I sympathize with his frustration…but come on

May 2nd, 2007 → 11:26 am @ // 2 Comments

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 haven’t figured it out by now, working in the media is a pretty nice gig,’’ he wrote. “Barring outright plagiarism or committing a crime, you don’t have to be accountable if you don’t want to. You can say what you want when you want and you don’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.


Post Categories: 2004 Playoffs & Broadcasting & Curt Schilling

2 Comments → “I sympathize with his frustration…but come on”


  1. Madwoman

    10 years ago

    Yeah, the backlash against Gary Thorne has been just terrible..hard to see how he is living through it.

    And you’re going to have to try a lot harder to make following a team around, watching them play games and then writing about it, sound like a bad job. Especially when you don’t have to write accurately to keep that job…off the top of my head, I’m thinking of CHB’s wildly wrong predictions in the 2004 playoffs (the Sox are toast), 2005 season (the Sox have a lock on the division) and last year’s AFC title game.

    Anyway, from reading the entire blog entry, I’m not sure how many of Schilling’s comments were directed toward the media as a whole and how many were meant for the “subset” of the media he addressed in the second paragraph. He’s been pretty consistent about mentioning that there are good people in the media everytime he goes off on what he considers the bad ones.

    Oh, and why the big slam at Cincinnati? It’s not so bad here.

    Good point — about Cincinnati. Some of my favorite cousins are from there.
    — Seth

    Reply

  2. JitteryMcFrog

    10 years ago

    I agree that Curt’s characterization of the media is overbroad and unfair…but come on. Your portrait of the sports media doesn’t exactly help matters. For example:

    “[Baseball beat writers] spend countless days crammed into coach and countless nights in crappy hotels.” If you think having to fly coach disqualifies your job from being a pretty nice gig, then you might actually have a pretty nice gig.

    “Their hours suck: 3pm to midnight.” Please.

    “They make a couple of trips to Cincinnati (or Arlington, or Kansas City, or Detroit) every year.” You mean they don’t like every single one of the places they travel to? How horrible! I realize that there’s some levity in your remark, but if you can make that kind of joke, you might actually have a pretty nice gig.

    “And their audience either thinks they’re supercilious pricks or pathetic suck ups.” What’s this about painting in broad strokes? Also, if you get to write/talk about something interesting and have an audience that cares what you write/say, your gig might not be so bad.

    “Oh, and earning about 140 times less per year than people like Curt Schilling. If they’re lucky.” Curt Schilling makes about $13,000,000 per year. 140 times less than that is still about 93 thousand a year.

    “But for the most part, there’s an enormous amount of accountability in the media — more so, I might add, then [sic] in the world of professional athletes…” Dude, there’s more accountability in the world of schoolchildren than in the world of pro athletes. Members of the media, even the sports media, ought to be incommensurably more accountable than guys who play a ball game. This shouldn’t have to be said. Imagine if Schilling criticized doctors for lack of accountability, and imagine listening to a doctor point out how “for the most part” there’s an enormous amount of accountability in the medical profession and how much more accountable doctors are than ball players. Would you be reassured?

    So come on. Schilling’s characterization of the media is hyperbolic and overgeneral, but I don’t think your post is such a good response, either.

    Reply

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