NYT Slams Harbaugh for SF roster decisions; says he "skedaddled" to Michigan

Submitted by Don on October 27th, 2015 at 2:02 PM

Buried in his Monday Morning QB article at the NYT, Gregg Easterbrook opines thusly:

"Two years ago, T.M.Q. took a lot of heat from San Francisco fans — who at the time actually were San Francisco fans — for saying Colin Kaepernick couldn’t run a pro-style offense and is prone to “sailing the ball where no receiver awaits.” Repeatedly in the contested portion of the Seahawks contest, Kaepernick sailed the ball beyond anyone’s reach. Adjusting for sacks and scrambles, Kaepernick dropped back to pass 30 times for a net of 81 yards gained, an awful 2.7 yards per dropback. Trying to convert Kaepernick into a pro-style pocket passer simply hasn’t worked. The Niners either should employ him as a college-style running quarterback, or switch to Blaine Gabbert."

"It hasn’t helped that Santa Clara sank a bundle of high draft choices into wide receivers Michael Crabtree, A.J. Jenkins and Stevie Johnson, none of whom remain with the team. The Niners’ 2012 draft ranks among the all-time woofers. Jenkins and LaMichael James, selected in the first and second rounds, already are O.O.F. — Out of Football. No one else from that draft remains with the franchise."

"Jim Harbaugh arrived at the Niners in 2010, with the team on a talent upswing — NaVorro Bowman, Anthony Davis, Frank Gore, Mike Iupati, Joe Staley, Patrick Willis, others. Harbaugh took the credit for a few good seasons, then skedaddled as the impact of player personnel decisions with which he concurred, including the 2012 draft, became apparent. Getting out of town before people realize what you’ve done to the team — Harbaugh heading to Michigan, Pete Carroll fleeing U.S.C. in 2010 — is essential for many megabucks coaches."

In response, all I can say is, WTF?


Edit: Easterbrook's main point is that Harbaugh endorsed the player personnel decisions made in the 2012 draft; after LaMichael James was released in September 2014, only OG Joe Looney was left from the '12 draft. I don't know enough about the situation in the 49ers front office back then—is it true that Harbaugh was on board with the draft choices, or was he handed the picks against his own better judgement? Out of all the criticisms leveled against JH, this is the first time I've heard anybody argue that he's a lousy judge of talent.



October 27th, 2015 at 2:05 PM ^

Teams normally have a talent upsurge from high draft choices when they have been miserably inept since the discovery of dirt. Somehow, until Harbaugh showed up, no one was able to coach them.  I thought Harbaugh's departure came as a result of a management decision.


October 27th, 2015 at 3:46 PM ^


It also gets lost that many key Democrats, including presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry, all were in favor of the war, Miller pointed out, and it gets forgotten that Hussein and Iraq were a threat.


Maybe they were just reading the NY Times?


October 27th, 2015 at 3:22 PM ^

Yes, they were not stellar there, but neither was anyone else. Indeed, it wasn't just media people who got snowed, but the entire political system (both side of the aisle voted for that war en masse, as I recall). Colin Powell - one of the more trustworthy politicians, so I once believed - got up and either had been deceived or lied to the entire world before the UN. It was not a great time. But if we reject every newspaper that didn't do a good job on pre-war Iraq reporting, we will be left without newspapers.



October 27th, 2015 at 3:58 PM ^

"we will be left without newspapers."

Is that such a bad thing?  The mass market media is controlled and manipulated by the government and acts as a mouthpiece for their corporate owners.  Trusting the media to tell the truth and not to sell a story is extremely dangerous.  The media and the political elite are in cahoots.  That cabal manipulates every piece of "news" that will be released and focused on by the US media.  

Newspaper have two uses: kindling and they make a good lining for pets' cages.

"There aren't numerous US mass media news sources at all; there are just five. Five giant corporations control 90 percent of US mass media. And direct links connect all five of these media conglomerates to the political establishment and the economic and political power-elites of the United States.  These five conglomerates are Time Warner, Disney, Murdochs' News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS). Their control spans most of the newspapers, magazines, books, radio and TV stations, movie studios, and much of the web news content of the United States. These conglomerates are in large measure responsible for inculcating the social, political, economic, and moral values of both adults and children in the United States."



Noam Chomsky's take on the issue is especially pertinent:



October 27th, 2015 at 4:45 PM ^

And I am a libertarian to the nth degree (within a rational scope and on matters which libertarian beliefs can be effectively applied).  Unlike the storyline the media and poltical elites would like us to believe, political views are not dichotomic.  Political views overlap and those with competing views who are members of different political parties CAN work together.  The political "conflicts" in this country are manufactured.  Look at the big corporate donors to any presidential candidate.  They are the SAME.  Politicians all have the same masters.  Whether the politicians are serving the defense industry or serving the healthcare insurance industry, they will be serving someone - and that someone is NOT the general American populace.  


October 28th, 2015 at 11:13 AM ^

It's kind of funny you should mention that.  While I agree with your comments regarding the NYT no longer being a great establishment, they did recently publish an article regarding just how much the elites and monied-interests have aligned themselves with both parties.  



October 27th, 2015 at 9:10 PM ^

It's pretty hard to believe that a "flaming liberal" would find the quality of the NYT's international reporting to be unmatched.  The NYT is essentially a CIA asset that distributes false pro-war, pro-globalization right-wing propaganda on international issues on behalf of global banking interests and the military industry.  The "facts" they report are continually debunked by independent media, which has led to increasingly frequent retractions and apologies from the "newspaper of record."


October 27th, 2015 at 7:36 PM ^

You may disagree with him all you want, but Noam Chomsky is the foremost linguist of the 20th century and one of the most cited academics ever.  Hardly an "imbecile" or "flaming moron."

Your claim that Chomsky is an anti-Semite is absurd.  He is a critic of Zionist extremism, yes, but conflating that with anti-Semitism would be like equating criticism of the KKK with being anti-Christian.


October 27th, 2015 at 7:32 PM ^

Most of the reporters are decent human beings and not all are just puppets of the corporations. I can quote many instances, but that is only going to start a political war with you. You seem to think that since corporations control newspapers, who cares if they exist or not. The issue is not the death of the newspaper, but the death of the honest NEWS. If corporations control media, they can control every damn thing on the internet also. Then there will be literally no honest NEWS on the net and I am not a believer in that kind of conspiracy.


October 27th, 2015 at 7:50 PM ^

I think what's mostly happened is that good journalism has migrated away from the large news bureaus of the past and into niche publications, blogs, and other nontraditional media.  I think that happened largely because the big news corporations have increasingly prioritized infotainment, shock jocking, and other junk jouralism (that is perceived to sell adverising) over  boring hard news.  I don't think there was any "conspiracy" or anything like that, I just think it was the natural effect of allowing the marketplace to completely dictate what gets reported.


October 27th, 2015 at 8:21 PM ^

That is a pretty good explanation and a natural progression of marketplace. I just couldn't accept that everything is a conspiracy by the government and corporations. I still believe there are many decent reporters out there. The blog we are using is a good example and does not always, if ever, follow the partylines of ESPN and other major sports news outlets.


October 27th, 2015 at 8:57 PM ^

I believe there are 6 major players controlling nearly 90% of all U.S. media, written and watched.

Time Warner, Walt Disney, Viacom, News Corp, NBC and CBS.

If that is in fact the case, it's not too far out of the realm of possibility that certain agendas can and are being pushed/controlled/manipulated. Those are all major corporations that have some sort of influence or control of what we are watching or reading. I agree the issue is the death of honest news. Unfortunately (my opinion only), it's at the wake stage on its way to burial.


October 28th, 2015 at 1:12 PM ^

I find this statement particularly dubious:

"These conglomerates are in large measure responsible for inculcating the social, political, economic, and moral values of both adults and children in the United States"


I would argue that most economic elites favor an agenda associated with free market economics, lower spending on entitlements like Social Security and Medicare along more liberal policies on immigration and social issues like same sex marriage.  They haven't competely "inculcated" the country with these positions.


Also, the media may be less and less independent but you still see articles critical of powerful corporations like Amazon and Wal Mart.


October 27th, 2015 at 4:41 PM ^

In hindsight it was, of course--knowing what we all know now. But at the time, almost everyone, on BOTH sides of that war, believed the WMD story because it has been true (chemical weapons) in the past. Even the very few people that voted against the war authorization back then believed that he had those weapons, they were simply against going to war over it.  Try going back and researching the articles back then--its hard to even find diehard opinion articles that didn't believe in the possibility of WMD. Lastly, the NYT was using sources from the intelligence agencies, who themselves believed that he had WMD. All of the critisism today is backseat driving, both the tinfoil hat consiracy theorists who believed it was lie and the people who cirticize the Times and others for their reporting then.


October 28th, 2015 at 2:43 PM ^

speculation as if it was true is not investigative reporting, even if there is overwhelming political pressure to conform to mob mentality. That is why the press was once thought of as a safeguard against bad governance, which it no longer is.

Your "tinfoil hat conspiracy theorists" were 100% right, as they were with the 1953 Iran coup d'etat, the 1973 Chile coup and the 1954 Guatemala coup, and about a million other things for which you will never forgive them.

Sometimes telling the truth requires courage as well as smarts.


October 27th, 2015 at 5:11 PM ^

This is a fair question and I probably should not have said "so much of their work". For me, it's personal. I work at Amazon. The amazon.com hit piece they wrote was painfully dishonest and 100% different than my experience over many years here. The way they represented the value of what we do here and belittled the hard work of 1000s of people by quoting a source who was fired for falsifying reports was just shoddy research. I'm pretty close to what went down and it was shady. If any of their other work is similarly executed, I have 0 respect for it. That, and this article is so stupid, I'm surprised drew sharp didn't write it.