Yes, I’m getting to this a bit late — I’m about to get to a lot of things a bit late — but I want to make one last comment about the whole Schilling/bloody sock imbroglio. In his always entertaining, usually insightful blog, Schilling couldn’t help but use his brush to paint reporters with some broad strokes. “If you havenâ€šÃ„Ã´t figured it out by now, working in the media is a pretty nice gig,â€šÃ„Ã´â€šÃ„Ã´ he wrote. “Barring outright plagiarism or committing a crime, you donâ€šÃ„Ã´t have to be accountable if you donâ€šÃ„Ã´t want to. You can say what you want when you want and you donâ€šÃ„Ã´t really have to answer to anyone.”
This shows, more than anything that a) Curt would do well to do what I try to do when I get really upset: write down the first thing that pops into my head and then throw it away (I’m not always as successful as I might like) and b) he has very little understanding of the media.
There definitely are reporters that seem to have a questionable relationship with reality, just as there are those reporters who appear to use their columns to grind their assorted axes — I’ve been railing on Murray Chass for both of these sins for some time now. There are also those situations, and they seem to occur more frequently in the sports pages, where accountability is lacking. (Anyone remember when Jayson Stark said the Kenny Rodgers-Dirtgate controversy would rival steroids?)
But for the most part, there’s an enormous amount of accountability in the media — more so, I might add, then in the world of professional athletes, whose whims are catered by any number of people. (The whole media accountability thing is a subject I know something about.) And working in the media is, more often than not, not a pretty nice gig. Take baseball beat writers. Their hours suck: 3pm to midnight. Their people they cover (and are surrounded by) view them as annoyances…or worse. They’re fed an endless diet of stunningly unappetizing food and spend countless days crammed into coach and countless nights in crappy hotels. They make a couple of trips to Cincinnati (or Arlington, or Kansas City, or Detroit) every year. And their audience either thinks they’re supercilious pricks or pathetic suck ups.
All this for the privilege of working in an industry that looks to be in a death spiral. Oh, and earning about 140 times less per year than people like Curt Schilling. If they’re lucky.
Can reporters screw up? Of course. Can they be unscrupulous? Absolutely. Are they ever careless with the facts? Well, duh. But Curt’s blanket statement is about as accurate as saying my saying that working as a professional baseball player is a pretty nice gig because you get paid tens of millions of dollars to shoot up with ‘roids.