CBS Sports Writer Feels It's OK To Issue 'Stealth' Corrections Because It's Just 'The Internet'

from the and-look-where-it's-gotten-you,-Mr.-Heyman----all-over-the-internet dept

It appears that there are still some writers out there who moved from print to an online presence while never having learned to properly “internet.” Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com is one of them. Writing up his baseball Hall of Fame ballot, Heyman botched a few facts about Jack Morris in his push for the pitcher's inclusion, as Craig Calcaterra at NBC Sports pointed out:

Jon Heyman put up his Hall of Fame column this afternoon. For years he has pushed hard for Jack Morris for the Hall. He has long overstated Morris’ merits in my view, but it’s gotten to the point now where he’s simply making crap up:

He was thought good enough to be the ace on teams that had Bert Blyleven and Dave Stewart, and to receive Cy Young votes in seven seasons. I can’t allow his vast accomplishments to be re-evaluated downward by a new emphasis on different numbers.

Jack Morris and Bert Blyleven were never teammates. Jack Morris played one season with Dave Stewart. In that one season — 1993 — Morris was 7-12 with a 6.19 ERA. It’s possible that Heyman is calling Morris the “ace” of that 1993 Jays team because he got the Opening Day start, but he didn’t distinguish himself at all that year, he was out of the rotation by early September and was left off the postseason roster. Some ace.

Poynter followed up on the aftermath of this error, noting that Heyman's reaction to being called out in his fiction was to fix the mistake in the article without calling attention to the correction anywhere on the offending page. When called out on this 'stealth' correction, Jon Heyman responded with his least factual statement yet.

I'm not sure which parts of the internet Heyman is familiar with, but examining this statement (and its off-hand dismissal of the internet as a place beneath common courtesy or respect), I would hazard a guess that Heyman hasn't ventured much further than the pages run by CBS Sports. Andrew Beaujon points out that CBS Sports has failed to issue timely corrections on its website before, most notably its premature announcement that Penn State Joe Paterno had died — a “scoop” it borrowed without attribution from a Penn State student website.

The “internet” that I'm familiar with is full of corrections. Updated posts happen all the time. Tom Hitchner helpfully pointed out a couple of recent corrections to Heyman — one at the New York Times and one at Slate. Here at Techdirt, we update posts whenever clarification or correction is needed, as well as when new information flows in.

Everyone who realizes that the instantaneous give-and-take the internet provides requires this sort of transparency — from the lowliest hobby blogger to the writer who's at least two or three sizes too small for the platform he's been given — lists their corrections, or at the very least runs visible strikethrough. Apparently, Jon Heyman feels the internet is too insignificant to deserve honesty. If this is the attitude he's chosen to project, he doesn't deserve many readers.

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Comments on “CBS Sports Writer Feels It's OK To Issue 'Stealth' Corrections Because It's Just 'The Internet'”

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28 Comments
the old rang (profile) says:

Re: Just sports.

You said:
“I think I would say “it’s just sports reporting” before “it’s just the Internet”….

Sports writers are only slightly different from most other media commentators…

Sports writers HAVE to get the scores correct, at the end of the event… (e.g. Boxer A won, Boxer B didn’t, or Team A beat Team B by 25 points…)

There are no other criteria given, now, in journalism, for accuracy.

AND, in today’s journalism of the main stream…

Accuracy is frowned on…

You CAN find truth on the internet, if you know how to look…

You can find truth in mainstream media, if you know never to trust anything they say, and find reliable sources.

There are many reliable sources on the internet.

You have to find them, and not just read your political supporters.

I have found much good/accurate information in liberal media, from England…

Never from New York.

Anonymous Coward says:

With dead tree sources, people can file a copy of what they quoted from, or give the edition of a book. This allows them to defend themselves in various circumstances. An internet equivalent would be an ability for a trusted party to sign a dated copy of any file on the Internet.
Without some such facility, how does a person defend themselves from a libel charge because they correctly quoted from an article on the net, which was then changed to make what they said in relation to the article slanderous.
P.S. don’t tell John Steele et al about this, it could give them ideas for even more extortion; especially as making a dated copy of anything they put up would be in breach of copyright.
I am applying for catch22 as the trademark for this business model.

Anonymous Coward says:

It's underhanded

I remember there was a post on one of the liberal blogs I read about how Fox News had identified a disgraced Republican as a Democrat in the caption (D instead of R) and also mentioned other times this had occurred. Basically he was accusing them of purposefully doing this. Hilariously though, in the post itself, the writer had mixed up the identification of two politicians, essentially doing the exact same thing he was accusing Fox News of doing. I pointed this out in the comments (and noted that maybe he shouldn’t be so quick to accuse when he himself is quilty of the same offense), and the response was to correct the article, and then delete my comment.

Kim says:

douche bag says whaaaa???

Yeah…what I said…you heard me.
What a dumb ass. You’d EXPECT that from FOX. Isn’t this the guys JOB tho A. Either know the facts or B. At least know where to FIND the facts or C. Have an intern fact check for you? I know it’s just baseball, but aren’t baseball statistics technically supposed to be based on some type of FACT? I guess corrected articles and strike throughs are just a mass hallucination created by the Bildeburgers (sp).. I think someone needs to send JohnnyBoy some examples of real articles from REAL journalists who have made corrections.
C=reative
B=roadcast
S=torytelling

Max Deveault (profile) says:

Type That in Google

Ok, calm down and try to figure out what he meant. Is what I first asked myself. Use google was the next idea, 2 minutes later I realize that this article has been written a long long time ago.
Type that in google: site:cbssports.com hall-mess-means-this-voter-wont-vote-for-tainted-players—this-time hayman
Use the advanced search tool and filter the search to say, last week. Nothing is found. Keep filtering and realize that the only results start appearing in the past year and doesn’t include the article discussed in this TD article.

Altogether, the article was probably written a long long time ago and just put up as visible. I say Relax and understand the meaning of things. or just ask for clarification. Who cares what one person thinks? Hayman does not know what he’s talking about technology wise, we should’ve all known it’s not his forte.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Lowly Hobby Blogger

I may go back and redraw and repost an image a half dozen times before I’m happy with it.

That’s not necessarily comparable. If you’re correcting a news photo without mentioning it, that’s one thing. If your blog is look at this cool art I made, then who cares if you change it without saying. It’s art.*

* I don’t mean who cares about art, I mean there’s no right and wrong in art, so no sense in issuing corrections.

McCrea (profile) says:

It is the Internet

Mistakes which I make come from drafting on the Internet. If I were a professional, it would be written offline, and proofread by an editor before it was put online.

He was too off-handed to be a professional, but I hardly mind the act of post-editing — although I assume honesty, which is apparently lacking in this case. What he did is not the norm, but I wouldn’t mind if it was, providing a mechanism to state the time of the last edit. The more time passes, the more reliable the intent of content. If you want to promote what was false or not intended, make a copy of it and do what you will. It is the Internet: A critic can copy as easily as I can edit, which we do see in this case.

But obviously this article is more about that writer rather than Internet editing. So, as much as he offhandedly states “it’s just the Internet”, I would merely shrug and say “he’s just an Internet writer.” There are far too many these days… I just noticed one at Forbes this week.

The world sucks.

the old rang (profile) says:

re: CBS 'stealth' lying

I have (many years ago) given up on expecting ANY truth from the deadstream media. (uberleft, dnc/tass you know)

That they would lie, about a lie, and do it in stealth mode, means little. They ONLY lie.

There are many kinds of lying they do, and most miss the fact they often do it in ‘mis-direction’ mode.

They tell one ‘partial’ truth, to mis-direct from another story they don’t want to report, or, fudge over the ‘facts’ and still never tell the truth.

I have found, you find more real truth from Liberal British news, than from the entire US radical left news.

Why get up in arms about CBS ‘BSing you’ about something…

Feel much more at ease, realizing they BS about everything

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