OT: Lazy Journalism 101 (Freep gets punked by RCMB)

Submitted by gebe659 on August 24th, 2011 at 7:42 AM

Yes, I know that everyone here hates both the Freep and the RCMB, but this is funny and sad at the same time.

An RCMB poster created a fake MSU Pro Combat uniform (with the RCMB logo on the helmet) and e-mailed it around as a joke.

Of course, the Freep picked it up and actually ran it as a story on how a "Photo of Spartans' possible Nike Pro Combat uniform circulates."  Just pathetic from the Freep... absolutely pathetic.




August 24th, 2011 at 7:52 AM ^

It's investigative ability like this that makes me impatient for the next Rosenberg and Sharp masterpieces. Each Sunday, when the weekend edition hits the porch, I give her the ads and then stack the Freep on top of the Charmin in the linen closet. This way, we never run out....


August 24th, 2011 at 7:54 AM ^

Yeah .... I really like how descriptive Mr. Journalist is as well .....

"But if it is the one, it does look pretty cool with green, black, bronze and a two-eyed Sparty logo reminiscent of the helmets in the "300" movie."


How many frickin eyes would it have?? Of course it has 2 eyes. I'm pretty sure all Spartans have 2 eyes.


August 24th, 2011 at 8:14 AM ^

It was originally posted on the RCMB Pro Combat thread as a joke. The helmet has the RCMB logo. It was then passed on to a few message boards (like SpartanMag), all of which identified it as a fake immediately.

Of course, the Freep ran it as a story.


August 24th, 2011 at 8:53 AM ^


About half way down the page poster Plate of Shrimp posts a modified uniform without any numbers on it.


Then a few pages later he puts numbers on it.


And then finally after someone says to make the left arm white and right arm green, here's the final product w/ helmet that the Freep posted.



My name ... is Tim

August 24th, 2011 at 8:21 AM ^

I don't know why, but the matter of fact nature of the photo caption got me:

This might be the Nike Pro Combat uniform Michigan State will wear against Michigan, or similar to it. The school says it isn't. / Special to the Free Press

Waters Demos

August 24th, 2011 at 9:15 AM ^

Newspapers are dying, particularly the local ones.  Message boards, among other things, are suffocating them.  A truly democratic development in journalism. 

Perhaps the best model for local "newspapers" in the future is to assemble the most relevent and reliable content from various boards in one place, kind of like huffington post.   At least for certain sections, e.g., the sports section.  But I'm not even sure that that would suffice to save local newspapers as they exist now. 


August 24th, 2011 at 11:06 AM ^

To be fair, they aren't dying at the rate that the MGoCommunity expected them to. I guess it was just rage, but if you read the posts in the days after the PracticeGate story broke, everyone was saying "HAHA YOU'LL BE OUT OF A JOB WITHIN A YEAR!!!".



August 24th, 2011 at 9:52 AM ^

You can get all of your info on the internet now.  On the sports front, bloggers do a better job of covering your favorite teams with "local" (read: biased) coverage.  The national press does a better job of being objective.  

It's almost the same with news.  Liberals have their favorite sources, and conservatives have their favorite news sources.  Local newspapers have an edge on local stories, but even Ann Arbor dot com's "noble experiment" is dying in the lab.  

You can get 24-hour news or 24-hour sports on cable, delivered by smiley, energetic talking heads.  You can get conservative or liberal political content.  

Then, there is writing style.  Most newspapers cling to the traditional style of writing.  Meanwhile, the internet has decreased the average attention span to estimates of somewhere between 10 and 30 seconds.  

The bottom line: if it wasn't for eating in restaurants or occasional coupons, I wouldn't buy a newspaper at all.  Newspapers are broken, and I don't see them "fixing" themselves anytime soon.  

lexus larry

August 24th, 2011 at 10:14 AM ^

And when you mention writing style, looking at the Detroit area sports sections, aside from Tigers game reports, the sections are almost devoid of "news" and filled with columnist-generated feeble attempts to create controversy.  An odd choice of "journalistic" paths, to say the least.  Even the Sunday sports sections are thin on actual reporting and actual news...witness the "blogging" or the "best of comments" used as fodder/filler, large 1/8th page photos, etc.  Very little content for the passionate fan, if any at all.  For the casual reader, more, but nothing of depth or quality.

The Oakland Press Sunday edition seems to fill the bill for our home, plenty of inserts, coupons and they have a few cyclist/hiking/fishing columnists who write to energize, to inspire people to get out and enjoy the world at large.  (Not to mention Gary Graff, whom I find to be a nice read on the music/entertainment scene...another cast-off from the Fr**p...and good for him!)


August 24th, 2011 at 10:16 AM ^

If anything, they are much less objective, because they tend to fall back on outdated information about the programs and even conferences that they don't follow closely enough. There's so much information out there that it's very difficult to take it all in. It's impossible for most analysts at major newpapers and media outlets to be on top of things. In my experience only people like Matt Hinton can really provide national coverage and fairly objective analysis.

Blue in Yarmouth

August 24th, 2011 at 10:34 AM ^

When I was in grade nine (and growing up in general) I wasn't the best behaved kid. I had a teacher ofr a Nova Scotia History class who also happened to be my basketball coach (who I didn't like at all).

Through the course of the year we all became aware of his "know-it-all" attitude and it really began to rub me the wrong way. It bother a few of us so much we decided to play a bit of a prank on him, not knowing if it would work or not.

I thought the best way to do it was to use his know-it-allness against him. We were studying "famous nova scotians"  so I decided we would pick a random guy who lived in our town and say that he made it big as a country singer and wondered why the textbook hadn't mentioned him (also, to make it even funnier the random guy we picked was actually the village idiot, no joke).

So after he got done talking about all the famous Nova Scotians he knew of I ask, "What about Tom Emon (this isn't the name I actually used)?" The teacher asked, "Who is Tom Emon, I never heard of him."

I went on to explain that Tom Emon was a man formerly of our town who was now a famous country singer living in Nashville who has won numerous country music awards (and continued to sweeten the story).

I shared the story with other guys from the basketball team and told them to watch for the teacher bringing him up in the class. By the end of the day not only was our teacher bringing him up on his list, but he grew up with him and they were friends who continued to be in contact to that very day. It was hilarious. 

What made it even better is no one ever told him it was a made up story, so when my brother and his friends (two years younger than we were) went through his class a couple of years later, they told us he was still sharing the Tom Emon stories and when they listed him as an answer to the question "List ten famous people from Nova Scotia" on the exam, they got it right. 

That teacher was my FREEP in those days (as in one of the few things I had no use for and couldn't tolerate even a little bit).