Detailed Investigative Report On College Sports Recruiting Violations Dismissed As 'Blog' Story

from the sorta-missing-the-point... dept

We've been pointing out that just because journalism is moving away from print newspapers, it doesn't take away from investigative journalism, at all. In fact, we've seen how there are a number of new online investigative journalism operations that are moving in to pick up the slack. In fact, in the sports realm, it's been pointed out before that the best sports journalists are getting snapped up left and right (for much higher salaries) by the various online entities, and they're still doing tremendous investigative reporting work. Just last week, Dan Wetzel and Adrian Wojnarowski, both well-respected sports writers with pretty long resumes in the field, broke a story about how UConn had violated recruiting rules.

It had everything that a typical investigative report should include. It involved a six-month investigation, and the amount of background and detail is quite impressive. It's exactly what an investigative report should be, even if it was published only online and there were no subscribers who had to "pay" to make it happen. It seems to pretty clearly disprove the idea that the only way to fund investigative journalism is to have it paid for by subscribers. That's never actually been true in the past, but it's even clearer with this story.

Still, perhaps the most ridiculous part of the story, as pointed out by one of our readers, Dave, is that the basketball coach who was implicated for recruiting violations in the story, Jim Calhoun, decided that, rather than respond to the allegations, he could dismiss them entirely because they appeared online only:
It was a newspaper story that ... it wasn't a newspaper, I'm sorry. It was a blog story that appeared, I guess, in something I probably can't get a hold of, which is Yahoo! And very simply my comments are what I said.
So, this guy thinks that since the publishing of an in-depth investigative report happened in an online only source (a) it's obviously "a blog story" (even though it wasn't) and (b) it can be waved off. Of course, now that the story isn't just appearing on "a blog" -- it's appearing in the NY Times and the NY Daily News and the Boston Globe, among many other print newspapers -- maybe he'll admit that perhaps it's an issue?

Investigative reporting is investigative reporting, whether it happens online or in a newspaper. Journalists (and investigation subjects) who ignore that do so at their own peril.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    O'Really, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 11:37am

    No spin zone

    This is what we tell em to say when we want to dismiss the electronic media.

    Seriously, go talk to your mom or grandmother and ask them what they think of blogs.

    Of course, it's easy to reprogram them using the same methods, but the TV is there every day doing undoing your work.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Mark, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 11:43am

    Calhoun's Attitude

    That comment is consistent with Calhoun's attitude about the entire alleged violations. He was interviewed by CBS about the story last weekend and he was extremely dismissive of the charges. He went a bit too far though as UConn had to do some PR spin for his comments during the interview. Wonder if they will do that here too.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 11:48am

    GHOST OF LINCOLN ADVISES OBAMA ON ECONOMIC WAR

    ABRAHAM Lincoln may have been born in a one-room log cabin in Nolin Creek in Kentucky, but now lives in the White House -- again.

    That may sound strange considering that Lincoln was shot by an assassin on April 14, 1865, and died on the morning of April 15. But after a lengthy visit to the Executive Mansion, the Weekly World News White House correspondent has confirmed that the ghost of our beloved 16th President regularly meets with the current Democrats, and even the previous Republican leadership.

    "I've seen him," admits CR, a former high-ranking White House official who now works at the state department. "He's ashy gray and you can sort of see through him, like smoke. He's tall, 6-foot-4 without that stovepipe hat. And that's when he's walking. Sometimes he floats like an angel or he does a kind of breast stroke near the ceiling.

    "For 140 years he only haunted the area around the bedroom that was named after him," our deep throat went on. "But now that's changed -- big time."

    CR tells us that once the economic war began Lincoln's ghost wasn't satisfied with simply drifting in the halls or walking through walls of the private residence and scaring housekeepers. More recently he has been seen coming and going in the Oval Office, sharing his own experiences as a wartime President.

    "I've heard him," says an intern who spoke on condition of anonymity. "Last year, he gave Dick Cheney another mild heart attack and put him in a wheel chair. They say it was because he was lifting boxes, but we all know better."

    "The first time he appeared, last August, he materialized behind President Bush during a meeting with the Vice-President and the Joint Chiefs of Staff last October. Mr. Lincoln stood there with one hand on his lapel and another hand on Bush's shoulder. Since then he has attended every high-level meeting about the economic crisis."

    Code-named 'Stealth Abe,' he started with single words, like "no" and "don't." Now he's moved on to phrases, even whole sentences like, "There's a better way" or "No good will come of this" or "A battalion divided against itself cannot stand."

    But is the late President's message getting though? "Oh yes," said a banker who was at one of the meetings at the White House. "This is the rail splitter. He used to break logs for a living.

    Sometimes Mr. Lincoln shows up with an ax. He threatened to whack anyone who gave him 'sass.' That gave the Veep a second to think about that.

    "I assure you, when Mr. Lincoln speaks, The President listens," Nancy Pelosi revealed. She laughed, "Bush didn't even mind when Stealth Abe misunderstood and called him 'Dummy.' It's taken a while but the former President has begun to understand all the modern names and words that didn't exist in the 19th century. He was very offended the first time someone said a fourletter word in a meeting. He told us he didn't take that from General Grant and he wouldn't tolerate it from us."

    In the months since the general election Lincoln's advice has begun ranging from the economic war to a domestic agenda.

    "If there's one thing the former President had plenty of experience with, it's a nation torn by war," stresses the general. "Like any great leader he obviously wants to share the breadth of his experience to help the country he held together and loved so much." CR tells Blogtime, that while Mr. Lincoln's visits have been a surprise, the Great Emancipator has also received a few shocks.

    "He didn't realize his birthday is a national holiday and doesn't mind sharing it with George Washington," CR says. "He also didn't know he had a 'Memorial.' President Obama sent him out to see it in a limousine. Stealth Abe was very moved. He was also a little scared, since he'd never seen a car, either."

    When asked what the late President sounded like, Pelosi replied: "Well, he sounds like Lincoln. He sounds like you'd think Lincoln would sound after he's been dead for more than a century. It's a soft voice, kind of gravelly. But it's not how he sounds that matters. What's important is what he's saying about the economic crisis: that slavery is bad and freedom is good."

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Stephen S. Power, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 12:02pm

    calhoun is a yahoo

    he dismisses yahoo, one of the top ten most visited sites, as just a blog? what a moron. i think he's getting a quick lesson in yahoo's reach.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Rebel Freek, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 12:12pm

    Re: GHOST OF LINCOLN ADVISES OBAMA ON ECONOMIC WAR

    Wait.... WTF....

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    jsut, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 12:16pm

    Don't worry about that one Rebel Freek, it only appeared online.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Yakko Warner, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Calhoun's Attitude

    Indeed, I'm not sure his dismissal had anything to do with the fact that it was online; it sounded like he was in the middle of dismissing it as a newspaper article and just corrected himself to say "not a newspaper, an online news source". Except his words show his level of "out-of-touch-ness", as if he said "I read The Yahoo on the internets for my news".

    I think Mike might be reading a little too much into this. Or I might be. Who knows?

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 12:47pm

    "...it's been pointed out before that the best sports journalists are getting snapped up left and right (for much higher salaries)..."

    A typical bloggers fact : no actual evidence, and against all common sense since ! it implies that somehow the "much higher" salaries only become available after news papers hit trouble, even Masnick economics should tell you that the more journalists become available the lower the price !.

    "We've been pointing out that just because journalism is moving away from print newspapers, it doesn't take away from investigative journalism..."

    As is increasingly common the Masnicks misunderstand the issue; the investigative journalists don't disappear, but are increasingly employed by organizations which have a particular agenda to promote - there are lots of word for what results but none of them are "journalism".

     

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  9.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Mar 31st, 2009 @ 2:19pm

    Re:

    A typical bloggers fact : no actual evidence, and against all common sense since ! it implies that somehow the "much higher" salaries only become available after news papers hit trouble, even Masnick economics should tell you that the more journalists become available the lower the price !.

    I'm not sure why you keep coming here and making personal attacks on me, but, if you must, at least get your facts straight. You claim it was "a typical blogger fact" despite the fact that if you followed the links, the info is from a NY Times article.

    As is increasingly common the Masnicks misunderstand the issue; the investigative journalists don't disappear, but are increasingly employed by organizations which have a particular agenda to promote - there are lots of word for what results but none of them are "journalism".

    I see. So, Yahoo investigating these recruiting improprieties is not journalism?

    Fascinating.

    You always post anonymously. Why? Considering that you seem to always accuse me of things incorrectly, perhaps it's no surprise. But if you're so upset with me, why not identify yourself?

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 3:51pm

    In the end, this just plays to a point I have made here in the past: Few people truly trust "online" journalism, at least not in the same way that they would trust a newspaper, a TV news channel, or a magazine. Mr Calhoun is just playing to that public perception rather than address the charges.

    Is the story true and valid? Probably. But the internet is also filled with "Obama is a Muslim without a birth certificate in the US" and such, so people tend to take it all with a massive grain of salt. It's very easy to dismiss a website when so many people are already dismissing them mentally to start with.

    Same story in Sports Illustrated or on CNN would be deadly.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Norm, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 4:05pm

    Re: GHOST OF LINCOLN ADVISES OBAMA ON ECONOMIC WAR

    Hmmm ...

    1. Troll?
    2. Very subtle satire on online investigative reporting? (funny too)
    3. Totally batshit insane?

    I'm going with #3

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold's former #5 fan, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 4:34pm

    Re:

    the investigative journalists don't disappear, but are increasingly employed by organizations which have a particular agenda to promote

    You say that as though they weren't leaving organizations with particular agendas to promote

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Batboy, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 7:11pm

    Re: Re: GHOST OF LINCOLN ADVISES OBAMA ON ECONOMIC WAR

    Me thinks the subtle inclusion of "Weekly Word News" places it firmly in #1 or #2 category.

    Sir, a "Bravo" is in order.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 1st, 2009 @ 11:32am

    Re: Re:

    "...the info is from a NY Times article." Even if we suppose the NY times does say that don't you feel a little guilty at the need to suspend the economic insight you are so proud of ?.

    But if the "experts" tell you whats going on why try to think for your self ... that might mean you have to actually try to find the facts - I mean "facts" as defined prior to the invention of blogging, not your strong point.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    college sports recruiting websites, Jan 4th, 2010 @ 9:26am

    comment

    You know the other two quarterbacks from Georgia haven’t played one down. They may not be good enough to give Georgia the best chance to win. If they were good enough Richt would have started one of them this last season. So Hutson Mason may have as good a chance as any of them to start for Georgia next year. Never say never because no one really knows.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Price Per Head Sportsbook, Aug 11th, 2010 @ 10:39am

    Indeed, I'm not sure his dismissal had anything to do with the fact that it was online; it sounded like he was in the middle of dismissing it as a newspaper article and just corrected himself to say "not a newspaper, an online news source". Except his words show his level of "out-of-touch-ness", as if he said "I read The Yahoo on the internets for my news".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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