I don't get HBO. Frankly, I don't have any interest in their original programming. I'm not a boxing fan. I don't think Bill Maher is all that great. And I have this thing in my house called a "DVD player" that allows me to watch the same movies they're showing on HBO, only I don't have to pay $whatever a month and get a bunch of other shows and movies I don't care to watch.
Anyway, that's not the point I'm about to make.
Tuesday night, Bob Costas hosted a roundtable discussion on sports blogging during his creatively named Costas NOW program. The guests were Will Leitch, the brilliant editor of Deadspin; H.G. "Buzz" Bissinger, the author of Friday Night Lights, among other works; and Braylon Edwards, wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns. Why was Edwards on the panel?
(Seriously, why was Edwards there? And has someone checked to make sure he's not in shock after what he sat through?)
Here is the video, posted on The Big Lead:
I'm all in favor of people having their own opinions. It's even okay with me if someone's opinion is misinformed. It's the old saying: The less one knows, the more firmly one believes. If this saying is true, Bissinger is the most ignorant man alive when it comes to sports blogging.
Other takes can be found here, here, here, and here, among other places. I won't bore you with any more shots at Bissinger or his televised idiocy.
However, there is a rather odd irony to Bissinger's appearance. At 1:39 of the video, Bissinger tells Leitch that he feels blogs are "dedicated to journalistic dishonesty".
Bissinger's words were prophetic. A story broke today that is wrought with what I feel is journalistic dishonesty. Even if you don't feel it goes that far, the word "irresponsible" certainly applies.
I don't know about you, but I hate it when blogs start stuff like this.
(A tip of the hat goes to HockeyFights.com for getting the image.)
Oh, wait. You mean that a blog didn't start it? The New York Daily News isn't a blog? What?
We know now that Sean Avery didn't go into cardiac arrest. Somehow, the Daily News screwed up. Royally.
So the Daily News fixed their story, right? Yes.
Did they acknowledge their error? Not so much (if they did, I haven't found it).
The best part about the original Daily News story? They made sure to mention their March report about Avery's alleged ties to prostitution (I mean, you don't even have to imply any allegations of drug use here, because it's so obvious that it's the direction you want this story to go). Play that card for all it's worth, kids.
Where's the outrage, mainstream media? If this story originally appeared on Deadspin, FanHouse, or any of the multitude of sports blogs that can be had on the internet, you can bet your ass that the Daily News and probably every other mainstream outlet in America would have been all over it.
Their words would have been similar to Bissinger's, only not nearly as profane. They would have called bloggers "irresponsible", ranted about how bloggers don't have editors to answer to like "real reporters" do, and how bloggers are just driving down the journalistic standards across America.
If a random guy with a Blogger account is driving down the journalistic standards across America, then what happens when the freaking NEW YORK DAILY NEWS messes up a story as badly as this one, then just gets to pretend it never screwed up in the first place?
Where, Mr. Bissinger, is your outrage today? Where is your statement about the horrific reporting by a major American newspaper?
Perhaps you misplaced it, along with your manners and dignity.
Even though the odds of him reading this are about as high as the odds I'll win Powerball tonight and get to retire to my own private Caribbean island, I thank Will for sitting through that last night and not doing anything stupid. Lord knows what they'd say about bloggers then.
(By the way, in case you're too lazy to click, Avery is okay. He's out for the rest of the season, which might only be one game for the Rangers. But he's expected to make a full recovery.)