Sunday, May 04, 2008


There's no telling how much bandwidth was spent on Buzz Bissinger melting down all over Will Leitch on Costas Now.

In a continuing effort to secure a lower rung on the inferno, here's a kind of best-of symposium, presented in the same way the newspapers and the TV networks do their Sunday wrap-up. That ought to pacify the old-schoolers.

The Tao of Stieb: "Blogs haven't caused the decline of sports journalism. Sports journalism has caused the decline of sports journalism.

"... We link to the Globe or the Star or wherever because we want to continue the conversation on our own terms. We don't want to sign in to your site to make a two line comment. We want to go on at length, and examine and discuss. Journalists don't have an inherent right to the last word on any subject, and there is immense value to the extension of the dialogue beyond the newsprint and ink. Sometimes we want to hold up your writings to be praised, and sometimes we post them out of scorn. But it's ultimately healthy to have someone out there watching the watchers."
Incidentally, William Houston's, in The Tao's view, "overly sympathetic treatment" of Bissinger sparking off a great comment thread on The Globe's website. It was cut off after just 24 comments -- which kind of proves The Tao's point.

In fairness, a couple did make jokes about recreational drug use among members of the Ottawa Senators. That rumour, again? We can't have that sort of thing.)

Hey Jenny Slater: "Bissinger went to an elite prep school, was an editor of the student paper at Penn, and won a Pultizer, and I've done none of those things. But if Buzz says that, say, Tony Romo is a good quarterback and I say Romo sucks, none of those academic or professional highlights make Buzz any righter than I am ... Buzz is understandably angry that his position at the top of the heap is in danger of being usurped, but in expressing that anger, he demonstrated that -- ta-da! -- he's no different from any of the rest of us. His elite Northeastern education may have given him more knowledge, credentials, and access than any of us will ever get on our own, but apparently it didn't give him enough manners to keep 'I think you're full of shit' from being the very first words out of his mouth directed toward Will Leitch."
John Brattain weighed in, bless him.
Baseball Digest Daily: "The media is a deadbeat dad -- we are their children. Well 'Dad' maybe if you were responsible and set a better example maybe we wouldn’t be knocking on your door right now. Guess what Pop? We're home and we’re all yours and the more you screw around the more of us will keep showing up."
The guys at The Scrum Brandon talked to Michael Schur (AKA Fire Joe Morgan's Ken Tremendous, AKA Mose Schrute from The Office) for a podcast -- huge get, by the way.

"If you've been allowed to write about any subect you've wanted to without having anyone research it or challenge it, and then suddenly, basically overnight, there's an instantaneous, massive fact-checking machine that can be operated by anybody with a computer and a cable modem and you're getting put through a rigorous vetting process every time you print something, that's really scary. And I think that is probably affecting the way these people see blogs and the Internet in general."

This kind of touches on the points I made the last time I retired.

Sports On My Mind: "The people attacking 'bloggers' have not yet realized that a synonym for 'bloggers' is 'people.' We're not some underclass coming out of hiding in the caves ...

"Enough covering my own ass, though. Let's get to it: Leitch isn’t exactly blameless here, either.

"I mostly enjoy Deadspin. I read it everyday. I have it on my RSS feed. I comment over there, from time to time. But I'm also not going to pretend that it's above reproach. It's not a watchdog site, or a news site; it is an opinion site and it *is* a gossip site."

Who knows, maybe this is a spur to aspire to something else. That said, people like gossip — hey, did you hear that Elisha Cuthbert and Calgary's favourite Cro-Magnon man, Dion Phaneuf, are supposedly dating? That changes everything.

One more, and then enough's enough:

Sarah Schorno, Huffington Post: "What (Bissinger and Bob Costas), and most blog critics, fail to understand is that both mainstream media and blogs can co-exist peacefully. Bloggers aren't set out to replace print journalists. They exist to add commentary and color to the news that is reported in print and online every day. Readers don't use blogs to replace the news they get from the mainstream. They use it to add substance.

".. What is going to happen is that the poor journalism that existed previously due to a lack of choices is going to fade away. Blogs aren't destroying journalism, they are forcing it to improve."
Will Leitch can really write, and he will still do so, in some way, shape or form, whether it on the web or in dead-tree format. This shall pass for him; as for the rest of us, let's not to be too sure.

Interesting note on Buzz Bissinger: He's raised a son who suffered severe brain damage during his birth. He's spinning this off into his next book, which will hopefully cut into Rebecca Eckler's share of the mommy-porn market.

That's all for now. Send your thoughts to

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