Pulitzer wrong. Irony FTW.
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From: NjiaApparently, this got his dander up, because he responded to me with this:
To: Wilkinson, Mike
Subject: No Conflict of Interest
What? Is it Cub Reporter Day at the Detroit News?
This hardly seems like "news", (FLASH: In a possible stock manipulation scheme known as "pump-and-dump", Rich Rodriguez and Bill Martin own stock in Merck and have suggested the use of Propecia to friends, a drug used to treat baldness).
Get a life, folks.
From: Wilkinson, MikeWell, la-dee-freekin-dah! A 20+ year reporter has the time to look into mortgages and lines of credit? Who's his neighbor? Roseypalm? Snydley?
Subject: Re: No Conflict of Interest
Been in the biz 20+ years; worked on stories that were finalists for the Pulizter Prize. Even Martin acknowledged it was a conflict. Thanks for reading.
From: NjiaMaybe that's the end of it with him, but I'm willing to bet a pitcher of Bell's Oberon that the Detnews and/or the Other-Rag-That-Dare-Not-Print-Its-Name aren't done with RichRod and the UM Athletic Dept.
To: Wilkinson, Mike
Subject: Re: Re: No Conflict of Interest
Then I would expect your standards to be higher.
Pulitzer wrong. Irony FTW.
Its amazing how arrogant some of these newspaper/media guys are...the act like they are the story....
"I know there's a MGoBoard about this topic"
Your words, not mine. Hope the venting helped, because this was stupid and could have fit into the board post just fine.
I guess I dont have a problem with the story. It's not really an attack on Bill Martin or the University. I have to wonder if the bank could have been sued for discrimination had they NOT offered qualified people mortgages. I suppose if the day ever comes that there ARE serious allegations against a UM coach--Like buying homes for families or paying recuits--OSU/USC stuff in other words, and if Rodriguez personally owed Martin a couple of million dollars, yeah that could be a conflict of interest. As it is...As minor as the allegations are there's no way Rodriguez is getting fired, even if every one is proven out. I would LOVE to see precedent for a college coach getting fired for practicing too much =) I would think that would be a pretty cut and dry law suit as well. And with the financial implications to Martin personally--a measly 300,000 mortgage to a bank he is affiliated with--this is pretty harmless.
I'm a little surprised the guy responded to you, particularly in the fashion he did. Sounds like you got under his skin.
You'd think he'd gotten a thicker skin after 20 years! I love the 'Pulitzer' comment. Must mean that all of his apples make applesauce so to speak.
Then again, desperate times require desperate measures. These days the Freep probably is just thankful for your interest negative or positive.... after all he did say... "Thanks for reading."
and then see his reply. For example
1)His "expert" said this wasn't a big deal.
2) Unless they can prove that M coaches get an actual benefit (meaning reduced interest) from these loans, then who cares? You could argue unfair advantage to the M coaches if and only if they received this benefit that others did not receive. This is almost impossible to prove, as you would have to adjust for age, income, credit history, loan amount and get records of all of the bank's mortgage holders.
3) Since the bank sold a bunch of these loans, they don't hold the title anymore. It's in the market, so if the coaches default, it's not Bill Martin's bank left SOL, it's the buyer of those notes.
I don't think anyone is accusing Rodriguez of getting an illegal or unfair benefit with his mortgage. They are accusing Martin of being in a position where it "might" hurt his bank if he were to fire Rodriguez and then the coach couldn't get hired somewhere else to pay back the loan.
Reacting like this every time an article does something other than slob UM's nob gives credence to those that think UM fans are only upset about the Rosenberg article because "UM fans are blind homers." In other words, overreacting to ANY perceived slight - regardless of how important - diminishes the fan base's credibility, which guys like Brian and others work their ass off to preserve.
So yeah. Fine. Message board topics. Not a big deal.
But honestly - I read the "conflict of interest" article and thought, "Um, not really newsworthy but who gives a shit?"
As a fan base, we can either cling to the notion that every one is against the program and act accordingly, or we can reserve our anger for those that truly deserve it.
Sure - this was a nonstory, but it was hardly the borderline slanderous hitjob that the Freep put on RichRod. Do you read the Detroit News every day and rip their writers/editors for stories that they publish that seem of little importance? Or only the UM-related ones?
Case in point: today's DetNews has an article about Chrysler's Jim Press owing $1.4M in back taxes and loans to the credit union. Why, pray tell, is this "news"??? I understand that he's a public figure, but these are his personal finances. The whole point of the article seems to be, "See? Even rich guys have problems with money."
What I'm more concerned about is how media get access to anyone's personal financial history, right down, apparently, to bank balances, mortgages and payments, tax information, etc. Isn't there an assumption of personal privacy in all of that? Aren't there laws which prohibit "just anyone" from gaining access to it?
That snotty "I'm a professional journalist and you're not" attitude is just another reason their industry is dying -- turns readers off. As a group, journalists have the weirdest sense of arrogance and entitlement and they always defend each other when someone calls one of them out for being a hack. It's like deep down they know what they do can be done just as well or even better by lol blogger in pajamas and moms basement using teh google lol... and it makes them very insecure. Guess I don't blame them, but still the arrogance is a major turnoff.
Just this hobo's two cents.
Maybe's that true. But, um, dude's original email started, "What? Is it Cub Reporter Day at the Detroit News?" and ended "Get a life, folks." And the writer is being "snotty"?
I'm not saying this is a worthwhile story, but it goes without saying that the writer/editor thought it was. Merely telling them "it wasn't and, um, you're an amateur" isn't going to change their mind. If you think that's arrogance, fair enough.
The problem, as I see it, is that in the internet-age anyone and their brother can fire off a critical email - and generally do so, en masse. It dilutes the legitimate criticisms and emboldens the writers/editors. But oh well.
EDIT: Haha, I see someone has negged me. Huh. OK, I'll try again, "OHMYGODDETROITNEWSyouassholeshowdareyou!" Reasonable disagreement be damned.
George W. Bush was once nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.Just because you are nominated that doesn't mean you were deserving of it or that you are particularly good at what you do.
I'm vaguely impressed with his professionalism in reading and replying to your message, and doing so basically backing himself up but not escalating any verbal parry.
Seriously, if someone emailed you at work questioning your professionalism and credibility, it'd be hard to show that kind of restraint. He's better then than Rosenberg, who hadn't even done the basic research and punched dolphins to boot.
What's really funny is that newspaper reporters and ex-newspaper reporters complain about blogs and wonder why they are stealing readers from the MSM. This article, along with Rosenberg, Snyder, and Carty's crap, is a great example why newspapers are going broke and losing readers, and why people would rather read blogs.
The reporters and editors are almost as arrogant and stupid as the ad people who wonder why people would rather place classified ads free on Craigslist when they could pay a hundred dollars to advertise in the newspaper.