July 25, 2014

ESPN OTL Segment Shows Journalists Still Dissing Bloggers

Wow – I just finished watching the ESPN Outside The Lines segment on the recent Raul Ibanez steroids blog post that has the interwebs on fire!

The guy in question, Jerrod Morris, a writer for Midwest Sports Fans, wrote an article that discussed how Raul Ibanez’s power numbers have increased this year and speculated on the reasons why this jump occured. One explanation, he mused, was performance enhancing drugs and, well, the rest was history. The blogosphere began reporting that Jerrod said that Ibanez was taking steroids (not accurate), and ESPN took it a step further by getting two journalists together (including Ken Rosenthal and a guy from the Philadelphia Inquirer) to interrogate Morris.

Man, this was a takedown that was orchestrated like no other. I’d encourage you to watch it yourself and form your own opinions, but some of mine are:

1. Many in the media still thinks bloggers are unprofessional, unaccountable, inaccurate writers – the writers that were tearing Morris apart kept hammering on the fact that he made accusations without any facts. When I read the article and watched the segment, I thought that Morris wasn’t given a fair shake – he was pretty clear in his statement online and on ESPN that he didn’t accuse Ibanez of taking steroids but it everyone seemed to try to accuse Morris of that very fact. Weren’t the mainstream media members pushing Morris on something that wasn’t accurate? It seemed they were practicing the very activity that they were accusing the blogger of – hmm…

2. No one has really spelled out how Ibanez was made aware of anything – This seems like a big game of telephone, where the blogger posts something, another media outlet writes their interpretation of it, another person relays this to Ibanez, and the player unleashes on someone where no one is clear on what the message was.

3. Jerrod’s blog is going to blow up because of this – The very media outlets that try to discredit Jerrod and his blog have actually done quite the opposite- they have made everyone aware of the power of these blogs to write on hot topics and tackle topics that the mainstream media won’t. I think Jerrod and his blog will ultimately be the winners here…much to the dismay of folks like Ken Rosenthal.

writers note: The only research I did for this article was reading Jerrod’s words and watching the OTL segment ;)

6/11/109 Update
A few words from the blogger (Jerrod Morris) today wrapping up his thoughts…

After reflecting more about the interview on Outside the Lines yesterday, just a few more thoughts:

Ken Rosenthal asked at one point, “how did we get here?” What I wish I had said was: “We got here because one newspaper mischaracterized what I said, because a reporter from that same paper went running to Raul Ibanez for a comment without (ostensibly) Ibanez or the reporter reading the actual article I wrote, and because the mainstream media and its holier-than-thou high standards decided to run with the story. If none of that had happened, the Raul Ibanez story would be making its way towards 300-400 views right now and fading from relevance even here at MSF, as opposed to being a national story.

I wasn’t setting out to create a firestorm, but it is curious (there’s that word again) that the MSM was so quick to jump on the story. Could it be because the MSM salivates anytime the terms “steroids” or “PEDs” and an actual player’s name are in the same sentence? Might such stories drive pretty high traffic and viewership? Seems to me they would (and, admittedly, the last few days have proven it for us here at Midwest Sports Fans. Thanks mainstream media!).