Washington Redskins Won't Let Washington Post Blogger Show Photos Of Upset Fans; WaPo Caves

from the journalistic-integrity dept

We've already discussed how ridiculous it is that any mainstream publication agrees to the NFL's policies that effectively set rules for how they can report on sporting events. How can a publication claim to have journalistic integrity after agreeing to specific rules on what they will and won't report on concerning a news event? On top of that, we've pointed out how ridiculous one particular football team, the Washington Redskins, has become in dealing with fans. Despite having the longest record of continuous sellouts in professional sports, the Redskins have been suing over 100 fans who were unable to pay for their season tickets. The Redskins could have easily just resold the tickets (and, in fact, they are reselling the tickets). But also suing some of the team's biggest fans after they've been hit by the financial crisis? That's just obnoxious.

Lots of fans are pissed off at the Redskins this season, and a local radio station came up with a plan to get fans to wear paper bags over their heads during a recent game -- even going out and handing out a bunch of bags outside the stadium for just that purpose. Of course, gametime came and security confiscated most of the bags, saying that such bags are not allowed in the stadium. Still, Dan Steinberg, who writes the DC Sports Blog for the Washington Post, went around looking for such disgruntled fans. And while he didn't find many with paper bags, he did find other disgruntled fans displaying their... disgruntlement. These included t-shirts that were anti-Dan Snyder (owner of the team) along with some other things. Steinberg took photos of these protesters and posted them to his blog.

But not for long.

The photos soon disappeared, and the photo editor for the Washington Post admitted that the Redskins had called them claiming that taking photos of disgruntled fans was a violation of policy:
"The Redskins said he was in violation of his credentials for taking the photographs. We honored that request, because at the end of the day, they control access to their facility."
First off all, how ridiculous is it that the Redskins are so insanely controlling that it thinks that banning photos of disgruntled fans will suddenly make people not realize that fans are disgruntled?

But, more importantly, what a shame that the Washington Post would simply fold like that. Yes, the Redskins control access to the facilities, but the Washington Post is effectively providing free advertising for the Redskins pretty much every day, by writing articles about them. The Redskins don't want to lose coverage from the Post. If the Washington Post had any journalistic integrity, why wouldn't it stand up to the Redskins and say "hey, disgruntled fans are news, and we're here to report the news." And people wonder why folks don't trust the coverage in their local newspapers any more. Apparently, those newspapers -- even the big "respected" names -- have no problem caving in to ridiculous requests from those they cover.

Meanwhile, The Big Lead (which gets a few of the details of the story mixed up) wonders what would happen if other people took such photos and sent them to the Washington Post to put on its blog, since the Redskins' main complaint is that Steinberg violated his credentials by taking the photos. If others took the photos though...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    John Doe, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 11:58am

    Funny and stupid at the same time

    It is stupid that the Redskins are pulling such tactics. It is funny though, that they did it to a newspaper. Try to do something with newspaper content and they would come after you just as hard. So it is funny to see them eat crow.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Funny and stupid at the same time

    The newspapers don't care. They get coverage on something either way and they work with unethical entities to ensure that important news gets censored.

     

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  3.  
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    zaven (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 12:23pm

    Not Surprising

    Has anyone met our owner, Dan Snyder? If so, this should not come as a surprise. I know someone who had season tickets for a whole year and his seat was missing the bottom. They never fixed it so he was forced to stand at every game. Heck, he even makes his interns pay for tickets to games (They barely pay these people in the first place).

     

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  4.  
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    R. Miles (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 12:25pm

    Silver lining to the cloud...

    At least the fans didn't have to pay to read the news.

    Because then WaPo would have to go through the hell of refunding monies to subscribers for removing the *news* people would have been paying to read.

    So, those three readers who subscribe only for the sports section, be sure to thank WaPo for caving.

     

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  5.  
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    zaven (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Not Surprising

    Oh, and Mike, please stop saying referring to the Redskins as the source of this. Just say Dan Snyder. It's not the team's fault rich, spoiled egotistical Mr. Snyder is our own. Trust me, this is all coming from the top. The rest of the organization could care less I feel.

     

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  6.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Funny and stupid at the same time

    "It is stupid that the Redskins are pulling such tactics. It is funny though, that they did it to a newspaper. Try to do something with newspaper content and they would come after you just as hard."

    Hate to be the one to break the news to you, but the WaPo is notorious for caving on stories in order to preserve 'access.' They've been resting on Woodward's and Bernstein's laurels for way too long.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    schleifnet, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 12:35pm

    sports is the only money maker in news

    to quote a reporter I know: "The sports section is the only section that makes money."

    In other words, WP bowed to the skins so they could keep covering the game, but they did it in a way that sites like your could still publisize the story and their paper.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 12:39pm

    Sounds like it's time for a boycott of all remaining 'Skins home games. And a picket at the gates to explain why.

     

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  9.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 12:40pm

    Re: sports is the only money maker in news

    "In other words, WP bowed to the skins so they could keep covering the game, but they did it in a way that sites like your could still publisize the story and their paper."

    You would think that a media-savvy organization could milk the hell out of a public feud.

    But then, that would require the WaPo to be a media-savvy organization.

     

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  10.  
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    yourrealname (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 12:40pm

    The thing is, if they, the Washington Post, did keep the photos up, Dan Snyder would just buy the Washington Post. That's what he did to every sports radio station in DC. He bought them all (except for the new 106.7, but I'm sure he'll buy them soon enough) to silence local criticism. When you have that much money you can control the media like he does.

     

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  11.  
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    mikeyb, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 12:42pm

    get the names right in your article

    Give a "shout out" to the Morning Radio show you are mentioning!

    It is the SPORTS JUNKIES on 106.7 THE FAN DC

    www.1067thefandc.com

     

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  12.  
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    OldGeek, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 12:45pm

    ?????

    And people still go to the games???? Ya get what you pay for!

     

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  13.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 12:49pm

    Re: get the names right in your article

    They used to be simulcast further up in MD. (WBAL?) Funny guys, and they should ride the hell out of this.

     

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  14.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 1:12pm

    Huh...

    And here you'd think Snyder might be concentrating all this energy on, oh I don't know, signing a quarterback that doesn't have hands like feet.

    That aside, what do we expect, Snyder is another Telecom asshole. I'm done expecting anything good out of these clowns...

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Vic, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 1:13pm

    And still...

    Shame on WaPo! That's our official journalism, right? Those who entitled to a shield law, and talking paywalls. And they want to feed us this? I'm sorry, it's not journalism anymore. Blogs would do much better!

    Just stop covering Skins in your paper if they did not want you there! Take a stance!

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 1:14pm

    This is going to get a lot worse for the Redskins/Snyder before it gets better.
    I don't even care about the Redskins but I would love to see some LOLs out of it.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Beefcake, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 1:57pm

    Note to Redskins

    If you don't want bad publicity, try beating Detroit.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Dan, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 2:52pm

    Fan stike?

    It seems like the Redskins and pro sports in general are just begging for a fan strike. If you can't control the news with AstroTurf then EULAs or lawsuits are used. Let them take their ball and go home. What a bunch of spoiled brat losers. Between the self important owners, drugged up criminal players and oppressive policies, pro sports are not fun or entertaining any more. Its just another business, after all we won't buy tickets to sit in bleachers to cheer for every Chevrolet off the assembly line.

     

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  19.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 2:54pm

    Re: Fan stike?

    "pro sports are not fun or entertaining any more"

    Hockey, my friend, is all that's left...and they're actively trying to kill that sport too.

     

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  20.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 3:16pm

    Re: Note to Redskins

    "If you don't want bad publicity, try beating Detroit."

    *snort*

     

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  21.  
    icon
    RussK (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 3:33pm

    Note to Redskins

    Karma sure comes back at the most inopportune times... like at a Detroit Lions game. Couldn't have happen to a nicer guy!

    Just wait for Detroit to go 1-15 this season.

     

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  22.  
    icon
    OldGreyTroll (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 5:22pm

    Re: Re: Fan stike?

    Funny you should mention hockey.... One of the factors that makes Dan Snyder look so bad is comparison to the class act that the Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis is putting on. I've heard die-hard 'Skins fans talk about wearing Caps jerseys to 'Skins games with signs that say 'Don't you wish Ted was the owner here, too?"

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Luci, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 7:55pm

    Re: Re: Not Surprising

    Unfortunately, Dan Snyder /is/ the Redskins. Ask him. Until that changes, then referring to this as The Redskins is accurate. Sorry.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2009 @ 1:00am

    Re: Re: Fan stike?

    Why don't people start some random sport and cover it on youtube or something. MAKE it a "Free and Open source" sport, in other words, anyone who publicly covers anyone playing the sport must not restrict anyone from releasing or redistributing whatever they want within any game. Or perhaps we can use an established sport, like basketball (assuming the sport isn't somehow under some ridiculous intellectual property protection against freely available games. Given the ridiculously stupid nature of intellectual property these days it wouldn't surprise me), and random people can start playing at the park and others can cover the events and everyone can watch. uhm... not sure if one would need some sort of permit from the city or whatnot though, stupid laws might make this more difficult than necessary. Or perhaps someone can sponsor it on their private property. Just some people playing basketball in their backyard or something and someone with a camera covering the events and putting them on youtube.

     

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  25.  
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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Oct 10th, 2009 @ 12:08pm

    what is this journalistic integrity thing you speak of....?

     

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  26.  
    icon
    Cody Jackson (profile), Oct 11th, 2009 @ 10:07am

    If you're disgruntled, why go to the game?

    I don't understand. If the fans are disgruntled and upset about what the team/owner is doing, then why do they continue to go to the games?

    The team isn't going to do anything different as long as they are getting money. If the fans keep giving them money, there is no incentive to change.

     

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  27.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Oct 12th, 2009 @ 4:06am

    Two things

    One: Next up: EULAs on ticket sales forbidding taking photographs before/during/after the game inside the facility or the direct surroundings.

    Two: The newspapers are wondering why they are losing the battle... Well, Washington Post, THIS is why you are losing the battle. By caving in to the Redskins, by not reporting the news, but wanting to pander to the big league businesses/sports-groups. They are not your boss, your READERS are your bosses. Start pandering to them, and give them a reason to buy your newspaper. You have an obligation to your readers not your subjects.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2009 @ 7:30am

    If you don't want bad publicity, try beating Detroit.

    Best comment in this thread. All the other idiots have no clue what they are talking about. Yeah, I know, you are not going to any more Redskin games. You think the NFL cares if you tech weenie basement dwelling homo's write about sports? We all know you hate it anyway.

    For every season ticket holder that drops their ticket, there are 10 that would gladly pay for the right to buy those seats.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2009 @ 11:14am

    Marcel, considering the lack of willingness to pay for the papers themselves, the readers are not the boss, the advertisers are.

    Without access to the game, what can they report on? Stupid tech stuff or IP rights like this? Yeah, that pays well.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2009 @ 1:12pm

    Whose facility is it?

    Who paid for the construction of the Redskins facility?

    Who pays for its operation?

     

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  31.  
    icon
    j. wyatt (profile), Oct 12th, 2009 @ 1:51pm

    blog the pictures

    Maybe someone should start a 'fan' site for the disgruntled fans to post their own pictures. Of course they couldn't use the Redskins name, because someone might confuse it for an official Redskins site, since it seems likely that the Redskins would post a bunch of picture of people that are pissed at the team onwer! If I gave a cr@p about the 'Skins I'd start the site myself, but I'm sure SOMEBODY in the DC area knows how to sign up for a blogger account.

    BTW, wasn't it a Redskins' TE that posted a picture of the playbook he was studying on his personal blog last year. A picture taken of the book in his lap -- where he wasn't wearing any pants . . . and posted it just before going to the game. The post was up for the entire game. He claimed he didn't realize his privates were in the picture.

    Seems like the 'Skins could use a lesson in tech-savvy.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    dappi, Oct 12th, 2009 @ 2:48pm

    Is this the same Washington Post that brought down NIXON?
    Where are you Ben Bradlee?

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Fran, Oct 12th, 2009 @ 5:56pm

    Ha doesn't surprise me the reskins are vawncast like that.

     

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  34.  
    icon
    Verve (profile), Oct 13th, 2009 @ 6:44am

    Re: Re: get the names right in your article

    I think it's 105.7 "The Fan" an FM sports talk station.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2009 @ 10:23am

    Re: Whose facility is it?

    The "Squire" built the stadium at RalJohn and the ticket holders pay through the nose for its operation.

     

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


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