Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
February 18, 2009
BASEBALL: Sources Unfiltered

Via David Pinto, why Peter Gammons didn't press A-Rod harder:

"I realized right away that this was the first surefire, by his performance, Hall-of-Famer to admit this," Gammons said, "and therefore I thought keeping him talking, and getting as much as I could out there, was very important. I really felt my first duty was to get his words onto my employer's network."

I like Gammons, but this is a point I have made before about him and how he is similar to political journalists like Bob Novak and David Broder, and for that matter like Woodward and Bernstein. We all sometimes want to see reporters get adversarial with their subjects the way we lawyers do, to be fearless seekers of the truth...and there is something to be said for that style of journalism, but it's also worth remembering that lawyers get to be lawyers because we can use subpoenas to force people to talk to us. Journalists can't, and unless they have a Tim Russert type national perch, their targets are rarely at their mercy. Gammons represents a different type of reporter, the source-greaser; when Gammons tells you something, he's not telling you what he believes, he's relaying something one of his sources wants you to believe. The upside of that is that this kind of reporter gets a lot more access to powerful people; the downside, of course, is fluff interviews and a lot of disinformation, especially when the identity of the source isn't disclosed. You always have to bear in mind which kind of reporter you are reading.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:38 PM | Baseball 2009 • | Politics 2009 | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

So Crank thinks Obama an Anti-Semite for criticizing two Jewish neocons who supported the Iraq war. I wonder what he thinks about the NY Post comparing Obama to a chimpanzee murdered by two police officers on its cover? One person's satire is another person's dog-whistle politics. To paraphrase Crank, we all "know" what the artist was hinting at.

Posted by: robert at February 18, 2009 1:03 PM

Correction, not on the cover but in the storyline.

Posted by: robert at February 18, 2009 1:07 PM

Man, that's one off-topic threadjack.

I wouldn't vote for that Post cartoonist for President, if that's what you are asking.

Posted by: Crank at February 18, 2009 1:14 PM

Wow, talk about nutcases interrupting a discussion on baseball reporting.....[yikes]

I recall the late Skip Caray commenting on a Gammons' 'breaking' story (well over a decade ago, don't recall what it was) & saying that while he liked Gammons & that he seemed a nice fellow, a good 50% of what he reported was either hearsay, rumor or outright bunk. Granted, he said, the other 50% was usually blockbuster news that no one else could get that fast, but it was notable that HALF of what he said was basically useless data thrown into the matrix.

Posted by: RW at February 18, 2009 2:49 PM

All you need to know about the Post cartoon is that Sharpton is trying to use it. I guess he would know about cartoons.

On Gammons et al, it is a two-edged sword. A reporter needs access and someone who always asks the hard questions will soon be frozen out. Once you realize the situation, you can take into account their biases, etc.

Posted by: Magrooder at February 18, 2009 7:45 PM

Gammons is an enabler. He and his ilk knew what was going on but sucked up to players and the baseball establishment to have access and be in the limelight. He and many like him are among the low life fatherless writers who allowed Selig and Fehr to ruin an American institution.

He deserves to be exposed as a huge part of the problem.

Posted by: John at February 18, 2009 10:52 PM

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Posted by: OddsBreakers at February 19, 2009 12:08 AM

I guess I am with Gammons on this one. ARod's own words were damaging enough...no need to be confrontational about it.

People can decide for themselves if they want to swallow his self-justifying excuses about what a naive young kid he was.

Posted by: maguro at February 19, 2009 6:42 PM

Crank,
The cognitive dissonance problem that plagues Conservatives will always lead them to believe post replies are off-topic thread-jacks.

Posted by: Berto at February 22, 2009 7:31 PM
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