Bob Costas: Human fart stain.
It's so damn disappointing when someone who seems to be an intelligent, thoughtful, insightful guy ends up really being a narrow-minded, elitist prick who thinks his job is much more important than it actually is. For years, I have enjoyed Bob Costas and his work. In the "Boo-Yah!" era of sports journalism, Costas seemed like one of the few that took it seriously. He'd report on games and events with a seriousness that made them seem important, and when he'd interview people he would not shy away from tough questions. He did not berate people or treat them with disrespect.
Apparently, Bob Costas feels that people like me are "idiots" using this crazy tool called the Internet to express my opinion when what I should really do is leave the opinion-making to "professionals" like Costas. Like Stephen A. Smith, the poster boy for ignorance in sports journalism, Bob Costas thinks we bloggers should shut up and leave the sports writing to people more intelligent than us:
'I understand with newspapers struggling and hoping to hold on to, or possibly expand their audiences, I understand why they do what they do,'' Costas said. 'But it's one thing if somebody just sets up a blog from their mother's basement in Albuquerque and they are who they are, and they're a pathetic get-a-life loser, but now that pathetic get-a-life loser can piggyback onto someone who actually has some level of professional accountability and they can be comment No. 17 on Dan Le Batard's column or Bernie Miklasz' column in St. Louis. That, in most cases, grants a forum to somebody who has no particular insight or responsibility. Most of it is a combination of ignorance or invective.''
Yes, yes, yes. How dare people actually COMMENT on articles written by others! Such a silly concept. I mean, we should just take everything Dan Le Batard says at face value, and when the opportunity arises to comment on Dan sharing his thoughts with us, we should shut up because we're stupid losers who are typing (all together now) IN OUR UNDERWEAR IN OUR MOM'S BASEMENT. In fact, Costas feels the entire feedback medium (article comments, blogs, etc.) itself is crap and should be taken away from readers.
I could go into a lengthy rant about how Costas is nothing more than another rich, big media prick who is threatened by average Joe's with Ivy Tech educations who are infringing on his bread and butter. But I won't. Costas is an upper crust schmuck, and he knows next to nothing about what sports fans (you know, the people who pay to see idiots like Costas talk about our sport). What Costas really fails to understand is there is no "professional accountability" in his world of "real" journalism. If there was, blogs would not be necessary. Real professional accountability is listening to your readers. In a way, blogs are like letters to the editor, only unfiltered and unedited by copy staff. They are the real, raw feedback directly from your readers and viewers, and belittling that feedback is nothing more than shooting yourself in the foot with a double-barreled shotgun.
What bothers Costas -- and he's not alone -- is Internet and talk radio commentary that ``confuses simple mean-spiritedness and stupidity with edginess. Just because I can call someone a name doesn't mean I'm insightful or tough and edgy. It means I'm an idiot.
``It's just a high-tech place for idiots to do what they used to do on bar stools or in school yards, if they were school yard bullies, or on men's room walls in gas stations. That doesn't mean that anyone with half a brain should respect it.''
Let's get one thing straight: Talk radio is not the same as blogging. Regular, everyday people blog about their passions. Morons, like Stephen A. Smith, get on talk radio and spew the poisoned crap they are known for. For Costas to confuse the two just confirms by feeling that his upper crust status has blinded him from what everyone else in the world knows. And on the subject of respect, it is hard to respect someone like Costas who seems threatened by feedback from his viewers. Once you achieve a certain level of respect, it is no longer a "given" that you have it. You must continue to earn it as if you never had it in the first place. Thanks for your concern Bob, but I think we listeners and viewers will decide for ourselves who is worthy of our respect and time, not you. I know you'd prefer to make our decisions for us, but we like this idea of responding directly to stuff like, say, you calling bloggers "idiots."
Bob Costas: Man of the people.
I'll close with The Big Lead's comments on Costas' whine fest, because I read about this first at his site:
Also, if blogs anger [Bob] so, we humbly advise you to treat blogs the way we treat Jay Mariotti/Scoop Jackson columns - don't read `em. As for the credentials issue, it seems like such a tired and boring discussion. The organization makes a decision, and bloggers will deal with it. Some teams - the New York Islanders - will embrace the idea, and happily give bloggers access. Others - the Dallas Mavericks - feel otherwise. Why is this still a federal case?