Blogs With Balls 3: Big Lead/EDSBS Throwdown Transcript

Submitted by Brian on June 7th, 2010 at 10:39 PM

mortal-kombat bwb3_PG_500c 

Apologies to the locals: this is pure meta.

I attended the third(!) Blogs With Balls this weekend in Chicago, where I talked to a great number of people, had a great number of drinks, and was on a panel. The five minutes which seemed the most relevant to people I talked to and were the most-discussed on the twitters afterward consisted of an interrogation of the ethics panel launched by Orson Swindle that I, like a member of Flipmode Squizzod,—which is the squad—popped up in the midst of to deliver a verse. This post is just a document of what everyone said and will avoid any opining, though my opinion is kind of obvious because it's part of the transcript.

Video here, with the relevant section at about the 21 minute mark.

We fade in as the ethics panel opens it up to questions:

-------------------------

JASON MCINTYRE (The Big Lead): Let's start with everyone's favorite blog… let's go with Spencer Hall first.

SPENCER HALL (Every Day Should Be Saturday): I just want to be clear—I'm taking notes for future reference—it's okay to use whatever you want as long as you get pageviews, right, regardless of ethics? [Aside: this sounds like a ridiculous strawman, but it was essentially what Josh Zerkle, Alana G, and McIntyre had argued throughout the panel, with the academic from Minnesota mostly concerned with how funny rape was or was not (her vote: not) and Jonah Keri being way too nice.] We're all clear on that? Right, okay. Anyone horrified?

The other thing I wanted to do is I wanted to ask about sourcing. That wasn't really a question, that was just a statement. I just wanted to have it and I have the microphone.

What do you do to source a rumor? What is a source for you? Do you advance faster than the standard three source or trusted source [garbled] in the media. What do you do, and what have you done in the past? This is two part question so you have to come back to me, and then I'll give the mic to someone else.

JOSH ZERKLE (With Leather): I personally don't like breaking stories. It's not something that's part of our format; it's not something I'm really interested in doing. It sounds like work. I'm not big on doing the research and following up and calling people on the phone… I'm not a phone guy.

To answer your question, it's something I try to stay away from. It's not really my bag; so many people do it better than me that I just try to stay away from it.

MCINTYRE: Alana?

ALANA G (Yardbarker): Yardbarker really isn't in the business of making much original content except sponsored  blog content and our athlete blogs. On behalf of bloggers in general, I think the three sources thing was a rule that came out of old journalism—they probably teach it in journalism school right?

JONAH KERI (Bloomberg, WSJ, many things): …And it might not be wrong.

ALANA: It's an arbitrary rule for what it is and if you want to have the kind of blog that just runs off one rumor that your cousin's person who works at the Q told you about Delonte [bangin' Lebron's mom] and you want to print that and you continually do stuff like that and you're able to make a successful blog out of that, then hey that works for you. And half your rumors are going to end up being false because you only rely on one source and in that case your credibility will be duly affected. Maybe if you're only half-credible you'll still get a lot of traffic because it's an interesting site. So I think it depends on… I think it will bear out in your credibility at the end of the day from your readers.

ZERKLE: Spencer, let me give you an example. This is something I found out about but never ran; I guess I can share it with everybody. [Laughter.] Not exactly breaking news here, but I was at a wedding in Cincinnati a couple years ago and I ran into a woman who had dated Shayne Graham, and she told me that every time Shayne Graham meets a woman he asks her if she's willing to sign a prenup.

KERI: The vast fortune of Shayne Graham! [Laughter]

ZERKLE: 970,000 dollars a year really goes quick. That by itself is really thin for a story, and I'm not going to be on the phone asking "did Shayne Graham ask you to sign a prenup?" It's more legwork and it's tough to put together a body of work, and then if you don't have enough to get a story… it's not a great use of my time, especially when I'm trying to do nine, ten posts a day.

ALANA: That would have been a funny nugget though, if you had just posted "hey, I have no idea if this is true, but my friend told me this story… could be totally false but I thought it was pretty funny, they might have made it up, but I thought it was funny." And then people have the comments, the jokes… that might not be your bag but…

ZERKLE: Yeah, but as I said I couldn't confirm it so I try to shy away from that stuff.

HALL: Yeah, but what would you [McIntyre] do? I mean, you break stuff. How do you verify a source?

MCINTYRE: Uh… it depends on the story.

HALL: Take the Mark Sanchez model story. [Laughter, including from McIntyre. Note: at this point Hall and McIntyre start talking over each other, so it gets a little confusing.] What did you do—

MCINTYRE: I did absolutely nothing. There are plenty of cases where I will do nothing and run with something and I'm wrong.

HALL: So you did nothing because…

MCINTYRE: I have made plenty of mistakes.

HALL: …I planted that rumor…

MCINTYRE: I wouldn't be shocked. I wouldn't be shocked.

HALL: …and you just ran it…

MCINTYRE: That's not… a few weeks earlier Deadspin had a story where—

HALL: That's true. On April First. On April Fool's Day. We just slipped that by the gate! We were like "maybe we can do this"!

MCINTYRE: Right. A few weeks earlier Deadspin ran a story about the Arizona State coach getting in a fight with Mohammed Ali and they basically got—

HALL: Right right right, but this is what you did. We're not talking about what Deadspin did.

MCINTYRE: But everybody makes mistakes on their blogs. Yes, that was a bad mistake. That's not even—

HALL: But it got you pageviews, right?

MCINTYRE: No it didn't. It didn't generate any pageviews.

HALL: It didn't? Then why did you post it?

MCINTYRE: It was the middle of a Tuesday. That's why I ran it.

HALL: That's why you ran it? Okay.

ALANA: But Spencer, people are still reading The Big Lead because they like the site and they think that it's worthwhile, and they know that Jason makes mistakes every once in a while.

BRIAN COOK (MGoBlog): I think the thing that Spencer seems irritated about and I'm honestly irritated about is that the ethics that are being presented by this panel are like "just do it." And that sucks for somebody like me who does break real news about Michigan sports and I have to contend with the idea that I'm a blog. And that's because of you. [McIntyre]

ADAM JACOBI (Black Heart Gold Pants): [claps feverishly]

EVERYONE ELSE: [crickets]

ALANA: Why do you have to be lumping yourself in with everybody else when you are doing stuff that's of a different quality or of a different…

HALL: [paraphrase, I was there but this is too quiet to make out.] But we're talking about advertisers here [referring to earlier panel] who don't see individual blogs.

ALANA: Right, but if you guys don't like what's happening with other blogs there's not much you can do to stop what I'm going to do on my blog. But you can promote what you're doing on your blog and better market to people what you're doing.

HALL: [inaudible, but given the response to this probably about the Sanchez thing again.]

ZERKLE: Was there any kind of follow-up to that? I mean, you're calling him out now but did you personally write anything after the fact saying "yeah I totally fooled the shit out of McIntyre." I mean, did you call that at all.

HALL: No.

ZERKLE: Well, that might have been something to do, if you were concerned about the credibility.

NICOLE LAVOI (U of Minnesota): That's not ethical either.

HALL: What do you think I'm doing now?

ZERKLE: Well, it's two and a half months after the fact. So… good job, I guess.

HALL: This is in front of an audience.

SARAH SPAIN (ESPN 1000 Chicago, WGN, various other things): So is the answer basically that if your decision is to be a blog that isn't as ethical and does the funny stuff and that misses every once in a while, that's you're decision? That if your decision is to be a reputable blog that stands behind its sources and writes from a perspective that is all fact, then that is your decision? And the better man wins?

ALANA: Well, yeah. There's newspapers like the New York Times that are very reputable and very rarely make mistakes, and there are newspapers like the National Enquirer that tell you people are getting abducted by UFOs. And so those are two different markets I think by now, and the market has borne out that these have different levels of reputation, of credibility, and readers and advertisers know that.

KERI: I'm going to disagree with you on that. The New York Times is notorious for running stories with anonymous sources. And they're interviewing "high level government operatives" about whatever, the War In Iraq and they're saying "oh yeah, well, you know, there are Al Qaeda and so we're going to go to war and blah blah blah." We were basically led into something that was not justified because of anonymous sources. There are all kinds of mainstream media outlets—the biggest of the big, Washington Post, New York Times—I mean, I've written for a bunch of them and they make the same mistakes that bloggers do. Everybody lacks credibility.

ALANA: What I'm saying is that with blogs—I understand you guys' [Spencer/yrs truly] frustration because right now we are all blocked in together and people at Proctor and Gamble don't necessarily know who Deadspin is versus the Big Lead versus whatever, MGoBlog, so you know right now it seems like we're all being lumped together and you guys are feeling hurt by things that other blogs are doing. But if we do our jobs right it will all eventually bear out so that everyone has their own reputation, just like the National Enquirer has a different reputation from the Washington Post.

----------------------------------

At this point the mic has worked its way across the room to yet another of the infuriatingly-thick-on-the-ground Ohio State fans, this one from Cleveland Frowns, and the throwdown ends.

Comments

Yostal

June 7th, 2010 at 10:50 PM ^

I have always thought there was a fortune to be made in an automated system that transcribed podcasts and posted the contents in them for those of us who prefer reading to listening, so this is much better, especially as I was having trouble following with the shouting.

Also, glad to see that there was no damage between MGoBlog and Black Heart, Gold Pants.

AAB

June 7th, 2010 at 10:51 PM ^

of this exchange is, but I think it might be Alana's casual acceptance of the fact that some of the people on that panel might just be the National f'in Enquirer and totally cool with that fact because they're getting hits and eventually people will figure out they lack any semblance of credibility. Way to take pride in your job guys. I don't know how you didn't throw a chair, Brian.

Yostal

June 7th, 2010 at 11:01 PM ^

Because of the nature of how blogs came to be, it's fighting the credibility game the way that magazines did in the 1850s, the way that radio did in the 1920s, the way television did in the 1950s, the way that CNN did in the 1980s, etc. 

It is the natural inclination of the older media types to feverishly dismiss the work of the new while embracing the parts of it "that the kids seem to like."  But it also doesn't help the cause of blogs, or any form of media, where people are not only willing to hold up sites who have a willingness to play fast and loose with the concepts ethics and sourcing, because they do have massive page views.

I've also speculated, in my mind, that college/university specific blogs will be a place to break news in the next decade as the "boots on the ground" people for the information about these colleges will be digitally native, will trust what a site is based on reputation, and will be willing to feed it information.  I am sure Brian gets tons of tips that he can't run and that the tipster knows he can't run, in part because he becomes an aggregator of information, making connections and seeing what comes out of it.  So when others decide that they can run with whatever, it does hurt the whole idea, because people may know the difference between the New York Times and the World Weekly News, becaiise there is a specific word for the latter in common parlance, but a blog is a blog is a blog for anyone who doesn't care to see the distinctions.

AAL

June 7th, 2010 at 11:10 PM ^

I had a discussion about this yesterday and boiled it down to this:

Newspapers came about, more or less, as a service to citizens to know what is going on and what events will be happening in the future. It was information without need to feverishly compete for scoop and so on. Newspapers earned at least a somewhat trusted reputation over time that has casually been diminishing based on bias and flat ignorance.

Blogs popped up as a totally new medium of information that could, in some ways, correct for newspapers failings. Brian and Spencer were trying to point out (I think) that blogs are an unknown quantity from one to the next so trust is important for the marketplace. People can't go from one blog to another and assume trust the way one (would hope you could) with newspapers.

So these jackasses are hurting guys who are actually doing legwork because they'll throw anything at the wall in the name of pageviews and ad revenue. People don't want to have to waste the time reading something new and wonder whether it is credible or not. And when they find out it isn't they are far less likely to check out other blogs because they've been scared out by morons who can't see the big picture.

I feel for you guys. It's a shame. MGoBlog is a hell of place.

Seth

June 8th, 2010 at 12:04 PM ^

The history of journalism was a hell of a lot messier.

Actually, it was more like blogging history than what you described. The first thing that happened was that paper got a lot cheaper thanks to pulp processing. Printers would publish collections of stuff they got in, such as copies of declarations, speeches, and whatnot, and filling in with their own commentary. It wasn't so much a public service -- these were the same guys who used to print pamphlets, e.g. Common Sense. They wanted to shape opinion, and thought their own opinions were pretty darn good.

Like blogs, reader response was a huge part of the original broadsheets -- the format was to have certain columns devoted to correspondance between the editor and readers, or readers to readers, on a given issue. In this way, the Letters to the Editor section actually pre-date feature articles. It was also the frequent letter-writers who became the first reporters and "correspondents," which was the term for a fellow living in another city and would write letters from there to be printed back home. For certain cities, like Washington, D.C., these then because their own publications -- a publisher in D.C. would gather the local and political news of the day, print many copies, and then ship them to be put in the Boston dailies however many days later.

As broadsheets grew in popularity, each was attached to the name of the guy printing it, so if you lived in Philadelphia you trusted the Philadelphia Enquirer because Benjamin Franklin was the guy running it, and you thought him a swell dude. When you lost Franklin, you essentially lost the paper.

There were many, many papers out there for each community (as many and more as there were printers). And the content was normally really low. In the 1800 election, the newspapers supporting Jefferson called President Adams every bad word in the book, and the federalist papers did the same in reverse.

There were plenty of guys doing things right, and under their cult of personality and their personal trustworthiness, their circulation grew. It took awhile, but the industry did see what the paragons were doing differently, and copied that. On the other hand, as with today, there was a major market for polemics, and that got filled first, to the point that "the norm" for newspapers was basically Rush Limbaugh on paper.

Slowly, ever so slowly, the newspapers institutionalized. This mostly took place after the bulk of the first generation of newspapermen -- the Kim Jong Ils, those who built their products on their own names and had supplicants -- moved on (usually to politics), passed away, or retired. The businesses realized, as they have in every industry, that a brand doesn't have the mortality of a human. And so they began talking about codes and ethics, and printing these on the front pages of their newspapers so you would know that you're reading something that followed rules.

As these institutions grew, they needed to reach out to bigger markets, and thus their focus shifted from niches to the widest possible audience. The text was dumbed down to reader level, and headlines replaced titles, and emotion was chipped out one bit at a time until there what existed was a plain text offering of the news, and this outcompeted the polemics and the Enquirers who were still around.

Then these institutions realized they were large enough, and had destroyed all of the competition that had forced the industry to accept ethics in the first place, and they started wielding their clout, so much so that they literally led us into a war. And in the backlash of this, there was a second split, a market explosion of "third newspapers" who were not beholden to national corporate behemoths, and thus called themselves "the Free Press" and whatnot, and most f the largest city dailies can trace their origins to this point in history.

AAB

June 7th, 2010 at 11:18 PM ^

by far the worst part of the last year and a half in the evolution of major blogs is the way that it's at least partially vindicated Buzz Bissinger. I can't believe bloggers let the guy who wrote an entire book calling Tony La Russa a genius be even marginally right about something.

teldar

June 8th, 2010 at 7:14 AM ^

I have limited time to surf and am unfamiliar with this LEAD. I spend my time on the more important things, like refreshing MGo 37000 times a day when I'm able.

Is it a bunch of troll bait written by an ethicless fool who posts anything that comes across his mind?

From the discussion from BWB, this is what it sounds like. 

HeismanPose

June 8th, 2010 at 12:09 AM ^

"Then why did you post it?

MCINTYRE: It was the middle of a Tuesday. That's why I ran it."


I do think the Yardbarker woman is right, though.  You shouldn't necessarily lump yourself in with other blogs.  A blog is just a format - a way of presenting information.  The fact that some blogs have more integrity than others is not lost on the vast majority of readers.  In the end, the cream will rise and people seeking information will go to the sources they can trust and not a Deadspin copycat just looking for page views.

The above quote is maddenning, though, when you consider the fact  that the subjects of these completely unsubstantiated rumors are PEOPLE with brains and feelings and families.  I don't buy the "they're rich and famous and in the public eye so they can take it" excuse.  Maybe Shayne Graham has, like, a wife and your little "slow Tuseday" fake rumor ruined his marriage.  I also don't think the three sources rule is arbitrary.  It was developed by journalists over the decades for a reason. 

Brian

June 8th, 2010 at 12:20 AM ^

Right: I talked with Dan Levy for a podcast I'll link tomorrow and mentioned that I did not get the impression from the panel that Delonte West was a person. The focus exclusively on your effect on nothing but yourself was Randian.

I am less enthusiastic about the ability of random people to be critical evaluators of media. if you've never read a blog before, what do you think of them? I can't tell you how many times I've gotten the line "I never though I'd read a blog until I read yours." that's a hindrance on your growth.

enlightenedbum

June 8th, 2010 at 1:08 AM ^

I always suspected that people suck at critically evaluating news media, and I took a class on it in undergrad just to make sure.  That was mostly focused on politics, but the same rules tend to apply here as well.  People are awful at evaluating whether a source is trustworthy or not.  So when you create an opt in media environment you tend to end up with a populist slant.  On the net, that's who can post pictures of female celebs in as little clothing as possible and talk about which celebrities are fucking which other celebrities (or LeBron's mom).  In TV news as standards have declined, we get a heavy dosage of dead bodies, preferably involving pretty blondes or high speed police chases.

There need to be some standards, preferably community enforced, so that the media isn't ruled by a bunch of bullshit.  It's one of the things the more traditional media (both in traditional kinds of news and the sports media) has lost and I've always contended is the actual biggest reason for their decline.  The product has been bad for a fairly long time.  I haven't watched non-live programming on a sports network for years with the small exception of PTI very rarely.  Columnists are generally failing because they don't really provide any new insight ever and write the same formulaic crap every two or three days.  Game columns are similar, and if you want quotes from players/coaches you can generally check either Twitter or Facebook.  And then you get the so called experts on TV and they spout the same four cliches they spouted when they were playing.  That's the long term problem, standards need to exist so that our discourse (whether it be stupid conventional wisdom about fourth downs or something weightier like the oil spill) isn't dominated by the stupidest, loudest bullshit anyone can get into the media universe.

And in the shorter term, there's the risk of all blogs being tarred with The Big Lead or Yardbarker's bullshit.  It's honestly kind of shocking to me that the entire sports blogging world wasn't tarred by the Erin Andrews peephole guy considering their obsession with her, and I think it's greatly to her credit that she didn't play that factor up, at least that I saw.  God knows she could have.  But if people think The Big Lead is typical of sports blogs (which seems fairly likely, considering it just made some news by selling for seven figures [seriously?]) then there's far less of a chance that they'll try a far more reputable site like this one out.  Which sucks for you, but in the long run, sucks for all of us because we need people that change how sports (and other) news is reported and to make it better.  Simmons (coincidentally, disliked by the conventional wisdom populist bullshit blogs) has probably shown the way on how to do this as a columnist and this is damn near the model on how to do it on the reporting/analysis side.

Lastly, this made me happy:

The focus exclusively on your effect on nothing but yourself was Randian.

HeismanPose

June 8th, 2010 at 1:26 AM ^

The Big Leads of the world definitely make things more difficult for you, but the media world is changing fast and I think people are rapidly getting over the assumption that every blog is Perez Hilton.  My grandfather will probably never accept a blog as a legitimate news source, but on the flip side there is a whole generation coming of age now who grew up with the web and I believe they intuitively understand its nuances better than the 40 or 50-somethings who are still forwarding around chain e-mails.  

I really believe that, over time, people will flock to where the best content is.  If you write it, they will come.    

OHbornUMfan

June 8th, 2010 at 8:26 AM ^

is a great guideline, if your priority is getting the truth out.  If your priority is being the first to report something, and secondarily you are interested in its being true, three sources is likely about two and a half too many.

This gets tricky when anybody can publish.  The Dorsey signing sticks out as an example to me of folks wanting to be the first and others who wanted to be accurate using them as sources.  All of a sudden, it seemed like every site was quoting every other site to validate their statements.

I agree with you, Brian, that the "get that dolla, son!" mentality is not helpful.

bronxblue

June 8th, 2010 at 12:53 PM ^

The problem seems to be more with the term "blog" and how it is used in common discussions.  Sites like TheBigLead and Bleacher Report are more akin to rumor mills and free-range discussions than news sources on sports, and to the web-savvy sports fans we can recognize the distinctions.  Similarly, people know that the NYTimes, WSJ, and the LA Times are legitimate news sources with a (mostly) unbiased tinge to them, while publications like the NY Post are more sensationalistic and focused at least as much on eye-grabbing headlines and stories as legitimate news writing.  But with traditional written sources, people have become accustomed to the various flavors and (somewhat) instinctively know how much credence to give a particular publication and its articles.  I'm sure that was not always the case, though, as "yellow" journalism had a nice run until everyone realized its dearth of actual facts.

The problem with "blogs" is that the amorphous term has not existed long enough for people to acknowledge the gradations that exist.  Whereas people can recognize that there are "hard" news sources, "fluff" sources, tabloids, trashy magazines, etc., a large portion of the internet population still thinks that a post on Yahoo! sports has the same innate credibility as a post at barstoolsports.com, when that clearly is not the case. 

I don't think draconian repurcussions are necessary (save for clear libel and other forms of defamation), because punishing bad sources after-the-fact won't really address the underlying quality issues.  Sure, you might make a spectacle of sorts out of a major blog, but then you'll have other pages like clevelandfrowns that will simply skate under the radar.  The better option, unfortunately, is simply waiting for people to become more savvy about what they read on the internet.  Places like MGoBlog have risen in credibility because the information here is top-notch, well-researched, and only a bit biased (hey, it's a UM blog.  Sparty and Buckeyes are not going to be treated with kid gloves).  Especially in like of the Freep fiasco, MGoBlog has shown was legitimate journalism and discourse on the web should be, and we can only hope that as more people become comfortable with navigating the web, their B.S. meters will also evolve.

jimkanicki

June 8th, 2010 at 12:29 AM ^

i'm chuckling because it reads like everyone left for the food court when clevelandfrowns grabbed the mic.

and i'm chuckling again, for a reason i'll post later in this thread.  (willhe)

willywill9

June 8th, 2010 at 1:45 AM ^

Why the EFF are most of these people even on this panel? They should be taking notes.  This is the most infuriating thing I've seen in a while.  Not only are they essentially saying "eff it, just post it, if it's wrong...whatever, if you're getting hits and that's your goal, then it is a success."  But, they're also saying the onus is on the reader to decide whether or not what is being reported is true,  That probably should be true about anything anyone ever says (CNN, NYTimes), but it's not fair to declare things as factual, even when it's not.  If Dan Rather, or NY Times need to own up, so should bloggers.  If not, they should not ever expect to be taken seriously.

Brian, I respect that you don't follow their opinion, and you're not afraid to go against the grain.  Also, you're not afraid to admit when you were wrong.

Bottom line, keep doing what you're doing.

MCalibur

June 8th, 2010 at 2:54 AM ^

I watched a bunch of the BWB3 clips from Brian's panel and my jaw was on the floor. I had even started thinking about a jingoistic diary about how MGoBlog was a shining beacon in the internet fog. I just couldn't wrap my brain around Robert Littal and that Valli lady (who came off as drunk, to me) saying over and over "I do the complete opposite of what THEY do" and then turn around and say "If it's popular, you should do it". Are you [garbled] serious?!?

Time will tell how things play out, but I, for one, am willing to read--even OMG, 3000 wordz???)--as long as there is reasoning and explanation behind what is said. The three  hundred word blog style pisses me off because there just isn't room to explain anything. The lead is reported and the consumer is left to their own devices to digest; an activity we suck at, by the way.

This ethics panel was disappointing on so many levels, but mainly because highly respected bloggers are basically saying "it's the wild west; gotta get that paper, G."

Brian, EDSBS, and BHGP have every reason to be incensed.

zlionsfan

June 8th, 2010 at 11:54 AM ^

although it would probably require the use of interns. Crossword puzzles with a theme are fairly hard to do. Still, the payoff would be significant:

"Hey, what's a nine-letter word meaning 'Not welcome to join' that starts with N and ends with E? Sorry, it's two words?"

OHbornUMfan

June 8th, 2010 at 8:37 AM ^

- Intelligent content about the progression of quarterbacks.

- Intelligent content about the relevance of star ratings based on research.

- Intelligent content about going for it on fourth.

- Rumors about randy celebrities.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Blazefire

June 8th, 2010 at 9:51 AM ^

The notion that you shouldn't have to deal with issues that your contemporaries are responsible for is a fairy tale. I took over part of my  current duties from a guy they laid off about three months ago. I am 100% responsible for things that occurred more than 3 months ago, even though I had no control over it at all.

Edit: Also, when you mention that the guy from BHGP claps, this is what I see:

marcsumus

June 8th, 2010 at 12:46 PM ^

I just don't see what the repercussions for the blogs without ethics are.  To shame them into acting better at a conference?  The only thing that will make people behave better is page views, and that comes from the response of the masses to unethical posting of rumors. 

I, for one, pretty much only read this blog and the blogs it links to, so I'm doing my part!  :)

kvnryn

June 8th, 2010 at 10:04 AM ^

is not necessary. Yeah, this is a blog about Michigan sports, and a DAMN FINE one at that, but it's also a blog about how blogs should be done and that is precisely why we all devour this site daily (read: hourly). Thank you, Brian.

[email protected]

June 8th, 2010 at 10:48 AM ^

Because his response to all this was to mock the idea that he's just lazy, and will run anything if he thinks it'll get pageviews.  You see, as he explains, he's actually very busy, and so as long as he can plausibly blame whoever he heard it from, he'll run it if he thinks it'll get pageviews.

When I explained to him that his position on ethics appears to be "As long as everyone else is ethical, I don't have to be," he told me that he is done with semantics.

Peace

Ty

[email protected]

June 8th, 2010 at 12:01 PM ^

To be fair, he did challenge me to go back and find a story he'd written recklessly--but that would require me to read lots and lots of his blog:

http://withleather.uproxx.com/

Which, with a quick visual scan, is about:

* Screaming Tom Izzo

* Porn

* Bikini Chicks and Fire

* Cheerleaders

* Porn

* TO Crying

* Justin Bieber

* Naked chick with painted-on Phillies jersey

 . . . yeah.  Not doing an archive trawl to confirm your journalistic credibility, sir.

Peace

Ty

Seth9

June 8th, 2010 at 12:24 PM ^

Three members of a five-member panel on ethics and legal issues in blogging appear to subscribe to the belief that no ethical standards should exist for bloggers. The moral theory they use here is the idea that what makes money for them is morally acceptable. No wonder people don't take bloggers seriously.

oriental andrew

June 8th, 2010 at 12:27 PM ^

"doing stuff that's of a different quality " as the blog tagline. 

also *applause* for [email protected].  Fyi, just scanned your blog for the first time ever and loved the piece on roy williams.  quality stuff. 

i agree that the major issue is that there is a large and influential segment of the established media that propagate the notion that all bloggers are folks who either couldn't hack it in the "real world" or are just out to spread rumors.  They view blogs collectively as the written version of shock jock radio, being senstationalistic rumor-mongerers. 

P.S.  When I first started getting into online message boards and blogs several years ago, I tried the big lead, deadspin, with leather, and others of that ilk.  I found them utterly uninteresting, instead gravitating toward sites like mgoblog, i blog for cookies, sunday morning QB, the big ten wonk, kenpom, dawg sports, and varsity blue.  I appreciate humor, wit, research, creativity, and a desire to understand, as well as the relevant sports updates these sites are so good at conveying.  I also appreciate the standards they bring to their work.  We'll always have the purveyors of smut, but here's to hoping that the broader population will come to understand and admit that there is a difference between them and a place like mgoblog. 

[email protected]

June 8th, 2010 at 1:59 PM ^

Thanks, OE.  Brought a smile to my face!

As far as the ethics stuff goes, even if the muckraking brings in the pageviews, is that what you want to put your business cards?  Is that what you want on your tombstone?  I mean, the people at National Enquirer work for the money--and there's money to be made--but they aren't putting their names on it.  Nobody at the Enquirer thinks what they're doing is an important service to society.  Nobody from the Enquirer goes to a journalism conference and moderates a panel on ethics . . .

As others here have said, you can't have it both ways.  Either you're the "Editor" of a sports news outlet worth seven figures, and a heavyweight in the new media industry--or, if nothing's going on, you'll run anything anyone emails you anonymously, because why not?

Peace

Ty

Seth

June 8th, 2010 at 12:59 PM ^

  • More credible than a lier
  • In case you didn't notice, it's not Deadspin
  • Like a really good paper, but without all the paper
  • At least three sources agree: this blog is the bee's knees
  • Always accurate, except when quoting Star Wars
  • Go ahead, start an argument; I've never bought ink in my life.
  • The daily diary of the Wolverine dream
  • The content, the content, the content!

oriental andrew

June 8th, 2010 at 6:21 PM ^

"doing stuff that's of a different quality" (alana g) <-- my favorite

"whatever, mgoblog" (alana g)  <-- too self-deprecating?

"lumped together and feeling hurt" (alana g) <-- paraphrase

"Everybody lacks credibility" (keri) <-- but not nearly as good as "a rock of journalistic credibility"