Saturday, November 03, 2007

Chris McCosky doesn't like me

The MSM is at it again, as another columnist rips into the blogosphere, trying to protect his own quickly dying turf.

I was alerted this morning by Bill, of The Detroit Tigers Weblog, that the Detroit News' Pistons beat writer, Chris McCosky, went off on a rant regarding blogs, using the Joel Zumaya story as a leaping off point. Bill's quite thoughtful and measured response to McCosky's tripe can be found here.

Notice something? I just attributed what I "Heard" to both another blog, and to the fish wrap itself, something McCosky claims is rarely the case.

"A lot of times these bloggers use the work of legitimate reporters. They will lift facts and segments of stories and cut and paste them onto their blog. Rarely, if ever, though, do they bother to credit the source."

That's an outright lie. I know I always link to the fish wrap or website where I get my info, and the vast majority of bloggers do also. Bloggers have always been more than willing to share credit and info compared to the MSM. It's bad blogging courtesy to do otherwise, and you will be quickly called out by the blogosphere if you don't. That's also lazy, Rob Parker-like writing, conveniently ignoring those facts in order to make his flawed point.

Ask McCosky, or any other MSM beat writer, where they get info for their “Around the League” style notes and rumor columns. They don’t get it all on their own, trust me. Where’s the attribution to other newspapers and writers? I don’t see it. Never have, and I never will. Pot, please meet kettle.

McCosky seems to be purposely (Or cluelessly) lumping blogs with message boards over the Zumaya story to make his argument credible.

Bloggers are having a field day speculating on how Joel Zumaya really injured his shoulder. Nobody believes a heavy box fell on him. So the Internet is rife with stories about how he fell off his dirt bike.

That's pure bullshit.

Again, he's ignoring the truth. NONE of the Tigers bloggers did any rumormongering over Zumaya's shoulder injury, and how it may have happened. NONE. The bloggers just took Zumaya at his word. Sure, you could easily find the dirt bike rumor on the message boards, but those are a totally different animal, despite what McCosky might believe.

No one can say for sure what may have happened, other than Zumaya, and his family. It's irresponsible to speculate otherwise. But that didn’t stop both of Detroit's sports talk radio stations from talking about the rumor. Where’s his beef with them?

I find this next paragraph laughable.

With blogging and Web sites, it seems the hard work, standards, accountability, courage all of that is bypassed. Who needs to study this stuff, or attend games, or conduct interviews when you can just sit in your basement and clack out whatever comes through your head, right? If I rip somebody, or if I get something wrong, who cares? Nobody will see me.

When you see a column bashing blogs and other alternative media, writers like McCosky come off as offended that they are actually being called out on their opinions. They always go for the "Living in mom's basement while typing in their underwear" stereotype. He's so offended, he goes to the no longer factual or humorous stereotype a second time...

But you do have to know most reporters at legitimate news sources work hard to deliver fair, accurate and pertinent information. And what they do is vastly different than what the clever dude in his pajamas is doing on his computer, down in his basement.

If you are going to take potshots at us, at least try to be funny, and show a little creativity. Then again, when you talk about creativity and newspapers, never the twain shall meet.

In fact, the only supposed advantage McCosky has over most bloggers is access, and if you ask me, that’s often a detriment. Do you really think beat writers pass on to the readers what he's really thinking, or actually knows? Please. He has to censor himself in order to he to keep that so-called Holy Grail called access. Between you and me, I wouldn’t want that access, as it's overrated. I’d have to censor myself in everything I write. I wouldn't be able to call out Matt Millen as a blithering idiot who couldn't run a Pop Warner team, for example. But I digess...

When I say that access is overrated, it's that the athletes themselves are so guarded in their dealings with writers, you get nothing more from them than worthless drivel. When was the last time you ever heard anything other than platitudes come from the mouth of an athlete? For every informative/inflammatory statement a beat writer may get, we get hundreds of "Both teams played hard" style quotes.

McCosky, and the rest of the MSM, are fighting a war that they have already lost, despite the MSM trying to delude themselves in thinking otherwise. The newspapers are dead and dying. It's adapt or die, and the MSM writers are kicking and screaming their way into oblivion. To be honest, I find the writing on many blogs is infinitely more entertaining than what you’ll find in the fish wraps on a daily basis.

It comes down to this. If I want to find out the thoughts of the players after a game, I’ll go to the fish wrap. Even that's no longer necessary, as I can get the AP wire copy, in numerous places around the web, within an hour after the game ends. As it is,the newspaper recaps are redundant. Read what the beat writers from each newspaper write after a game. It's almost interchangeable.

Most readers have watched the game themselves, so they don't need newspaper recaps. They want opinion, not a rehashing of what they've already seen. If I want entertaining, thoughtful, and (Especially) timely opinion, I find myself going to the blogs. That more and more sports fans are doing the same thing scares the Hell out of MSM writers, leading to bash-fests like McCosky's, spewing that bloggers aren't "Journalists."

My reply? When have we ever claimed to be?

If McCosky and his ilk want to rip blogs, go right ahead. Just get your facts straight in regard to how the blogosphere works before you go off half cocked. More importantly, don’t expect bloggers to take it lying down.


  1. I must say, the more I think about it, the more bizarre Zoom's story sounds. I've had shit fall on my shoulder, and I've never had the whole shoulder fall apart like his.

    That being said, if you ever read Freehan's "Behind the Mask", he hurt himself doing something around the house- don't recall what- and a teammate was betting that he actually was riding a snowmobile on his lawn.

    Which was presumably untrue. So bizarre things do happen.

  2. What I take away from columns like this is that the writers are insanely jealous of our pajama wearing.

  3. My blog isn't the type that's ever going to get the MSM's panties in a bunch, but it still riles me when "journalists" take pot shots at us. The reason blogs, especially political or sports blogs, are so popular is that the MSM has done such a shit-ass job of covering and analyzing their fields. Amen to everything you wrote here, especially the access part. I work in TV newsroom and see all the bullshit on a daily basis. I've lost track of how many times management has asked why our web site doesn't get as many hits as some of the more prominent blogs.