Thursday, March 20, 2008

Media Wake Up Call

We received a rather scathing email from a reader about the our site and the Pittsburgh media as a whole:

"How about a story that doesn't glorify the Pittsburgh Steelers?

It's ridiculous that just because a man wears black and gold in our city that he can hide behind the Steel Curtain. Men like James Harrison and Cedrick Wilson disgust me. Even worse is the Pittsburgh media for not uncovering the truth about what slimeballs these guys really are, (i.e., Wilson's alleged drug addiction, having sex with Lindsey Paulat's sister - which is what sources say set her off the day she snapped?)

Don't wanna piss off the Rooneys now, do we?"

The reader is right. We failed to mention both James Harrison's and, now ex-Steeler, Cedrick Wilson's assault charges. I would find it rather difficult to piss off the Rooneys, they've always seemed to have a level-headed nature about them, but I can tell you thats not why we didn't write any stories about these incidents. I doubt Mr Rooney knows how to use the internet, let alone stumble upon our site.

Our blog, if you have not noticed, has been a bit short of content of late. I'd love to write articles about spring training, the NCAA tourney, and the Steelers offseason, including these troubles, but sometimes its just not possible due to time issues. Not to mention other blogs and newspapers pretty much have the story covered. What are we going to add to the discussion? We weren't witness to the incidents and the newspapers essentially report what was in the police reports. Its impossible to add new and unique insight without blatent random speculation into something much more real and serious than a football game.

About the coverage from other outlets, I found it to be appropriate for two players accused of something. The Wilson incident seems more clear cut - he hit her in in a restaurant with witnesses present - while the Harrison incident happened in the privacy his of girlfriend's home. But both seem like they are fairly uncomplicated cases, in that I find it difficult to see either enter a plea of not guilty, and I think the traditional media reported everything they could without irresponsible speculation.

The other charges you bring against Wilson, his drug use and infidelity, would make him a slimeball, as you put it. For traditional media, theres a line there that they probably won't cross. If you knew of the drugs and the infidelity, though, someone had to be reporting it. For most blogs, where drunken athlete photos are often the golden ticket to links on Deadspin, these charges seem well within the realm of reporting. While those photos cross the line into a players' personal life, most of the time they are posted with benevolent intentions. Yes, we're laughing at you Mr. Drunken Athlete, but we like the fact that you're human just like us.

What I'm trying to say in this rambling post is that while its appropriate for you to expect us to write something about these stories, just because we don't doesn't mean we are intentionally ignoring them. It could also be due to our tendency to focus on stories that have some sort of humor, and there is nothing funny about what either of these guys did.

The Wilson incident seems to be picking up steam as I write this though, mostly because he was cut. The PG, Mondesi's House, The Trib, and Pro Football Talk all have something on it.


Derek said...

I would really like to know what sort of moral/journalistic standard the readers of this blog hold are expecting from the writers at Doubt About it? I mean, in addressing the recent regrettable instances involved Wilson and Harrison, should we also expect posts about gender and race equality in Pittsburgh sports? Or perhaps a piece on the gentrification of the Hill District by the Penguins would be a hard-hitting story?

The point is, if you want that kind of news, at least I, myself, would consult the PG, the trib, perhaps SI, HBO Real Sports, or Outside the Lines. Paroozing blogs in search of journalistic justice is like searching for a needle in a haystack.

As far as I am concerned, I am ready and waiting for the next sweet video game to be posted so I have something to do after work.

Sam said...

Thanks for the support, Dirkman. Also, congratulations on using the word gentrification in a comment post. With that one word, you probably doubled the journalistic integrity of our site.

The next video game is coming. Not sure when, but as soon as I have time it will be number 1 on the priority list.