What's this? ESPN has posted a story about a civil suit involving an NFL player even though there are no criminal charges filed? I thought their policy was not to report on civil suits. I guess the network's lame and nearly laughable excuse for ignoring the Ben Roethlisberger rape lawsuit last week was as vapid and empty as it sounded.
The ESPN article linked above is about Marvin Harrison getting sued by another person with a sketchy background. It was written by Shaun Assael, the same hack who co-wrote this hit piece on Harrison back in January that we blasted. It is one of many articles written about players involved in civil cases that do not have criminal charges attached. It also cuts to the core of the OMG IT'S SO OBVIOUS hypocrisy at ESPN. Clearly, if you are important (and perhaps white, male, and Caucasian), the bosses upstairs will protect you. If not, well... they may feed you to their stable of hacks, like Shaun Assael.
I don't make a habit of reading the NY Daily News, but recently I read Bob Raismann's column on ESPN. To say that Raismann eviscerates ESPN in this column is an understatement. The man disembowels the network, and afterward he throws the network's bloody guts in the faces of the "journalists" who work for the "World Wide Leader" [emphasis mine]:
When a genius in Bristol created that "Worldwide Leader" moniker, he was not referring to the worldwide leader in journalism. ESPN is, was, and always will be an entertainment company, more show biz than news biz.
Throughout its multimedia platforms - TV, radio, magazine, Web site - ESPN employs many people: Columnists, talk-radio screamers, investigative reporters (who could have looked into the allegations in this civil suit) and analysts working in broadcast booths. Yet, with one command, one "don't dare report this," they all shutup.
They now all must live with one perception: They are puppets.
Fine folks like Paul Kuharsky, please take note. When stuff like the ESPN-Roethlisberger incident happens, and you do nothing, you are no longer "journalists" or "bloggers." You are corporate drones. Your integrity and professional standards mean absolutely nothing to the rest of us when you stand by and allow this kind of corporate hackery to take place without protest. I realize we all gotta work, and times are tough. But if you hold yourself to a standard, you must stand by that standard even when times are tough. Otherwise, the standard is meaningless and empty.
ESPN's AFC North "blogger," James Walker, did not "blog" anything about the Roethlisberger suit when the news broke. Why? ESPN corporate executives likely told him not to, and Walker (like a good ESPN employee) did what he was told. A responsible journalist would have resigned under protest, or posted the news anyway and leaked it to other blogs. Would Walker have been fired for doing so? Probably. Would he still be considered a journalist today? Absolutely.
However, Walker likely did what his meal ticket told him to do, which was bury the story regardless of whether it compromised his journalists "standards" or not. I know I personally will no longer take Walker seriously as a writer or a journalist, and if other bloggers in my network do, God help them.
I know some of you may question whether ESPN and their docile, "ostrich journalists" deserves to get blasted mercilessly for their corporate hackery brought fully into the light? The answer is yes. Absolutely! It was a little more than two months ago that I had to go onto an ESPN-affiliate radio station and defend blogging against
ESPN employees "journalists" who claimed they were "better" because they were "accountable" and had "standards." And did the "journalist" who lectured me on that show make a big fuss when his meal ticket decided to bury a significant story because it would hurt Ben Roethlisberger? No, of course not. He stood in the back of the room and did nothing, clutching his paycheck like a good little drone.
Standards, my left nut.
As a sports blogger, I fight on a daily basis against many of these petty, pretentious, uppity hacks like Bob Kravitz and his ESPN buddies. I'm told our brand of media is amateur while their brand is professional because they adhere to a code. So, when I see these same sanctimonious pricks lay down and hide when journalistic ethics have been broken, I unleash my hounds. I do what they seem unable or unwilling to do.
I hold them to their own standard, and shove right back into their fat faces the same crap they dump on us bloggers.
Also worth noting, if you (as a journalist) call out the "Worldwide Leader" for its unethical practices, they will ban you. Seriously. They will shut you out tell you not to show up to their "Cool Kids Club." They've banned over 100 individuals because they did something that the network disagrees with:
The network's banning of individuals (and now entire media organizations) who do something with which the network disagrees has also now reached ridiculous numbers. According to several people at ESPN, there are as many as 100 people -- mostly journalists -- who have either been banned or are currently banned by ESPN. The number could be higher.
Again, if you are a serious journalist and are still working for this network, quit. No journalist with any kind of integrity would work for such a heinous entity. If you remain working for these corporate "Orwellians," don't call yourself a journalist anymore, because God knows we won't consider you one.
You've voided that title in exchange for a nice paycheck.
[UPDATE]: Apparently, now former-ESPN radio employee Dale Hansen is "no puppet." Via The Big Lead:
Last week, [Hansen] spent 20 minutes on air talking about the rape allegations against Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger. No, he didn’t get the memo. Well, at a commercial break he did. After the show, he penned his letter of resignation.
Read Hansen's resignation letter, which states, "I don’t want to be identified with being one of ESPN’s puppets. I refuse to be anybody’s puppet."
Will Kravitz and Eddie, who apparently have "standards" that they follow, join Dan Hansen by quitting their jobs? Doubtful. Unlike Hansen, Kravitz and Eddie are corporate puppets. The word standard is spelled for them "$tandard."