OT - Rosenberg to SI...Deservedly?

Submitted by jmdblue on May 18th, 2012 at 12:58 PM

This is not meant to start a war about RR and/or LC and I don't suspect it will....still....

I read Rosenberg's fairwell piece today and it was Rosenberg all the way: a little false modesty, a little too much Mitch, and a lot of decent, crisp prose. 

Rosenberg has effectively been spreading his tentacles across media outlets for a long time, and his de facto promotion doesn't come as a huge shock.  To what extent did his hit job on our program get him about the plummest job there is for a sports writer?   He knew the shots he took at Michigan were illegitimate.  My guess is that his misrepresentations were a deliberate decision he made to further his career.  It worked.  

Sad.

Comments

JCV16

May 18th, 2012 at 1:08 PM ^

No question about it.  He needed to break a big story to make the move, and he did, facts be damned.  Utterly revolting.

stetgor

May 18th, 2012 at 1:08 PM ^

jmdblue, I appreciate your honest effort at an evaluation.  I can't do the same.  I've disliked this guy from the beginning (way before the M piece) simply because he comes across as very amateur-ish.  The M piece was just the icing on the cake.  Does he deserve to go to SI?  Who knows.  I'm just glad he's going anywhere.

Erik_in_Dayton

May 18th, 2012 at 1:11 PM ^

Sports writers are a kind of rude and brainless sub-culture of fascist drunks whose only real function is to publicize & sell whatever the sports editor sends them out to cover. . . Which is a nice way to make a living, because it keeps a man busy and requires no thought at all. The two keys to success as a sports writer are: (1) A blind willingness to believe anything you’re told by the coaches, flaks, hustlers, and other “official spokesman” for the team-owners who provide the free booze . . . and: (2) A Roget’s Thesaurus, in order to avoid using the same verbs and adjectives twice in the same paragraph. Even a sports editor, for instance, might notice something wrong with a lead that said, “The precision-jackhammer attack of the Miami Dolphins stomped the balls off the Washington Redskins today by stomping and hammering with one precise jack-thrust after another up the middle, mixed with pinpoint-precision passes into the flat and numerous hammer-jack stomps around both ends… (Fear and Loathing: On the Campaing Trail ’72).

My point being: there really is no top of the ladder in sports journalism, so I wouldn't worry about Rosenberg going to SI. 

Needs

May 18th, 2012 at 2:16 PM ^

 

It's always fun to read Thompson, but for what its worth, he was describing a world of journalists that had already largely disappeared or at least lost credibility at the moment he wrote, ie, the journalists who traveled with the team and wrote the daily game recaps. His portrait might have been true when Thompson last worked at newspapers in the early 1960s, but they started to get displaced in the early 1960s by a new generation of writers who worked for the afternoon papers.

Since they wrote once everyone knew the score, they had to invent new angles, which were largely based off not believing everything they were told by the official spokesmen, and delving into the hidden story behind what went on in the field. ie they were much the same as Thompson, minus his participant-observer, new journalism, stance. It's that tradition that people like Rosenberg (and Albom and almost all sports columnists) come out of.

(There's also at the same time, an embrace of long-form journalism about sports that early 60s SI and Esquire are a part of, whose development leads to grantland).

which had an excellent profile of that generation of sportswriters a few weeks ago...

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7878532/larry-merchant-leonard-shecter-chipmunks-sportswriting-clan

Erik_in_Dayton

May 18th, 2012 at 2:18 PM ^

I like the second part the best anyway...FWIW, it seems to me that Rosenberg comes from the school of being cynical about things to the point of being just as inaccurate as the old guard who took everything the coach said at face value.  I want to yell "Why did you choose to write about football for a living?!" every time I hear a journalist from the Rosenberg school get that "you know, football really isn't that important" tone to his or her voice. 

chunkums

May 18th, 2012 at 1:14 PM ^

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Thus I conclude, FART FART FART FART FART FART FART FART FART FART FART FART FART FARTFART FART FART FART FART FART FARTFART FART FART FART FART FART FARTFART FART FART FART FART FART FARTFART FART FART FART FART FART FARTFART FART FART FART FART FART FARTFART FART FART FART FART FART FARTFART FART FART FART FART FART FARTFART FART FART FART FART FART FARTFART FART FART FART FART FART FARTFART FART FART FART FART FART FARTFART FART FART FART FART FART FARTFART FART FART FART FART FART FARTFART FART FART FART FART FART FARTFART FART FART FART FART FART FARTFART FART FART FART FART FART FARTFART FART FART FART FART FART FARTFART FART FART FART FART FART FARTFART FART FART FART FART FART FARTFART FART FART FART FART FART FARTFART FART FART FART FART FART FARTFART FART FART FART FART FART FARTFART FART FART FART FART FART FART.

 

-Section 2

BlueinGR

May 19th, 2012 at 12:27 AM ^

Don't mean to quibble, but aequeosalinocalcalinoce raceoaluminosocupreovitriolic?  (Apparently) Not making this up . . .

http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060905142000AAtMY4B

According to the internets, which are never wrong, the longest word in the english language?

 

. . . 

Methionylglutamin ylarginyltyrosylglu tamylserylleucylphenyl-
alanylalanylgluta minylleucyllysylgluta mylarginy llysyglutamyl-
gycylalanyl phenylalanylvalylp rolylphe nylalanylvaly lthreonyl-
leucylglycylaspa rtylprolylglyc yllisoleucylglu tamylglutaminyl -
serylleu cyllysylisoleu cylaspartylthr eonylleu cylisoleucyl- 
glutamylalan ylglycylalany laspartylala nylleucylgluta mylleucyl-
glycylis oleucylprol ylphe nylalan ylseryla spartylp rolylle ucyl-
alanylaspart ylglycylprol ylthreonylisoleucylgluta minylasparagin yl-
alanylt hreonylleucylargin ylalanylphenylalany lalanylalanyl-
gl ycylvalylth reonylprolylal anylglutaminylc ysteinylpheny lalanyl-
glutamyl methionylleucylal anylleucylisoleucyl arginylgluta minyl-
lysylhist idylprolylthreonyli soleucylprolylisoleucyl glycylleucyl-
leucylmethiony ltyrosylalanylaspa raginylleucylvalylphe nylalanyl-
asparaginyll ysylglycylisoleucylasp artylglutamylphenylalanyl-
tyr osylalanylglutaminylcystei nylglutamyllysylvalylgly cylvalyl-
aspartylsrylva lylleucylvalylalanyla spartylvalylprolylval yl-
glutaminyl gluta mylserylalanylpr ol ylphenylalanyla rginylglu taminyl-
alanyl alanylleucylar ginylhistidylasparag inylvalylalanyl -
prolylisol eucylphenylal anylisoleucylcystei nylprolylprolylas partyl-
alanylas partylaspartylaspartyl leucylleucylargin ylglutaminyl-
i soleucyla lanylseryltyrosylgl ycylarginylglycyl tyrosylthreonyl- 
tyrosylleuc ylleucylserylarginy lalanylglycylvalylth reonylglycyl-
alanylgl utamylasparag inylarginylalany lalanylleucyll eucyllysyl-
glu tamyltyrosyl asparaginylala nylalanylprolylpro lylleucylglutaminyl-
gly cylphenylalanylgly sylisoleucylserylal anylprolylaspa rtylglutaminyl -
valyllysyl alanylalanylisole ucylaspartylalanyl glycylalanylalan yl-
glycylalanyli soleucylserylglycyl serylalanylisoleuc ylvaly llysylisoleu cyl-
isoleuc ylglutamylgl utaminylhis tidylasparagin ylisoleucylglu tamyl-
proly lglutamyll ysylmethionylle ucylalanyl alanylleucylly sylvalylphenyl -
alanylval ylglutaminylproly lmethionyllysyl alanylalanylthreon ylarginy-
lserine.

 

Seriously (I think).

LB

May 18th, 2012 at 1:16 PM ^

Hah, made it!

I don't know how "it" was viewed by the ESPN folks, but I doubt it hurt him, and it may very well have been the hit piece that elevated him in their view.

Every time he makes an error, I hope his past will come up. Don't forget to read the negative Amazon reviews garnered by "War As They Knew It". I'll leave the wishes for his future to Section 1, I'm not going to try to compete with a pro.

bjk

May 18th, 2012 at 4:22 PM ^

until I googled it. It is here (actually, "Messner's relief"), under "The most helpful favorable review." (Brilliant for someone to get this to the head of the line for "favorable reviews.")

My google search first lead me to this article; apparently the author was unaware of any of the stages in Rosenberg [MR]'s apotheosis to the pantheon of sports writers. He writes as an MSU fan, without pleasure, about the weeks during which MR was exiled by the Freep to write about MSU:

The Free Press was cowardly throughout this entire process, quickly pushing Rosenberg off on Michigan State in the first weeks of the 2009 football season. Michigan fans were furious and would never have been responsive to a Rosenberg column. Although, I suppose you could consider death threats to be, “responsive”.

My fan base was stuck with the guy’s embarrassing attempts at humor for at least a month. The transparent shielding of this loser was shameful. I did not even bother reading any of the columns; Rosenberg’s writing makes people want to either shake their head or fire a bullet into it.

Section 1

May 18th, 2012 at 5:15 PM ^

I find nothing objectionable about your post; it's a fine one.

But about "death threats..."

Free Press Publisher Paul Anger tried to make a big deal about it in a column on the Sunday after the August 30, 2009 front-page story.  I don't think anyone made any "death threats."  What the publisher did, was to quote a couple of stray anonymous e-mails and/or comments on Freep.com in which random crackpots had said that they wished/hoped Rosenberg would die.

I'm not aware of anybody having made, nor the Freep staff having recieved, a single credible "death threat."

The biggest overreaction was on the part of Paul Anger, putting some crackpot e-mails into print on the editorial pages of the state's largest-circulatoin newspaper, simply to portray Rosenberg and Snyder as innocent victims.  (It was the same column in which Anger lied about the circumstances of their reporting.)

bjk

May 19th, 2012 at 1:43 AM ^

this was tongue-in-cheek:

[Michigan fans] would never have been responsive to a Rosenberg column. Although, I suppose you could consider death threats to be, “responsive”.

As you can see, the adjective "responsive" is partnered with the subjunctive "would," referring to the counter-factual condition if MR had continued to write columns about UM after the hit piece.

The whole article is very sympathetic, after an initial profession of hostility-on-principal to UM. The author travels the same ground as Jon Chait in 2009:

The fact that Rosenberg’s column was absolute garbage is not my greatest concern. Even if it involved a legitimate story worthy of pursuing, he had no business being the one to investigate and deliver the story to the public. Why? Because he had demonstrated to colleagues and affiliates of the University of Michigan football program that he had a strong personal dislike for Rodriguez. THAT is the major issue here.

And arrives at this conclusion:

I will be rooting against Rosenberg so long as he holds the title of “journalist”. I have enough issues with Sam Bernstein making my future degree in law seem despicable. I don’t need Rosenberg staining my undergraduate degree as well.

Worthwhile retread of the territory we have all come to know, despite the misplaced comma in the quotation above (it is only an extended tweet, after all).

Section 1

May 18th, 2012 at 1:26 PM ^

Perhaps the one true thing ever to pass Drew Sharp's lips.

What Sharp said about the Stretchgate story, back in the fall of 2009.  Remembering that Sharp had nothing to do with the original story (it was just Rosenberg and Snyder, later with involvement of the [real] investigative reporter Jim Schaefer after the damage was done and the Freep recognized what a mess had been caused by allowing Rosenberg to role-play as investigative reporter)...

Sharp said that it was "the most toxic story" he could recall in his entire career at the Free Press, and it was not limited to sports reporting.  It was the most toxic thing he could ever recall at the paper.  And while Sharp didn't spell it out, I don't think he was simply talking about loyal Michigan fans crying about how it went against their team.  It was the professional criticism, the allegations of journalism ethical lapses, the bitter response from the principals in the story, the complications with Clemons' dubious 'anonymity,' the new arena of withering public criticism on blogs; all of that.

If that is what was underlying Sharp's comment, he was (amazingly) correct.

bronxblue

May 18th, 2012 at 1:43 PM ^

He was a local reporter looking for a big story - that's fine.  We get exposes on everything because someone is willing to challenge the status quo.  My issue with him was that once he started looking and didn't find what he expected, he massaged the truth such that controversy engulfed the program for years and hastened the departure of the head coach and added to the turmoil already being experienced by the staff and players.  So no, I don't think he's the worst person in the world, but I also see him as symbolic of a dying industry trying its best to stay alive through increasingly-sensationalistic tendencies.  He'll be fine at SI; he won't be anything special or produce anything above average content, but that is probably enough for him to keep his job.

evenyoubrutus

May 18th, 2012 at 1:53 PM ^

I read "Rosenberg has effectively been spreading his tentacles across media outlets for a long time"

as

"Rosenberg has effectively been spreading his testicles across media outlets for a long time"

that's pretty much all I have to say.

Tauro

May 18th, 2012 at 1:55 PM ^

Is SI really the 'plummest' job still?  I mean, by reputation, sure, but I cannot remember the last time I looked at SI for anything significant.

MileHighWolverine

May 18th, 2012 at 2:05 PM ^

No, not deservedly at all. He misrepresented the facts of a major story that ended up with Michigan getting sanctioned by the NCAA, the coaching transfer turmoil being ratcheted up to level 11 and all so he could personally gain.

He lied and it could have cost us huge - thankfully it didn't.

Usually when you lie on the job you get fired. That's what he deserves.

bluenyc

May 18th, 2012 at 2:23 PM ^

I hate the man.  He may have talent, but just lacked overall intergrity by writing the article.  I just wonder why so many reporters have praised him.  Many, I wont mention who, have praised him on twitter, not your normal, happy for a someone, but out right said he is the nicest guy and he is a great reporter stuff.  More than your normal happy he is gone sayings. 

Some people like him, I would like to know why.  I have never understood this.

Section 1

May 18th, 2012 at 2:49 PM ^

I am completely serious.

I truly believe that there is but one reason that Rosenberg won the votes of his colleagues as the Co-winner of the Michigan Sportswriter of the Year in 2010 and why Snyder won it in 2011.  Because based on their writing in each respective year, there wasn't much of a reason. 

The reason for their awards, I am convinced, was because those years were when they were each facing harsh criticism, and particularly so from the blogs.  Or, as Mark Snyder calls them, "the competition."  And their print-media colleagues rallied 'round, and gave them the awards.

Arguably, before Stretchgate, Rosenberg might have won the award after having published "War As They Knew It."  I might have even voted for him had I paid 40 bucks to join the Association!  But in 2010, what had Rosenberg done?  His Free Press column, and his SI contract-work.   It gets a whole lot weirder, with Snyder in 2011.  What did Mark Snyder do in 2011, apart from routine day-to-day work as the Freep beat-writer for Michigan sports?

There are a lot of sports writers who have reason to hate the blogs and "the competion," including some old guys who have been leaders in the Association that votes on the award.  Lynn Henning is one who comes immediately to mind.

I imagine the Michigan Sportswriter of the Year Trophy as a raised middle finger, aimed at "the competition."

bluenyc

May 18th, 2012 at 3:04 PM ^

From my experience, if you dont like the way a person does a job, there is no need for false praise.  When I get called for references by people looking for a job, if it is someone that never impressed me or my co-workers, I have the standard he was a good person, did well at his job and that's it. 

I saw other reporters, write, he is tremendous, best sportswriter ever.  Better person in life than at work.  All these supposedly false praises.  These were above and beyond.  It was like he never did an attack article and never misconstrued the facts.  Some of the praise gave me time to rethink who i followed that if these people were of sound judgement if they really feel this way about the man. 

SFBlue

May 18th, 2012 at 2:35 PM ^

Rosenberg is a better writer than 99.9% of sports journalists.  If not for the "Jihad," this would not even be a debate. 

Section 1

May 18th, 2012 at 2:57 PM ^

I think Rosenberg is a passable local columnist.  I think War As They Knew It (which I awarded 1-star at Amazon) is actually a fine book.

But I also think that his August, 2009 debacle was malicious, inexcusable, contrived, deceptive and unethical.

99.9% of sports journalists have never done such a thing in their careers.