Why I don't read the Freep in 4 words...
It sucks donkey balls.
Why I don't read the Freep in 4 words...
It sucks donkey balls.
One of the really unfortunate things is that the Freep wasn't always like this. At one time, it was a good paper, edited and published according to much higher standards.
Neal Shine, long-time Detroit Free Press reporter, editor and publisher was known for a high level of journalistic ethics. MSU's journalism school created the Neal Shine Fund for Ethics in Journalism.
The paper has sunk very far and we have lost something as a result.
Now they can do more harm than good.
articles thats it.
Still reading the Free Press? Why on earth were you ever reading it in the first place??
This is not going to end well.
First. To give Bando +1 for this.
Bando, this one hasn't even started well...
already got my tub of popcorn ready and waiting!
I think he should have just entitled the thread "Why I don't like MGoPoints".
Check it out.
MGoMatt didn't get neg-bombed. He got 1 MGoPoint (as of this writing, noon on 5/27/10), and he got an answer to his question which, I gather, he found helpful.
And best of all, when MGoMatt said that he had been "pushed over the edge" by (gasp!) a viewing of the 'Fuck the Free Press T-shirt design thread', I think we have now, safely, brought young Matt back from the precipice.
Another life saved by MGoBlog.
Is this your homework, MGoMatt? Is this your homework, MGoMatt?
Look, MgoMatt. Have you ever heard of Vietnam?
You're killing your father, MgoMatt!
Actually, he did get (massively) negbombed. Check out the "Voting details" at the top of the thread. The "1 point" thing in the corner of an OP never changes - it's some kind of glitch.
Sorry. Well, Bando warned him.
You're the rascal who posted a few hours ago that Jim Harbaugh "was just trying to help" when he issued the infamous quote that the Michigan football program (would that have been Bo's football program?) inexcusably pushed football players, including, uh, Jim Harbaugh, into inferior BGS degrees.
Best of luck to you, Matt. You're gonna need it.
Dude, the bias against Michigan displayed by Rosenberg and Sharp is pretty ridiculous. It seems like there's some personal animosity towards the U by most of their sports writers. And how about the Demar Dorsey story? That's what made me stop reading it.
Well, if we're gonna try to be fair and objective, you probably should hold a similar animosity towards annarbor.com, re: Demar Dorsey.
probably early January 2012
I disagree that Rosenberg or Sharp have a personal vendetta against Michigan. They might have a little residual dislike from the stonewalling they got from Carr, but I think the piss poor journalism they have displayed is a clear example of them selling their souls for marketshare. They saw how much attention the Kwame Kilpatrick scandal got the lcoal media outlets and realized that a scandal against an institution like mIchigan would keep all of teh Michigan haters reading their paper every day. People love to see hubris punished and as most MSU and OSU, etc, fans think of us as arrogant, that story was bound to sell papers and advertising. I bet that Sunday edition that started this whole nonsense was one of the FREEP's altime biggest sellers. That is why I cringe everytime I see those douchebags mentioned when someone is reporting on the violations, because I know they are somewhere patting themselves on the back.
The Freep's issues extend beyond their coverage of Mich football. They have serious issues in their editorial department. A few months back, they wrote a series of articles on healthcare reform. The problem? A HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANY 'suggested' they write the article and then took out a full-page ad each day the feature ran. How is the paper supposed to remain unbiased in a situation like that? It's completely unethical and absurd. You don't need to be a journalism major to understand that....
btw- I don't have a link, but I got the info above from Rivals (not paywalled). I think it was Chait who wrote the original article.
I don't know, it might be the twisting information (or conviently igonoring contrary information) in order to make gross over-accusatory statements about the football program, or the lack of any sort of quality research (IE completely ignorant of what a countable hour is). Dude, have you even read anything that Brian has written lately about this??
My favorite part was when Mike Rosenberg and Mark Snyder walked into Bruce Madej's office on a Friday (August 28, 2009, to be exact) and told Michigan that they were getting ready to run a huge story on Sunday and, hey, would the University like to comment? If the University had any documents to counter the story that would be posted to Freep.com in a matter of hours, could they please get copies?
The OP gives an honest, intelligent, serious, intricate view of the situation.
With all due respect to the MGoCommunity, I doubt he will receive a response of similar value. I hope I'm wrong.
FTR: I'm not totally anti-Freep. Like the OP, I think the original article was a gross exaggeration and the writers and sports-editor should address this. I don't find this as reason to boycott the entire newspaper.
My opinion. I respect others, but that's my view.
I'll give you a + 1.....but only for your avatar. Less than one month!!!
Less than one month? Sorry, what are you referring to?
EDIT: Ha! I'm dumb. Kinda ignored your whole reference to my avatar. Can't wait for Futurama to start back up!
I'm not necessarily anti-freep either, as I'm sure there are some good journalists that work for them, its just not the place you want to get UofM sports news. And some people that don't live in Michigan (like myself) have no reason to read it otherwise. So why not get your M Football news from another source if what you read at the Freep is just going to piss you off?
This is exactly my view. I'm not going to Freep for any sports news, Michigan related or not. I do think boycotting the entire newspaper is childish. There are probably (certainly) some hardworking people at the Freep that do their job to the utmost of their abilities.
At economic times like these, I'm not one to make bringing down an industry that still supplies jobs a goal of mine.
+1 to you sir, mostly because I read the "c" and the "l" as a "d" in your last sentence.
you believe substandard dishonest work should continue to be rewarded?
If boycotting the newspaper forces their hand to bring on journalists who do a thorough, exhaustive job when reporting and breaking news, I'm all for it. We might actually be doing them a favor if bringing on better staff drives more hits to their website and increases their circulation.
But, although I would never say that the Freep did the Athletic Dept a "favor", their article finally got certain people named "Brad" and "Scott" off their dead asses. It exposed weaknesses that should never have been there in the first place.
I actually take offense to the notion that boycotting the entire paper is childish. You've already acknowledged that the "article" in question was a gross exaggeration, and U-M has basically seconded that conclusion in the release of their response to the allegations.
But expecting the columnists or sports editor (is there one?) to address this is a losing proposition. Clearly, they have no intention of doing so. In fact, the head editor (Paul Anger) circled the wagons shortly after the original article, standing by the content of the article and basically calling anyone who objected a U-M homer. That position has not changed, as far as I know.
I, like you, believe that the Freep has a right to report the facts, even if they cast U-M in an unfavorable light; I don't pretend like they should be shills. If U-M is doing something wrong, it needs to be corrected.
But to this day, the Freep refuses to acknowledge that their original piece was inaccurate, overstepped their understanding of the rules/terminology, ethically questionable, and caused U-M much more harm than the actual violations merit. Snyder and Rosenberg are under no obligation to explain their inaccuracies, and they've taken the weasel way out when questioned directly. What motivation does the paper have to come clean? None. They got what they wanted: they sold more papers.
So those of us who choose to be childish and boycott the paper do it because it's our only recourse to make the paper own up. When they do, I'll gladly resume my patronage. In actuality, I miss it. I hate the News. It's boring. I miss the non-sports content of the Freep. But again, the Freep leaves me (and others) with only one option: hit 'em in the wallet until they do the right thing.
If that's childish, then my year-long tantrum will continue.
Like I said, I'm only providing my opinion. I understand people have other opinions. Like you, I like the Freep for non-sports related news. As someone who is in Education, I go to the Freep for alot of my news about the Detroit Public School system.
In my opinion (I cannot stress this enough, I respect everyone's opinion to boycott the paper), for me to not seek out information and news about the Detroit Public School system because of a Michigan football story would be a childish decision for me to make.
I certainly don't have a subscription, but I'm not going to stop seeking out news that's important to me.
One idea: instead of preventing clicks (I think we all know that their story has done what they wanted it to - generated a net positive in traffic), maybe write a letter - on paper! - to the editor? Maybe actually visit Freep offices? I understand that every little bit helps the cause, but I personally think internet protests fall on deaf ears.
He's the Freep's editor/publisher. It was clear to me after three times back and forth that he was being totally disingenuous. If the editor/publisher of a paper is going to throw out weak red herrings instead of making an actual defense of a major story, that casts doubt on everything his paper does.
It may have been honest and serious, but it's not intelligent or intricate. There's no need to go through the ways in which the article was poorly researched....nay, willfully blind....nay overtly dishonest over the fundamental issue which determines violations (what is a countable hour). To downplay it to the level the OP does is to acquiesce to yellow journalism (and "that's how journalism is these days! don't you watch FoxNews?!" is not a valid retort)
Your condescending comment regarding the commentariat here is absolutely spot on (the lemming-like responses now often suffocate intelligent discussion), but the irony is that in this case, this post giving credit to the Freep reporting simply can't rationally be defended, given how blatant the Free Press hit job was.
In sum, the poster IS receiving responses of similar value....the mostly worthless kneejerk reaction of the community (OMG Eff the Freep!) is ripping apart the mostly worthless original post (that the Freep wrote a reasonable article)
"The OP gives an honest, intelligent, serious, intricate view of the situation. With all due respect to the MGoCommunity, I doubt he will receive a response of similar value."
This must be the OP's first trip to this board, because if I recall correctly, and I do, Brian has done just that... more than once... on the front page no less. On the other hand, is it a "response" if each of Brian's posts on the subject were written BEFORE the OP posted his drivel? Does it really change the point?
What do you think now?
Do you think the OP got an "honest, intelligent, serious, intricate" response to his original question? Did he get "a response of similar value"?
Methinks the OP believes that he did (witness his own edit)...
Do you think the OP got an "honest, intelligent, serious, intricate" response to his original question? Did he get "a response of similar value"?
Yes I do! Maybe I'm just tired of hearing shit about the Freep - I just wanna focus on UConn at this point. But, like the first few replies indicate, I expected this thread to be a complete shitstorm. It wasn't thanks to several patient responses, yours included.
Also, note I never said that the OP was right. I just respected the manner in which he presented his argument, which is what made me want to play Devil's Advocate. He didn't throw a one-liner in the post, ala Henning, but actually tried to make a logical argument. I respect that, even if I don't agree with it.
Please read for long list of things you are "missing":
In addition, if a journalist is "thorough," he would try to represent both sides of the story. There was not an attempt here.
This article was a crime against fairness and stretched the principle of truth to its limits. This is an entity that we trust to protect our liberty. If this is the best that it can do, it needs to move out of the way of those that can do a much better job.
To say that article was justified......... Wow.
Excellent points. Journalists should make an effort to address both sides of the story and clearly there was only one side in the article.
Does anyone remember if there was a "Michigan refused to comment" line in the article? If not, then, again, the Freep really laid an egg (obviously).
It took Brian all of 5 seconds, if memory serves, to post comments from players' parents refuting the drastic practice hours overage charge. All of the great journalistic power at the FP could not uncover this information and save itself from this massive self-inflicted wound to their integrity? Please.
Have you ever worked for a large organization? I suspect that 99% of them would choose the same route: not to comment. The other 1%, if they choose to acknowledge the article, would take 2 business days to formulate a public comment.
This isn't like an oil spill, where the accident happened two weeks prior, everyone knows what happened, everyone knows who is responsible, and the chairman takes the podium to announce that the company takes responsibility. This was article full of inaccuracies. Even if some with the AD knew about the late CARA forms and whatnot, there's simply no way anyone within the department would be able to speak intelligently about the allegations that were about to be released in print.
This wasn't Rosenberg and Snyder giving U-M an opportunity to comment, or even trying to make sure they had the facts right. I guess it would be a Freep-like stretch to compare what they did to blackmail, since they probably didn't demand anything and never had any intention of not running the article. But this was simply two journalists smugly baiting U-M into throwing more gas on the logs before they lit the match. U-M made the right decision.
Congrats on figuring out the Internet and making an account! I didn't think you had it in you. Aren't the interwebs fun!
The FreeP wasn't just trying to report the news, it was clearly trying to create the news. I don't mean they made the story up, but they made story itself the news.
The list goes on.
They reported nothing about the more serious violation that occurred (QC coaches) and vastly exaggerated the violations they did report on. They spent a ludicrously large amount of space on the original report. Now they're thumping their chest because, since Michigan wasn't completely exonerated, they were right. Uh, no.
Of the 5 violations, 3 where add ons or a result of the investigation itself: Herron lying, Rodriguez failure to foster, Department failure to monitor. They got the most insignificant thing right, and then fucked it up.
Rosenberg started of positive to neutral on Rodriguez but, by kickoff 2008, he was decidedly "hurr, hurr ... not a Michigan Man ... blah, blah"
I agree with you about the MSM in general, but I'll chose the other shitty alternatives over the FreeP now.
Thank you for a thoughtful and reasoned answer.
I can't disagree with anything you said there.
what publications do you read?
How the hell have you been a member for over a year? Jeez, dude:
Being from out of state I never read the Freep to begin with, except when clicking links to their articles posted here or around the web. But after this, I make it a point to not click on any link to the site. What really put me over the edge was their taking advantage or people who are still essentially kids. Being disengenuous towards 17-18 year olds who are excited to be playing the sport they love, for a great institution like Michigan, and totally misrepresenting their comments is dispicable. And it wasn't a one time thing either, they have shown a trend of this behavior. They caused these kids to appologize to their coach and feel terrible; simply for expressing their happiness and excitement.
Behavior like that is why I now avoid the Freep, the shoddy journalism is anothe. And I hope my lack of clicks, however few they would be, helps to drive the message home that conduct such as that is unethical and wrong.
Also previous comments.
Plus, the Free Press was a piece of crap well before they decided to screw with Michigan. I find it to be a paper all too worthy of some of the people that run Detroit straight into the ground day after day. I find it horribly tilted most of the time, and run by clowns (See: Drew Sharp. No respect and no excuses for a man so hateful ofa kid looking to turn his life around that he goes into a screaming fest on radio that forces them to go to commercial).
I have not read much of anything from them for a while now, but I know that the idiots haven't been fired, so it is almost certainly the same. Bottom line is that there are much better places to get your news than the Free Press, so why bother reading it?
You say Michael Rosenberg doesn't "hate" his Alma Mater, which is fair; I don't think he hates his Alma Mater either; in fact I enjoyed "War as They Knew It". This doesn't mean that he's above selling it out for his own personal gain. Put yourself in Rosenberg's position: if someone were to give you some potentially (albeit marginally) incriminating facts about your alma mater, what would you do? I personally would not start a months-long quest to have those facts brought to light.
In regards to the Free Press as a whole: I think that the vitriol towards the paper stems from the fact that the Free Press has continued to sensationalize their now-flawed story in order to justify its initial publication. The right thing to do would be to provide a balanced review of their information and sources; the prudent thing to do would be to downplay their lopsided portrayal of the situation by limiting the visibility of the story in their publications. They did neither; in fact they are still trying to make the story more than it is (see the 8 page feature on it yesterday).
As a journalist, it is Rosenberg's job to investigate a lead on anything, even if it incriminates his alma mater. Tough, but professionalism demands it. Being his alma mater, however, he DOES have an obligation to dig even deeper than he normally would to see if it can't all be explained and perhaps immediately corrected when brought to the University first. He chose to make a sensationalized, exaggerated piece and make sure it was published on the eve of opening weekend to get the most hype. A real dolphin-puncher move.
As you said though, the Freep has compeltely failed to acknowledge the problems with their story since the investigation. The original report is practically Onion worthy compared to what the investigation turned up, and they still act like they got it spot on. That says more about the paper itself than Rosenberg and the editor who let his story make to print combined, and it isn't very pretty.
Rosenberg, being a UM alum and an anti-RR columnist, (i.e. not a reporter) should have been the first - were he truly ethical - to tell his editor, "Look, I got this tip. I am a Michigan grad and have written some pretty scathing remarks about Rodriguez. I can't be seen as unbiased here. I think someone else should follow up this tip." Short of that - and to Chait's point - the editor should have said, "Rosenberg, this is not your story to write."
Of course, this is the real world, and Rosenberg and his editor are smarmy, self-promoting scumbags. So, he set about making a name for himself at his alma mater's expense.
If I were in Rosendbergs shoes, and a few disgruntled departing players tipped me off. I would have investigated out of concern for my Alma Mater, but I would have been a heck of a lot more thorough in making sure I knew more about the subject I was investigating (i.e., countable hours), and I would have balanced the article with facts about what other programs did as well.
Of course, if I had done that I would have come up with a side bar story about disgruntled departing players complaining about how hard they were expected to apply themselves. How players do put in a lot of hours, but a lot of it is vountary, and with the Byzantine NCAA guidelines, it is not really possible to tell if there were countable hour violations or not. How Chad Henne, Jake Long, players at MSU and OSU, etc. pride themselves on the extra voluntary work they do, and the NCAA itself released a statement that most student atheles put in close to double the allowable activity.
Maybe my story would have been how QC staffers were at voluntary 7 on 7s, and this appears to clearly be a viiolation.
The expose Rosenberg released was very quickly found to be full of inaccuracies and misrepresentations - but the MSM ran with it, and never circled back around on those inaccuracies and misrepresentations.
If any good comes out of this, hopefully the NCAA will clarify what constitutes coaching or not, what constitutes allowable S&C staff or not, etc. The areas of CARA, QC or non-coaching staff, and S&C staff obviously are grey enough that most programs if put under a microscope would end up with violations.
In fact - maybe the story I would have done would have across many programs and how these shady definitions are being exploited and the NCAA should tighten them up.
On top of everything else, they have never even tried to correct the inaccuracies from the original article. They never mentioned except maybe obliquely, that they were wildly wrong with the facts about the number of hours practiced and the lack of context in terms of CARA and others. It wouldn't even be that hard for Rosenberg to write an apology column saying he didn't fully understand countable hours, he didn't talk to the right people, and on and on, making him seem like the victim of good intentions and a little ignorance. If he did write that in his usual self-serving way, 80% of the M fanbase would forgive him, I think. Still, he and Snyder and everyone else continue to think and act like they were right all along, which is why I am even more angry at the Freep now than ever..
I enjoyed his columns. He's got a good sense of humor. I really enjoyed his book about Bo and Woody that shall remain unnamed. But I won't click. He's dead to me.
I mean, come on, he's not going to APOLOGIZE. The Freep's circled their wagons around him. And Brandon and the University have circled its wagons around Rich.
I like that we're on much higher ground.
I see that some of my friends and fellow Michigan alumni would like to see you supplied with a better answer to your questions about Michigan and the NCAA since the August 2009 Detroit Free Press story. Here's a modest attempt by me to satisfy you in that regard:
1. How did the Free Press story begin? We don't know. Rosenberg hasn't said. It is pretty safe to presume that the Freep's "one month investigation" (the Freep's own description) began when somebody leaked the July '09 CARA Audit Memo. The memo noted that CARA forms were missing. There was no suspicion of any NCAA violations at the time, as stated in the memo. But Rosenberg saw a target of opportunity. Without any CARA form backup, why not ask some guys -- the kind of guys who might, uh, talk, about how much supervised practice time they spent?
2. How did Rosenberg work the story? One way, only. He talked to the players he wanted to talk to. Nothing else. And he kept those players anonymous. The anonymity part is uniquely offensive, because not only did Rosenberg not have any basis for granting them anonymity (he originally claimed it was their fear of retaliation from coaches, and now says he was mistaken to have written it that way), Rosenberg probably broke the Freep's own rules on anonymous sources, which attempted to limit the use of anonymous sources, and would only grant the anonymity when sources demanded it. Toney Clemons said he talked to Rosenberg, and that he never asked for anonymity. Rosenberg's answer? "How do you know Clemons was one of my sources?"
3. The Freshmen - Stokes and Hawthorn. This was a scandal all by itself. Snyder (I believe) approached Stokes and Hawthorn on media day, and asked the two freshmen how hard they had worked that spring. They happily told Snyder. Their quotes were then shoehorned into the Freep's predetermined thesis; Rodriguez and Barwis were working the guys too hard. It was an outrage. The players' parents were outraged at the misuse of their kids' quotes, which had NOTHING to do with CARA activities. The players went to Rodriguez, fearful that they had hurt the team. This was the absolute low point for Rodriguez. The moment he, quite rightfully, was close to tears, over the abominable abuse of his two freshman. And let's get this straight, Matt -- the one real, true, confirmable instance of 'player abuse' in all of this was in fact the abuse, by Mark Snyder and Mike Rosenberg, of the two Freshman in their August 30 story.
4. What Rosenberg and Snyder never did. They never aksed anybody of any consequence in the Compliance Services Office about what CARA meant, how it was applied, how the forms were distrubuted, used, and collected. What was the nature of the problem outlined in the July Audit Memo, and what had already been done to correct it, before Rosenberg started this story. This might not have been the most immoral or despicable of all of Rosenberg's multitude of sins, but it was clearly the worst and most inexcusable journalistic decision.
5. The Friday warning. I've already mentioned this one. Not the worst sin in this case, but the one that shows the thuggery behind Rosenberg's methods. Snyder and Rosenberg (aka Paulie Walnuts and Bobby Bacala) show up at Bruce Madej's office on Friday August 28, and inform the Athletic Depsrtment about the story that was set for publication on Sunday. They wanted a "response," that day or the next morning. I am not sure if they said anything about a signature or somebody's brains being on the contract. I actually think that was from Godfather Part 1.
6. The August 30 story. "Journalistic malpractice" is what Jon Chait called it. It detailed not just some CARA inaccuracies. It alleged a wild set of facts that, if true, would have entailed a wholsale violation of NCAA practice rules the likes of which have never been seen. Nearly double the allowable supervised hours. Eight unallowable hours on Sundays. Punishment workouts. It was all untrue. All of those "player allegations" have been shown to be untrue, based on the investigations of the NCAA and Michigan. Yes, the NCAA found some irregularities. Michigan's brilliant counsel, Gene Marsh and his partner Bill King have detailed those in painstaking mind-numbing detail. You should read their report. I have. But as they correctly point out in the very first section, the media reports of this case (fill in: The Detroit Free Press) were "exaggerated if not flatly incorrect."
7. The Free Press digs in. After August 30, the Free Press dug in. It printed press-release responses by the University and Athletic Department which were of course blandly uninformative because the University had immediately launched an internal investigation. The Free Press did a story on a Rodriguez press conference (the tearful outrage over the treatment of his freshmen) and one on the nasty reaction for which MGoBlog was, proudly ground-zero. The Free Press never once did a re-examination of its story. It never once published a significant op-ed opposing the allegations. Worst in my own mind (others might have their own views) was the smarmy, sanctimonious column one week later, in which Freep Publisher Paul Anger claimed that Snyder and Rosenberg were "doing their jobs... and well." And he launched into a diatribe about how the NCAA rules were there to protect student-athletes. And that the Free Press, being the paragon of media fairness that it is, "would continue to report all sides."
8. The detailed blogosphere response. Our host here at MGoBlog "Fisked" the Freep story. Matt, you need to know what "fisking" is. Go look it up. Search is your friend here. Look up Brian Cook's writing in this topic. Brian and (in a much lesser capacity) I appeared on Mitch Albom's WJR program the next week. And tried to explain to Mitch, better than Mitch ever "explained Mateen Cleeves", why the Freep story was so fucked up. Mitch Albom asked Brian what his job was. So much for Mitch, the Freep's superstar columnist. Matt, if you are interested in this subject -- and in all seriousness, I owe you this much -- you should read Brian's many, many writings on the Rosenberg jihad. It is better than what I can do for you.
9. The NCAA investigation. Not much to say, other than, again, "Read it." Read the Notice of Allegations. It is: a) a model of impenetrable NCAA-speak, and; b) a severe departure from all of the junk that the Freep's anonymous-source "current and former players" were quoted as saying. And how the hell would anybody ever know if they were even quoted accurately? They're anonymous! The NCAA found some shit. It was wholly different from, and ten orders of magnitude less severe than, what the Freep had alleged.
10. The Responses. There are two responses. The University carefully answered the charges against the Athletic Department in relation to the CARA hours compilations, and agreed not to fight the Notice of Allegations (which were entirely different from what the Freep had alleged. The University also carefully explained how there had been some bad communication with respect to defining the "Quality Control" and "Coaching" roles of some staff members. Neither of these allegations were addressed to Rich Rodriguez at all. After 70+ pages from the University, and 60+ pages of explanation from Rodriguez, both parties denied anotther allegation, that Rodriguez had failed to encourage an "atmosphere of compliance." And that is where we were on Tuesday.
11. Tuesday, May 24. What a day. The Responses are issued. The Free Press issues triumphal healdlines; Michigan Admits to Major Violations. Without once mentioning the University's Response's blowback against the Free Press; that the Free Press' original reporting had been "exaggerated if not flatly incorrect." And remember that claim is not an anguished defense by Michigan. It is, in the first instance, simply a reflection of the nature of the NCAA's own Notice of Allegations. You see, Matt, even the NCAA no longer accepts the Free Press allegations as accurate. If it ever did.
One last thing, Matt. FUCK the Free Press.
On one hand your writing is one-sided enough (and in this case deservedly so) to be FREEP writer but on the other you put way too much thought into this response.
there wouldn't have been so many typos.
I hope MGoMatt gets the general idea.
are an idiot
That was an excellent, well-written summary of the events. Well done.
In my mind, as a journalist, the most egregious thing was the blatant manipulation of the freshmen quotes. Matt does not understand how truly fucked up that single act was in the scheme of things.
Again, good job. I was so angry after reading the OP that I wanted to climb through my computer screen and smack Matt upside the head.
you should promote this to a diary. f***ing epic.
The only thing here that I am not as sure about is 1) the CARA memo leak.
While I agree in the belief that Rosenberg was tipped off on the CARA memo (the timing is too coincidental), I am sure they would have had "internal document obtained" as exhibit a in the original story.
I think it more likely they were tipped to "sniff here", but not the subsance of the CARA memo itself. I also think one of the disgruntled departures that summer may have reached out first complaining about being asked to leave because he was not fulfilling his academic and conditioning obligations (cough, cough, Wermers), causing Rosenberg to start sniffing, which lead to the tip.
In which Rory, upon graduating from college with a Journalism degree, receives offers from several media outlets. Upon hearing the name of one of them Rory's grandmother (Emily) says. "The Detroit Free Press? That's a very reputable newspaper."
Of course, that was before Rosenberg and Snyder and August 29. I'm sure Emily woke up that morning horrified to see just how wrong she was.
I saw that episode on ABC Family not too long after football season. I had to refrain from throwing my remote.
There'll be no lube for you. The Freep is a terrible paper, and its not just Rosenberg. Drew Sharp is also employed there. It seems a lot of the info Rosenberg received was from disgruntled former players who never bought into the system.
Mitch Albom also writes for them. And I don't know if its just me, but when he tries to write about sports, I find the information on the back of a cereal box more useful.
In separate interviews, five players gave almost identical accounts of how the program is run, and a sixth player confirmed most of the descriptions.
What is hilarious, is that 2 of those nearly 6 players were Freshman that claimed Rosenberg was dishonest with how he interviewed them and used their responses. So we are really down to 3 players with a 4th player that gave similar evidence.
When interviewed on the Huge Show, Rosenberg "could not remember" how many of them were currently on the team and how many had transferred. He said that he couldn't even guess. That is BS and makes me believe that he got 3-4 angry transfers to complain but knew he needed someone on the team, which is why he pounced on the 2 unsuspecting Freshman and needed to lie to them to make his article look more legit.
It's simple why we're anti-freep, because they're anti-UofM. Why would an in-State newspaper bash college football's greatest program for doing what every other major program in the country does? If you think for one second that teams like Florida, Ohio State, and USC don't exceed practice time then you're the retard in the room with the lowest I.Q. Why do we hate Freep? Because their intentions are obvious, the total destruction of our Wolverine Nation.
While I completely agree with the above stated, we should strive to be better and not do things because everyone else does. That is all can't wait for Sept.
Or at least for damned sure make certain you ar doing what the other programs do, within the letter of the NCAA CARA regulations. You know: keeping CARA logs, posting QC staff job descriptions, not observing 7 on 7 drills, having warm ups lead by players with no coaches or staffers overseeing them, etc.
The DFP has consistently shown a severe lack of journalistic integrity.
(There are many repeated evidences of this.) I am only speaking of its sports reporting, but the incredible lack of quality in this regard implies a systemic problem. Over time and with much critique, both professional and casual, they have neglected to make an effort to show fairness and responsibility in their reporting. From any news outlet media, we should expect and demand more.
This alone is enough reason not to support them. However, not supporting something is passive, easy and quiet. In this case, I do prefer a boycott becase for me, this boils down to intent.
With careful aggression, staff reporters at the DFP have tried to undermine our current head football coach and his system. I'm sure there are many reasons why, perpaps even some justified ones. However, even if their jihad was actually meant to better the University and not just an attempt at self promotion, it is still obscene.They may feel like they are helping restore the "soiled" name of Michigan but their nearsighted agenda has cost too much. For in so doing, they have recklessly gambled with the history, reputation and honor that Michigan represents.
He is just clearly trying to troll since he posts these bs topics and then doesn't even stand by his claims.
Come back for your neg-bang I say!
... it's the whole tempest in a teapot thing. At the end of the day, what REAL harm was done by protocols that arguably many programs across the country mirror?
Plus, consider the source(s). Disgruntled players looking to get even? You betcha.
As far as I'm concerned the complainants (and their parents) are pathetic and feel an inflated sense of entitlement. The opportunity to receive a FREE education from a top-tier university in exchange for playing a game they love should be enough to keep them humble and their mouths shut.
Major violations? What a joke.
Have you watched the news recently? This doesn't just happen to Michigan Football, this is what journalism is. I don't know the last time I've seen ANY news story that didn't take things out of context, or get some of the facts wrong.
I think we have established that the 'everyone does it, so it is okay' excuse doesn't hold any water by now.
By your logic, you shouldn't have any issues with the so-called infractions then, right?
"How was Rosenberg supposed to determine what was true and what was not?"
By doing his job? Isn't that what journalism is? Determining what is true and what is not? By learning what countable and non-countable hours are, for example?
The reality is that the Free Press found only one clear problem -- Alex Herron's presence at 7-on-7 drills. But that wasn't enough for the full-blown expose they wanted, so they made things up about stuff they didn't understand, like what football staff were doing in the weight room and how workout and practice time is accounted for. The result was a wildly distorted picture of what was actually going on. There is no excuse for that in journalism.
Misopogon has recently addressed what this was all about in a comment worthy of the front page. Read it.
I am also a non-boycotter. Boycotting just isn't in me. To say that the Free Press is completely anti-UM is short sighted and simple minded. They just had a good feature about the softball team today.
I think the biggest issue to be upset about that article is the whole countable vs. non-countable thing. The actual time spent that they confirmed with five to six players was probably correct. They made a huge mistake (or conscious omission if you're of the conspiracy bent) when they didn't know about or learn enough about the difference in countable and non-countable hours. If they had done a thorough job there, they would have unearthed the actual overages (on average 20 minutes) and this would have been a much smaller issue. If they had done their job thoroughly there, they might have ended up doing UM a service by unearthing their porous compliance issues (Labadie / Draper) without all of the collateral damage.
The unwillingness to acknowledge that mistake and how that made the original article so far off in accuracy is where the real ire should be directed, in my opinion.
Saying "they went over 20 minutes" isn't exactly sexy, news worthy, and would not generate money for the paper.
If you dont' think that they sexed it up I don't know what to tell you. There are 2 options and neither are pretty. Either:
A: They are just plain stupid
B: They are lazy
C: The writers who wrote it are in fact in the conspiracy to oust RR and thus should not be covering UM Football
In any of those cases these "journalists" shouldn't be "reporting" this type of stuff because it's jsut completely wrong.
Well KilgoreTrout, I think you said it...it's the follow up.
The original piece was terribly biased. Maybe they just go caught up in the excitement of writing a hard hitting big-story piece. Some people can't remain objective.
But since then, they have not only refused to acknowledge huge problems with the story but have continued to report as though the inaccuracies were true! AND they have failed to report things that demonstrate just how improper the original story was.
That is simply outrageous and while I don't boycott anything I don't read the freep either. It's just not worth my time, they're doing this intentionally now and nothing they write can be treated at face value. Between the Detroit News, the Daily, annarbor.com, mgoblog, rivals, scout, and various smaller players there is plenty of UM news available. Reading the freep is a waste of my time. No wonder their circulation is down...they're a bunch of amateurs and they create a poor product.
"How was Rosenberg supposed to determine what was true and what was not?"
IT'S HIS MOTHERFUCKING JOB.
The fact that you apparently don't understand that, and don't expect a well-paid journalist to have that as his constant, primary goal, is Exhibit A illustrating the abysmal state of journalism today.
I'm making an exception here.
Seriously? Come on!
And also, please note the general tenor of the original piece was VERY MUCH aimed squarely at Rich Rodriguez and Mike Barwis. There was no (none reported) presentation that it was an Athletic Department issue or shortcoming...it was almost 100% Rod and Barwis.
BG? Oh right because they had an agenda and because that didn't fit their story to interview unbiased people that weren't freshmen...
Widespread abuse of NCAA regulations is a much bigger story and they were stalking M players at the Media Days in Chicago....it isn't like there were no other players to talk to right?
If the Free Press were to acknowledge that the investigation got parts of the story right while other issues were wholly wrong say, after the NCAA hearing and ruling, would that be enough? Would it take an apology proportional to the initial reports?
I want to be clear, I am not fully expecting this to happen in the least, because as has been pointed out time and again, the Free Press has too much at stake to acknowledge they were wrong, but as someone who has fought off the urge repeatedly in the last two days to send an email to the Free Press with the Jon Chait link* and a request for an explanation, solely because I didn't think it would do me any good, I want to know if anyone else thinks that an acknowledgment of wrong-doing (not even an apology) would be a start?
* - I was less successful in fighting off the urge to ding ESPN's Ivan Maisel and the NYT's Pete Thamel for tweeting or retweeting that Michigan was being "childish" for "leaking" the response and granting interviews to two of the Freep's competitiors before they went public. I have not heard back from either, I don't expect to either, but it's maddening the lengths to which so many in the journalistic community will go to portray their colleagues as the victim even when the colleagues are in the wrong. Then again, I suppose this is a professional courtesy that exists in all professions on some level. I'd also like to thank Section 1 for his outstanding outlines of the timelines of what/why/and how the Free Press was wrong in this.
I would require a full investigation and accounting of what exactly transpired, plus a 70+ page statement from them as to their role in the entire mess.
I worked as a reporter for 17 years, my last job being at a large, national newspaper. I can tell you the Freep story fell short of standards at all of the places I worked.
Upfront stories at the big paper where I worked were heavily edited. Sometimes this drove us reporters nuts, but it made the story much, much better 99.99% of the time, so we accepted it. There was one editor in particular who oversaw ethics in the reporting process. The Freep story never would have seen the light of day in the form it was published if any editor worth his or her salt read it.
First, it was a rule that any "target" of a story must be told upfront what the story was going to say, and be given adequate time to refute every single assertion. More than one potentially great story was killed because the reporter decided to ambush the target.
I can also tell you that this editor would have skinned alive any reporter who used quotes from people who were not apprised of what the story was going to say and how those quotes would be used.
So there's two major ethical demerits right there.
Outside of ethics, many questions also would have been asked by editors about countable hours, the CARA reporting process and examples from other places (a story that did not run until well after the first one.) The story was full of holes.
This was a shoddy hit piece. Did the reporters have something? Yes, they did. Was their story accurate (NOT the same thing as truthful)? No. Not in the least. They could have done the story the right way and still would have had a big impact. Obviously, there was a problem to be uncovered. But they overstepped, big-time.
There's a scene in "All The President's Men" when Woodward and Bernstein turn in a story to editor Ben Bradlee early on in the Watergate investigation. They think it's a front-pager, a breaking development. He looks it over, glares at them and says, "You don't have it, do you?" He takes out a pen, slashes away at the copy and says, "Put in inside someplace. Get some harder information next time."
They didn't have it. The reporting and editing processes fell short of standards. As a journalist, it pains me to see things like that.
If you have multiple bad experiences at a certain restaurant, you will eventually stop going there altogether or at least avoid it as much as possible.
The Freep is no different than a bad restaurant that continually serves poop on a plate. All of the reasons and examples of this poop have been laid out in this thread by the other posters. It should be fairly apparent why somone would not enjoy Freep poop and choose not to partake in it. However, for some reason, some people will never see it as poop and that is choice/dillusion.
Enjoy your poop. I'm moving on to better and less poopy things.
It's always nice to see a good analogy.
Seriously, I have no problem with those who buy the freep because we all have freedom of choice, but the only times I have clicked on them since the hatchet job came out have been when I linked to stories that either didn't have a freep warning or I didn't see the freep warning. I beileve that has happened maybe four times.
I used to give them around ten clicks a day, so just from one fan like me, they lose 3650 clicks a year. If you multiply that by the amount of serious UM fans out there, they are losing a lot of clicks. I hope they either fire Rosenpuke, Shyster, and the editor who enabled their behavior, or go out of business. There is no middle ground for me at this point.
Besides, boycotting gives me more time that I don't spend reading the freep.
don't back you up.
Look up a report from ~April 26/27. The fr**p circulation fell 12% for Sunday editions and ~13% for weekday, in six months (SIX MONTHS) ended March 2010.
And internets aren't their salvation, either...combined News/fr**p hits are around 25,000 per day...seemingly only double what Brian gets here at mgoblog...
Wave that banner proudly...soon you'll be the only one.
Please, share this screed with Paul Anger at the fr**p. His email addy has been posted on this site plenty of times.
Having to know you exist ruined my day....
MgoMatt aka Rosenberg
I can tell you, from more than 12 years experience in newspapers, that the practices the Freep used to uncover this story were not only shady and bias, but the actual reporting itself was substandard.
The Freep, and its jihad against Michigan Football, is piss-poor journalism at its finest.
These guys give fair, unbias reporters a bad name, and furthermore, I don't see how anyone could take anything they print seriously.
The 3 People You Meet in the Homeless Shelter
The 3 People You Meet in the Homeless Shelter is a novel by the author of Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom. It recounts the life of 3 washed up Detroit Free Press writers, Drew Sharp, Mark Snyder & Michael Rosenberg, and their journey from successful Detroit sports writers to hated and despised alcoholics living in a Detroit homeless shelter.
Please read the latest ombudsman article at ESPN. He doesn't mention the Michigan situation (bizarrely), but I think it fits. Here is the link:
I never have. I never will. That's just me doing my job.
The Freep writers went out of their way to find this story. They're supposed to tell us the news, not create it. It was a dick move.
Holy shit, I can't believe you posted this topic on this blog. If you really do read this blog you should have expected this kind of reaction. I think your problem is you only just read words instead of taking time to comprehend them. The Freep is on par with the National Enquirer in terms of credibility. I am telling you this so you can quit your search for the baby born with dolphin fins.
Compared to the Free Press.
Remember the story of Babe Ruth being asked about his big new contract with the New York Yankees, and being confronted with the fact that under the contract, he'd make more money than the President of the United States? Ruth said, "I had a better year."
This thread is a diamond in the rough.
although I don't agree with the opinions expressed by the OP, I will defend his right to express them; on this board or anywhere else he chooses to express them.
For myself, I'm reading Wojo and Angelique (after Brian, of course).
I came to this thread late, but I'm glad I got to read it after you wrote your update.
A man who can change his mind after honest debate: that is a rare thing. Don't go away -- I'd take one thoughtful, querying, honest and open-minded poster like you over 100 posts spreading homerist anti-Freepism.
Please stick around, and keep engaging.