ESPN's lack of journalistic integrity



Berry, Mark S berrym at BATTELLE.ORG
Tue May 4 12:38:13 CDT 2004


Maybe, but all of these guys talk to each other all the time. They don't
assume every conversation is on the record, and I doubt they make a
point beforehand of saying "off the record" every time. Was it careless
of Doc? Sure. 

Of course, it's all just speculation.

Mark

-----Original Message-----
From: Kim [mailto:kimmalo at mindspring.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2004 1:29 PM
To: The Boston Celtics Mailing List
Subject: RE: ESPN's lack of journalistic integrity

Yeah I thought of that too but Mark, the big problem I have this
view/excuse is the almost universal gushing about how media savvy Doc
is. If that's true - and it comes from even people who criticized him a
great deal - then he's just not that likely to get innocently caught
that way without asking and getting it clarified what was going on.
Particularly as a member of the media himself who has likely had to
address the issue from Dr Jack's side of it.

Sounds to me like a variation on the classic jock excuse "it was taken
out of context"
Kim

-----Original Message-----
From: "Berry, Mark  S" <berrym at battelle.org>
Sent: May 4, 2004 1:06 PM
To: The Boston Celtics Mailing List <celtics at igtc.com>
Subject: RE: ESPN's lack of journalistic integrity

The problem I have with the whole thing is that, according to Doc, he
didn't even know the conversation was on the record. It sounds like he
was just talking with Ramsay and the next thing he knew, a story was on
ESPN.com.

Do I think Dr. Jack made it up? No. My guess is Dr. Jack was telling Doc
what a nightmare Danny Ainge was and how he had to be nuts to take that
job unless he had veto power on personnel moves. And Doc, just going
along, says he has that power and everything will be fine. Again, it's
just a guess, but I could see that happening.  

Unless you believe for a second that Ainge would give Doc that kind of
control, and knowing what we know about Ainge, does anyone believe that?
No way.

Anyway, the problem is Ramsay didn't frame the conversation as an
interview. If he had, my guess is Doc would have been more honest or
tactful in his response.

Mark

-----Original Message-----
From: Snoopy the Celtics Beagle [mailto:snoopy at celticsbeagle.net] 
Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2004 12:19 PM
To: celtics at igtc.com; Celticsstuffgroup at yahoogroups.com
Subject: ESPN's lack of journalistic integrity

In case anyone out there wondered if ESPN had a shred of self-respect
left, 
it vanished with the recent uproar over Doc Rivers' contract.  On April
28, 
ESPN.com ran this article concerning the job faced by Doc.   The article

concluded, as they do over there, with a brief precis on who wrote it.
here 
is what it said on April 28:

Dr. Jack Ramsay, an NBA analyst for ESPN, coached the Trail Blazers to
the 
1977 NBA championship. A member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, he is a 
regular contributor to ESPN.com. 
<http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPNEWS?event_id=710>Click here to
send 
a question for Dr. Jack for possible use on 
<http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/espnews/index>ESPNEWS.

Notice what's missing?  Here's one from an article by Ramsay from
January 27:

Dr. Jack Ramsay, Jim O'Brien's father-in-law, coached the Trail Blazers
to 
the 1977 NBA championship. A member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, he
is a 
regular contributor to ESPN.com. 
<http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPNEWS?event_id=710>Click here to
send 
a question for Dr. Jack for possible use on 
<http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/espnews/index>ESPNEWS.

The January 27 article was about Jim O'Brien's departure from 
Boston.  Beginning with the very next article written by Ramsay, the 
relationship was not mentioned again.

Now, one might reasonably say it's only relevant if he writes about the 
Celtics--or, nowadays, the Sixers.

But the thing is, when they mention this conversation/interview between 
Rivers and Ramsay, they don't make a point that as Obie's father-in-law,

Jack might--just MIGHT--have a bit of a bone to pick when it comes to
Danny 
Ainge and the Celtics. I'm not stating that Ramsay did anything 
wrong--though personally, if I were in his place, my objectivity would
sure 
as hell take a beating.

But I think ESPN needed to do more to talk to Rivers directly BEFORE 
breaking that kind of story.  And they should have made an issue of 
Ramsay's personal connection to the team, particularly since it was
exactly 
these kind of "personnel moves" that Obie couldn't forestall and was a 
proximate cause for his leaving the team.

Now, because someone didn't stop and double check, both Rivers and 
Ainge--in the most polite and roundabout way, mind you--have basically
said 
that Ramsay was either foolishly mistaken, or an outright liar.  Not a
good 
thing for someone touted as a basketball expert.  Either that, or Rivers

somehow thought it was a good idea to discuss his Celtics contract with
Jim 
O'Brien's father in law, and not think a word or two might see print.
Not 
a good thing for someone touted as a smart coach.

I think that ESPN--and Ramsay--should have made sure this couldn't 
happen.  Furthermore, I think it's wrong for ESPN to sugarcoat Ramsay's 
personal connection--and possible contention--with the Celtics.

It's bad enough that they go out of their way to run down the Celtics at

every possible opportunity--there's no need to create more 
opportunities.  The sad thing is, there's no good resolution.  Even if a

copy of Rivers' contract is produced, there's always the possibility
that 
he lied to Ramsay with just this in mind--a way to "get Jack back" for
his 
negative comments about Ainge's job performance.

Where's the integrity?


Snoopy the Celtics Beagle
Please visit the <http://www.celticsbeagle.net/>Celtics Beagle Website 
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