in news) about a rumor and treating it as fact, i.e., I heard you're running for dogcatcher, wanna tell me about it?
  10. I've done thing where you jump past confirming and just start asking about something.
    For instance, "So, what kind of an offer did Big State U. make you?" instead of, "Did Big State U. contact you?"
    However, I can't think of a case when I'd lie simply to get a story. I might lie to protect a source, but I wouldn't lie to confirm facts. First, it's unethical. Second, I think it will bite you at some point and it will end up costing you your reputation or job.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page