An update on those unseemly obsessions

January 10th, 2007 → 11:57 am @ // No Comments

Some interesting comments in response to yesterday’s Chass column that are worth highlighting.

For instance, when one reader (PatsFanDK) wrote in to Chass questioning his Drew columns, Chass (purportedly) responded (after all, I can’t confirm the existence or genuineness of this email exchange), “You might want to reread what I wrote. You obviously think I wrote that the Red Sox tampered with Drew. I did not, though I suspect they did. I wrote that baseball officials and executives of other clubs were talking about their suspicions that the Red Sox tampered. If you know that is a lie, you must be a terrific reporter.”

I’d suggest once again that Chass check out the Times‘s ethic guidelines, in which agendas — especially when sources are granted anonymity — are expected to be highlighted. In Chass’s pieces, they clearly weren’t: there was no explanation of why other GMs might have a vested interest in making the Red Sox look bad, and no indication as to whether any of these GMs or executives had any previous beef with Theo or the Sox. (There also still has not been any explanation of why, if these “suspicions” were so widely discussed, virtually all of the principals have since said, on the record, that they hadn’t heard anything about it until Chass’s piece.)

A little further down, branatical points out something I had missed. Yesterday, Chass wrote that “no one is saying” if Drew had had a second physical since the Sox-administered one that apparently raised some concerns. (Chass dismissingly attributes this to “privacy laws that give general managers and agents an excuse not to talk about a player’s medical condition when they don’t want to talk about it”. Damn privacy laws!) But that “no one” doesn’t include Drew himself — whom Chass has been unable to reach. Way back on December 30, Nick Cafardo was able to get this info. He wroter: “Drew sought and received a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. while Red Sox team physician Dr. Thomas Gill did his own battery of tests when Drew came for a physical in mid-December.” Which seems to indicate that Chass not only is a bad reporter…he doesn’t even bother to read what else has been written about a subject he’s been jawing on about for weeks on end. Or, as branatical says, “If I am Murray Chass and I am a writer for the NY Times, I do Lexis searches and find out (A.) Other reporters in my business have actually spoken to Drew at home and (B.) other reporters have found out the name of the doctor who allegedly did a second examination. Then, I give up on my nonsensical columns about the Red Sox and write more about how Jeter and ARod are planning a trip to Holland in the spring to pick tulips, all in an effort to become close friends again.”

Post Categories: Media ethics & Murray Chass & New York Times

One Comment → “An update on those unseemly obsessions”

  1. […] 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?) […]


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