Hello: Enormous Retraction Comment Count

Brian May 10th, 2010 at 11:28 PM

 XkcdKitty

TODAY: SPENT WITHIN NANOMETERS OF A BILLION CATS

So, right. Angelique talked to the people in question when it came to the weekend's Morgan Trent brouhaha:

Carr disputed the representation of the meeting during a phone interview on Monday with The News.

"That paragraph is completely a distortion of my conversation with Morgan," Carr said. "That is a complete distortion, and it is not accurate. I have never spoken with the author. I have never met him. I have never had a conversation with him to the best of my knowledge."

Trent on Monday told The News he initiated the conversation with Carr about what he had heard from NFL scouts regarding comments attributed to Rodriguez.

"Lloyd didn't bring any of this to my attention," Trent said. "When we spoke, I brought it up to him, and he said he had heard some of the same things."

This makes virtually everything I said about Carr wildly inaccurate and amongst the stupidest things I have to leave up, mocking me, for the rest of time. It has the added bonus of being not just factually inaccurate—see "we're totally going to a bowl in 2008!"—but mean-spirited and completely wrongheaded about someone who has given far more the university than I, and probably anyone reading this, has.

I mean… shit. Seriously. From time to time I am forced to look in the mirror and consider myself an asshole. This is one of those times. I don't know, man. The last few years have been wearing on me and at this point you would not believe the kinds of totally unverifiable but plausible-seeming stuff that hits my inbox and sometimes, like when you feel compelled to address the same damn thing that doesn't mean anything at all for the tenth time in the last few months the dike breaks and you publish something you regret. There is a lesson about the value of editors and a news cycle that has some time for reflection, consideration, and actually talking to the people involved. Sometimes it's unfortunate that this enterprise basically couldn't exist with the former and sometimes—still, even after five years—fails to apply the lessons learned over that timespan when it comes to the latter. And by this enterprise I mean "I". I know better by now, but apparently sometimes I don't. I absolutely should have applied Occam's Razor to "Lloyd Carr sells out university OR [CENSORED] who writes for Rivals' Rutgers site writes a book that vastly misrepresents something." I didn't.

All I can ask for is understanding. Mea culpa.

(At least I didn't buy the latest Big Ten rumors, amirite?)

Comments

jabberwock

May 11th, 2010 at 7:48 AM ^

My life-sized Brian Cook voodoo doll received a firm spanking, then a lingering make-up hug today.

Be glad we didn't meet in person.  (I mean more glad than usual, obviously.) 

ontarioblue

May 11th, 2010 at 7:57 AM ^

Brian,

You weren't alone in your reaction / over reaction to this story.  I like many other MGoBloggers also jumped to the same conclusions that you did.  The only element of the story that was missing was Coach Carr's, and we didn't wait for his response.  So, I want to apologize to Coach Carr for jumping to the wrong conclusion.  Lloyd, you are, and always will be a Michigan Man.

Six Zero

May 11th, 2010 at 8:03 AM ^

And Lloyd did exactly the right thing, which is pretty much his thing.  I may have come off like I was angry or giving up on Coach Carr, but all I wanted was for him to stand up deny and or confirm.  He did so, and all is well and good.

Take us down to Def-Con 4, and well done Coach Carr.

might and main

May 11th, 2010 at 8:08 AM ^

I think we need an official def-con meter, or a dooms-day clock to signal how close we are to the abyss. I agree, we're currently hovering at def-con 4, or sitting at about 11:50. Let's all be aware and work to stabilize our situation.

Blue in Yarmouth

May 11th, 2010 at 8:25 AM ^

I am not going to go back to the previous thread and re-read it ,but if I remember correctly most of the posts (and I could be wrong, but this is my recollection) were full of "ifs". IF Lloyd said this; IF Morgan said that; IF Lloyd would speak all this would go away.

All I can say for sure is in my posts I qualified my frustraion with "ifs". I knew full well that the source was a dubious one and therefore, I was only going to be angry if it turned out to be true. I WAS a bit disappointed that Lloyd hadn't spoken up (at that time he hadn't), but now he has so I m pleased about that.

I have to agree with another poster however, in that Lloyd didn't really say "I didn't say any such thing and this is a complete lie." He said it was a distortion, which means he did say something. He could have easily clarified what EXACTLY he said but for some reason he chose not to do that, which for many people, will only add fuel to the fire.

I love Lloyd and he was the coach I grew up with. I watched a couple of the GM years but really got hooked when Lloyd coached. He is a great man and did a fine job as UM coach. I can't lie though, and say that I am not just a little disappointed that he didn't clarify what was said to Morgan so that all this speculation could stop. I would also be be extremely impressed if he would publicly come out in support of coach RR.

I know there were fans who weren't extatic about RR being hired, but at the end of the day there isn't anything that can be done. The best thing for UM is for everyone (fans, players, former players, AD employees etc etc etc) to get behind RR and this team with their full support. Nobody wins if RR ends up a failure.

Six Zero

May 11th, 2010 at 8:55 AM ^

I can't help but think that all of this fuss could have been avoided if Lloyd Carr would just sign up and become a regular here at MGoBlog.

C'mon, Coach-- we'll even get Russell Crowe on board...  You could negbang the MSU guy with the rest of us!  It'll be great!

notetoself

May 11th, 2010 at 9:13 AM ^

but i don't know if we'll really believe brian's contriteness until he docks himself enough mgopoints that he can't post any content. now THAT would really send a message.

Captain Obvious

May 11th, 2010 at 9:14 AM ^

that thinks Brian's retraction need not be so enormous?

I don't think Brian failed to critically think before publishing his piece.  I think we sometimes forget what kind of info Brian has access to.  He likely got a few pieces of less than credible info that were exaggerations (hmm, just like what caused the controversy itself), he connected some dots and felt good enough to publish.  Then, the worst thing in journalism happened to him - a person with far more authority and credibility came along and refuted the conclusions hours after it hits the public.  It's just bad timing; I don't think Brian royally screwed up here.

For the record, I don't believe either of what Rodriguez or Carr said in their statements.  RR is frustrated and probably let some things slip about Trent he wishes he could have back--especially if Trent was a cancer that divided the team in '08 (I don't know if he did, but he may have).  Carr, in an effort to be understanding and sympathetic, probably agreed a little too much with Trent's complaints and condemnation of RR such that Trent felt LC would back him publicly on this stuff.  Pretty tame stuff.  It's a mountain out of a molehill that could only occur in the offseason with Freep fanning the flames.

Either way, Brian--keep your head up.  I don't think you made that big of a mistake here.  I can understand and appreciate why you issues such a huge retraction, but understand it wasn't necessary.

MGoShoe

May 11th, 2010 at 9:15 AM ^

...about this kerfuffle.

Regarding Morgan Trent:

  • Individuals almost always do what they think is in their best interest, even when those actions aren't necessarily in their best interest. 
  • Individuals almost always use selective hearing when processing difficult messages because criticism is not easily taken, especially when one feels wronged and/or has a self image that is at odds with others' evaluations.
  • The truth often hurts and it causes people to lash out in non-productive ways.

Regarding Lloyd Carr:

  • One's ability to shape a difficult message is circumscribed by the recipient's ability to be open minded about the receipt of that message.
  • Coach-player dynamics are complicated.  Coach-player dynamics are even more complicated when the coach is a former coach and is employed by the institution that employs his successor.
  • Lloyd Carr is a Michigan Man through and through with unimpeachable credentials as a coach, mentor and educator. 
  • He is famously taciturn.
  • He is an Assistant Athletic Director at the University of Michigan.
  • He has responsibilities that accure to his position at the University of Michigan that include properly characterizing controversial remarks that are attributed to him that reflect poorly on the University of Michigan's Head Football Coach and by extension the football program, the Athletic Department, and the University.
  • He carried out those responsibilites in a reasonble timeframe.

Regarding Brian Cook:

  • The lines that traditionally separated the roles of reporter from opinion writer have been obliterated in the new media. 
  • It was not wrong for Brian to think what he thought.
  • It was not wrong for Brian to write down those thoughts.
  • It was not wrong for Brian to expect Lloyd Carr to carry out the responsibilites mentioned above.
  • It was imprudent for Brian to not allow events to play themselves out for a little longer than he did or not to attempt to use the media credentials that his team has earned to attempt to ferret out answers to his questions.
  • Brian has issued an unusually strong mea culpa for his journalistic indiscretion and deserves all the praise heaped upon him here.

Regarding me:

  • I'm the guy who posted the first item about the bengals.com piece. 
  • I do believe that if I hadn't done it, eventually someone else would have.
  • I thought I characterized the issue correctly: disgruntled former player collaborates with a hack writer on a self-serving book with revelations that explain the player's documented negative comments about his former coach and football program.
  • I was fully aware that the item would engender passionate debate which would sometimes go over the top as debate here is wont to do.
  • I am sorry that my post provided a forum for the ensuing meltdown.
  • Going forward, I will refrain from posting items that I suspect will cause significant controversy. 

Have  a great day, folks and Go Blue.

jcgary

May 11th, 2010 at 9:30 AM ^

Kudos to you sir!  Owning up to mistakes is why I like coming to this site for my Michigan information than any other site (i.e. freep). 

I have to say I was on the same page as your thinking yesterday and I too was wrong. 

Erik_in_Dayton

May 11th, 2010 at 9:32 AM ^

I think that what we should all take from this is that no one should ever put any stock in anything that comes from bengals.com - ever.  As a long-time, um, observer of the Bengals, that website is a joke, just like the organization.   

jamiemac

May 11th, 2010 at 9:36 AM ^

So, Brian apologized and did so in elegant terms. I had about one-tenth the angst with what he wrote yesterday compared to some of the anti-Lloyd mudslinging that then went on in the comments section.

So, to those folks......When are you going to take MGoLeader's lead and say you're sorry. I havent read a single poster in this thread or in the forum apologizing for dragging Lloyd's name through a rusty old piss trough.

To that end, I'm calling a couple of people out.

Section 1.......contrary to what you said in the forum thread, you do need to kiss Lloyd's ass and apoligize. That "Carr's inaction is his culpability' is some of the most holier than thou bullshitI that I have seen on this site. You all but convincted him with that comment. And all this BS after the fact about this is exactly what you wanted to happen, whatever. That means diddly poo. You spent a lot of time yesterday--much more than Brian--denigrating Carr. KISS HIS ASS. Also: Its not necessary to keep commenting in threads. Cant you just say your peace and move on. You only got more aggravating as the day went on.

Tater.....oh Tater. Where to begin with you. You made one comment in yesterday's main page thread. And just one comment in the forum. Yet, in both you proved why you're one of the most worthless posters this site ever spawned. Lloyd Carr does not need to prove his Michigan Man's status to anyone, let alone fucking you, as you asserted on the main page. Then, in the forum after Carr spoke, you got back on that high horse and said finally Lloyd has proven to me he's a Michigan Man. Dude, come on. Thats just Bullshit. You owe a big apology for outright stating that he needs to prove the mythical Michigan Man status to you. Here's the deal Tater, you dont offer much other than tired, no evidence and non factual conspiracies. You have your own clubhouse now over at Midnight Maize. Stay the fuck there. But, first, say you're sorry to Coach Carr.

I have limited mod powers on this site. If I had more, I would bump both you down to below zero. Instead I'm calling you both out as two of the more ridiculous posters from yesterday.

These two werent the only ones. Why come everyone is kissing Brian's ass for his apology, but not offering one of their own? Sounds like we have a lot of budding FREEP writers in the comments section.

colin

May 11th, 2010 at 10:35 AM ^

too many folks who actually took a dump on Lloyd in the comments, right? It was mostly about how Lloyd needed to speak up and clarify and, lo, he did.  Brian's post itself was bad not for calling out Trent, but for going off on Lloyd without getting LC (or waiting for Angelique to get him, I guess) on record.  Commenters don't really have the same obligations as bloggers in that regard.

Section 1

May 11th, 2010 at 10:40 AM ^

Because, I am glad to say, I didn't accuse Coach Carr of any wrongdoing whatsoever, other than his failure to speak up right away.  I don't have to apologize to Coach Carr, because I have nothing to apologize for.

I did sort of attack the reporter, Bobby Deren, and also to some extent Morgan Trent.  I'm not apologizing to either guy.  I was among the first to say that the whole story stunk of triple and quadruple hearsay.  I am not apologizing for saying so.  I was right.

When I said of Carr that "his inaction is his culpability," I meant it.

And, to his great credit, Carr personally put an end to his "inaction."

I think that my complaint was well-founded; and Carr effectively answered my complaint.  I'm glad he did.  He acted.  He stepped up.  He denied the story.

You can search high and low on the MGoBoards, and you'll be hard-pressed to find one word of negativity from me about Lloyd Carr.  But as to the need for Coach Carr to answer the Morgan Trent story; I was exactly right, down to (apparently) the timing of the interview and the name of the reporter!

Section 1

May 11th, 2010 at 11:06 AM ^

"we all" jumped to conclusions in the 24+ hours that the story was allowed to fester.  And that in those hours, too many people assumed way too much.

And my point, all along, was that the quicker that Carr and Rodriguez moved to kill the story, the better.

It would have been better, for all, if Coach Carr had spoken up sooner.

And as long as we are on the subject of apologies, I wonder where are all of the folks who presumed the Morgan Trent story to be true, and presumed that Rich Rodriguez had defamed one of Michigan's own alumni?  I'm waiting for those apologies!  That demographic, all across the country -- the demographic of national Rodriguez haters, fueled by nearly two years of unfair and awful press misconceptions about Rich Rodriguez -- that demographic of "fans" has some explaining and some apologizing to do!

Good, bad or indifferent, I had always thought that this particular story was only secondarily a story about Lloyd Carr.  It was a story aimed at Rich Rodriguez.  Rodriguez was cast as the villain, and Carr was merely the alleged witness.  What we now see is that Carr was NOT a "witness," and Rodriguez (again, ho-hum) is not the "villain."

People like me made Coach Carr the focus in order to get the essential denial -- that the Bobby Deren story was wrong and that Carr never said what was alleged. 

Case.  Closed.

CPS

May 11th, 2010 at 11:29 AM ^

And all he had to do was to answer Angelique Chengelis' phone call.

Well, see, there's the thing.  He didn't have to do anything.  He put in 30 years at Michigan, and, as you acknowledge, he's continuing to put in more as Senior Associate Athletic Director.  He doesn't owe you or me anything.  He doesn't owe Trent or Rodriguez anything.  He doesn't owe Michigan anything.  He doesn't have to do a damn thing.

Section 1

May 11th, 2010 at 11:45 AM ^

Of course, he doesn't "have to" do anything.  David Brandon doesn't "have to" keep Cocach Carr in that office, either.

And of course Coach Carr didn't "have to" take Angelique Chengelis' call.  Carr could have remained silent, and let the story fester, and let hundreds of idiots on sportstalk radio question what kind of complete asshole they think Rich Rodriguez must have been, to bad-mouth Morgant Trent.  And Carr could have allowed everyone to think that Rodriguez's denial of the story was false.  Carr could have done all of that.  And had he done so, I'd have been criticizing him every day for doing so.  As I said, rightly, his "culpability would have been his inaction."

But no.  Carr didn't do that.  Carr stepped up.  Carr seems to have understood the situation a lot better than you.

CPS

May 11th, 2010 at 11:53 AM ^

There's that rightness again.  Please continue to wallow in it.

I have little doubt that he understood the situation better than I.  He clearly understood it better than you, Brian and many others here.  Which makes knee-jerk responses like "his culpability would have been his inaction" all the more ridiculous.

Please, tell me.  What would he have been guilty of had he not acted?

Section 1

May 11th, 2010 at 12:08 PM ^

What did I fail to understand yesterday?  I was making these points:

~First, the story was dubious on its face.  It was a game of "telephone," with the identites of some of the parties not even known.

~Second, the mere existence of the story was being widely cast as yet another negative for Rich Rodriguez; that he would be so disloyal to one of his former players that he would bad-mouth his attitude to NFL scouts.  That story hurt Rich Rodriguez's reputation.  And by extension, it hurt Michigan.

~Third, my one and only comment with respect to Coach Carr was that he should stand up and be counted on the story.

~Carr did it.  And I was right, on items 1, 2 and 3 above. 

What would Carr have been "guilty" of had he not spoken up?  Carr would have been guilty of allowing his own good name (and you had better believe it, that I think Coach Lloyd Carr has a good name and some serious gravitas) to be used in another press sideswipe of Rich Rodriguez.

Section 1

May 11th, 2010 at 3:39 PM ^

Rodriguez was getting smeared by a story, when the reporter had neveer even interviewed him.

The same can be said about Carr, to some extent, except that the story wasn't really aimed as an attack on Carr.

My insistence on Carr's responding, was to blunt the attack on Rodriguez.

So once agian, you've gotten it mostly wrong.  But I am willing to work with you, to help you understand it.

And I am used to being called an Arrogant Ass.  I have a unique claim to that title, since I was the only M Man I know of who happened to be a guest at the MSU Football banquet in 1979 (held at Fairlane Manor in Dearborn; I was seated at the front table) to hear Darryl Rogers call us "Arrogant Asses."

jamiemac

May 11th, 2010 at 1:23 PM ^

Yesterday you said Brian Cook was right and that Carr needs to get with the program. Yet, I'm reading Brian basically saying his own post blew and that he himself jumped to conclusions. Just because you got the outcome you wanted doesnt make you correct. Hardly.

You questioned Carr's loyalty, while claiming your own loyalty was the real deal. Thats pompous, arrogant, misguided and clueless.

You said his inaction IS his culpability. Not would be. But is. You certified it.

Look, I feel bad for singling you out. Others had inane commentary in their posts. Except some of yours were within the response umbrella of my comment on the situation and unlike a lot of people who said their comment and let it be, you kept on responding to other people's comments. over and over again.

Dont question Carr's loyalty to the school. Thats a lame assertion. One that Brian Cook offered a mea culpa on.

Instead of trying to pretend that you nailed the issue and were correct from the get go, I say check yourself and pucker up: KISS LLOYD CARR'S ASS

Section 1

May 11th, 2010 at 1:58 PM ^

Yesteday, I saw page after page of comments about how good, really, was Morgan Trent, and what really was Lloyd Carr's record as a coach and a recruiter, and what "probably" was said about Mrogan Trent, etc., etc., etc.

You saw NONE of that from me.

I stuck to the story, and the issue of the day.  That it was an urgent matter, given the press' animus toward Rich Rodriguez, that this anti-Rodriguez story not fester.  I said that Brian Cook was "right" insofar as he was joining in those comments that I had made earlier about the need for Coach Carr to step up and comment on the story that had dragged his good name into the internets.  (Thank Morgan Trent and Bobby Deren for that, Coach Carr.)

I also said that Coach Carr needed to "get with the program" in that same respect.  The story, as it existed prior to Carr's denial, was hurtful to Rodriguez and by extension the Michigan football program.  How many times do I have to repeat that before people comprehend it?  I suggested, in admittedly the strongest language I could thkin of, that Coach Carr should comment, and do it fast and do it directly.  Coach Carr, we see, agreed with that course of action.

Everybody has had a chance to scour the board looking for any comment by me that was unfair or damaging to Coach Carr, who I have adored and admired for as long as he's been at Michican.  You won't find anything from me that criticizes Carr, apart from what I consider inadequate (or, as was the case yesterday -- belated) support for Rich Rodriguez.

And that is the great irony to me.  My sole focus was on defending Rich Rodriguez from an unfair attack.  Since when did defending Michigan Head Coach Rich Rodriguez become an unpopular cause at MGoBlog? 

Crime Reporter

May 11th, 2010 at 9:48 AM ^

You do good work, and I think all of us are frustrated.

I give you lots of credit, because in my business, people don't often answer for their mistakes. A small two-line correction is printed at the bottom of the page and everyone moves on.

No worries, man. Keep up the good work.