Sunday, March 06, 2005

The Death of Credibility at the Boston Globe Sports

Writers getting their kids jobs with the people they are supposed to cover. Editors putting well known columnist's names on work done by interns. Putting baseless lies up on the website as fact. These are just some of the issues facing the Boston Globe today. And that's just the sports section.

If you are from New England and you grew up reading the Boston Globe sports section - you already know that today's product is a shell of its former self.

I grew up with Will McDonough on football, Peter Gammons on baseball and Bob Ryan on the Celtics. I'm not saying that there aren't bright spots (Gordon Edes and the new Red Sox beat writer Chris Snow are top shelf). However, I think everyone agrees that it ain't what it was.

Jeff Sullivan does a great job of laying out some of the problems the Globe sports department is running into these days in a column at BostonSportsMedia.com.
He [Steve Silva] received an email from a woman with whom he had no prior contact and immediately posted it on the Boston.com-based website, BostonDirtDogs.com, as fact. That’s all that happened, folks, plain and simple. A reporter at The National Enquirer would be fired and sued for what Silva did. A random email, from a person he didn’t know, purposely sent him a blatant lie in hopes of proving a point, and he posted it within minutes. No follow-up reporting, “Nomar Garciaparra doesn’t want his World Series ring from the Red Sox.”
Nomar never said any such thing. This was just the latest example of the lack of control in the sports department.
Start with Dan Shaughnessy, who infuriated at least one co-worker last year when he landed his daughter an internship with Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner’s production company in California. Not exactly setting the standard for journalistic integrity are we, Dano?
This is the same Dan Shaughnessy who used to skewer the former owner of the Boston Celtics Paul Gaston as "Thanks Dad" because his father had gotten him his job by buying the Celtics.
And what about allowing college co-ops and other employees to make NFL predictions against the point spread under the names of highly respected writers like Will McDonough and Ron Borges? During my first three years of college, I was using their picks to help make my Sunday bets. My fourth year of college, I became a Globe co-op and remember being absolutely stunned that some kid that knew next to nothing about the NFL was making Borges’ picks. I was floored, thinking there’s no way other people aren’t looking to see McDonough’s and Borges’ picks before calling the bookie.
I was one of those folks who used to check those picks religiously. Imagine having an intern pick political races for Tim Russert.

The owners of the Boston Globe - the New York Times - have themselves shown a disgraceful disregard for ethics in journalism. I just hope people consider the source when they read something in the Globe. You used to be able to believe what you read was at least true if not somewhat bias free.

Think of this the next time you read someone in the Globe make a smarmy remark about Drudge.

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