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Kevin Wolf

Ouch.

Kaleberg

That's a good analysis of what is wrong with political reporting today and well phrased. Modern reporting is horribly credulous and based on ignorance, so all that we get is spin, rather than real discussion. I often wonder what planet the typical reporter lives on. (Don't answer "The Daily Planet".)

In the old days, they used to say that all journalism was tendentious garbage, except for sports and business reporting. That was because people actually used that kind of news to take action, to bet on a game or make some kind of business or investing move.

I know that business reporting has turned into pap. Even the WSJ hires reporters who have no clue about the industry they are covering, let alone the basics of how to understand a financial statement. The only source that does a decent job these days is Bloomberg.

I don't follow sports, but I'm not surprised that sports reporting has gone down the same path. (I'll have to trust you that it has.) Betting on sporting events is a lot less common than it used to be, so the whole "put your money where your mouth is" ethos is much weaker.

Robert

What passes now as "journalism" is nothing more than propaganda...bought and paid for by the Wall street corporations who own just about everything and everyone...there may be a few odd honest journos, but they are being drowned out by those who don't want the truth...

El Jefe

I know you have something of a moratorium on the cheap and easy satisfaction of picking apart, say, the Brookses of the world. But I think this piece is a very nice case for your argument that more novelists, or people of the novelist's cast of mind, should do political analysis:
http://theconcourse.deadspin.com/i-dont-think-david-brooks-is-okay-you-guys-1702674607/+leahfinnegan

Christina

Major OUCH. Not sure if I should take it personally or not. Fact is, sports journalism doesn't have to go the route of propaganda...if you are independent, you don't answer "to the man". Unfortunately, major sporting news sites do just that.

Lance Mannion

Christina,

Please don't take it personally. I'm a great admirer and dedicated reader of sports journalism and I meant this more as a criticism of political journalism. Also, on both I'm lumping in TV coverage with print and web reporting, which is probably unfair.

There are problems with a lot of sports reporting, as there are problems with every profession. A big one is as I mentioned the temptation to analyze "what ifs" as if they were actualities. In the grand scheme of things, this doesn't matter that much. If Lebron James gets treated as a fictional character it doesn't hurt him and it doesn't really hurt fans. But treating Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, and the Clintons as fictional characters does real damage.

One more thing. I think sports journalists on the whole are better at keeping things in perspective. This is partly because they tend to be smarter. That's not idle flattery. I believe the smarter journalists stay away from becoming political journalists and it's mostly egoists and sycophants and would-be players who get into it. But it's also partly because sports journalists have to deal with the real numbers. (Wasn't always the case.) Political journalists get away with ignoring them.

Oh. One more one more thing. Sports journalists are on the whole better writers.

PS. You forgot to include a link: Steelers Gab.

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