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Wright Thompson says "Zip it!"

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mighty_Wingman, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. Mighty_Wingman

    Mighty_Wingman Active Member

    Board fave Wright Thompson weighs in on the Pokey Chatman story. Apparently, the media should stop talking about Chatman because...um...apparently, because it's TOO juicy and interesting. Give me a freakin' break.


    Best of all, in an apparent salute to SportsJournalists.com, he includes what I've come to think of as his signature: He went to her hourse, sat in her driveway for a while, then drove away.

  2. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    *Obligatory you-could-never-write-as-well-as-Wright-Thompson post*

    Thereby clearing the way for some more substantive discussion.
  3. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    You read a different story than the one I did...
  4. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    *Giggle* Right below Mighty Righty's post is an Ann Coulter ad. (I keed; Mighty is one of the good righties). And isn't Wright afraid of someone calling the cops while he's sitting in the driveway?
  5. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member

    Apparently that's what he tells the subjects of his opus pieces... McGwire... Grbac....
  6. Mighty_Wingman

    Mighty_Wingman Active Member

    The only thing uglier than Ann Coulter is what comes out of her mouth. Yecch.

    Pringle, great point: Wright Thompson on a bad day makes my best stuff look like Ann Coulter's face. Doesn't mean this story makes any sense. Also doesn't make his penchant for driveway loitering less hilarious.

    And Mizzou, seriously? I know your boys can do no wrong, but what's this story about?

    Everyone should be ashamed to listen to rumors, even though the Pokey Chatman story is the juiciest story EVER to come out of big-time college women's hoops?

    Bob Starkey's a throwback because he calls his players "kids," like every other coach in the country?

    Wright Thompson's a brilliant deep thinker with something to say because he idled in Pokey Chatman's driveway for a while?

  7. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    Note the sarcasm.
  8. Mighty_Wingman

    Mighty_Wingman Active Member

    I was agreeing with you...I know you were trying to forestall the "you're some jealous hack prep writer" idiots who crop up whenever a prominent national writer gets criticized around here.

    On that note, by the way, THIS is a thread that could get locked. And that's no knock on Elliotte.
  9. daemon

    daemon Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I second that. Wingman -- did you include the wrong link? Because the story you linked to read to me like a pretty balanced look at some of the aftershock of the Chatman scandal.

    And I don't see how you can infer that he sat by the driveway but decided to drive away.
  10. Herbert Anchovy

    Herbert Anchovy Active Member

    Don't be so hard on yourself.

    He dabbles in finger painting.
  11. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Let me say this first: I like Wright, and so would most of you. Despite the grief he gets, he's good people.

    However, and I say this conceding that he is a much better writer than I am, I think sometimes he gets a little esoteric with his thinking and reasoning in stories, striving for the "What does it all mean?" and "What does it say about us as a society?" angle. Sometimes a story and a team represents a larger theme, like when he wrote about the girls basketball team from Nazareth, Texas last month. But sometimes a story is just a story. As a writer, it's a difficult balance to strike, especially for someone like Thompson who clearly cares very deeply about writing. Writing is kind of like being a magician. Anyone here see The Prestige? Sometimes you can dress up a trick -- or in this case a story -- with all the showmanship and awe, but it's the payoff that counts. And sometimes the payoff is simple, not complex.

    I'm torn about this story. It's sort of a scene piece that wants to be something bigger, but doesn't quite have the reporting to back it up, and I don't think that's for lack of effort. As I said, it's a delicate balance to strike.

    I do disagree a bit on the ending, and the "Zip it!" title my man MW has given it. I don't think it means Thompson wants people to shut up, or that he just sat in her driveway, took some notes and went home. I think it could very well mean he banged on the door, hoping she would talk, and when she didn't, he decided to use it as a metaphor for the unanswered questions. I think it kind of works. But I do agree that the story isn't saying much. I don't really know much more about the situation after reading it than I did before reading it. Pokey Chatman slept with one of her players. The assistant coach turned her in. Everyone in town suspects it's a love triangle (Chatman-Berry-Unkown Player) but no one will say so on the record. Chatman is MIA.

    I might have tried to hold the story a day if I were Wright's editor, see if we could get anything else.
  12. Moland Spring

    Moland Spring Member

    Is he the first to report the assistant who turned Pokey in? That would be some good reporting, if you ask me. As many awards as Wright wins, I'm not sure this one will win one. He doesn't provide answers, after all. But this is what's out there, so he gets points for putting it in perspective, taking a swing at a tough topic and trying to be esoteric.
    Sometimes, a writer can only write what there is. This is, I think, as much as any writer could do at this point.
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