40% Of Sports Journalists Bet? YOU DON’T SAY!

Good news, people. The researchers at Duh Institute have come up with some sensational, ground-breaking news. Apparently the journalists tasked with bringing us coverage of high-profile sporting events sometimes derive pleasure by betting on them!

Brent Musberger

(A fine journalist, this man, and that’s all we’re saying about him.)

The EDITOR & PUBLISHER was the first to break the news on this phenomenon, which completely takes everybody by surprise. Here, we thought talking heads were endlessly fawning in praise over certain teams because, well, they just really like them. It turns out they may have a different motive.

Per the E&P:

Forty percent of sports reporters admitted in a recent survey to gambling on sports, while 5% said they had bet on sports they had covered.

In addition, those who gamble on sports were more likely than their non-gambling colleagues to admit that gambling hurts objectivity in coverage, according to the study.

Well, well, well. We’d never have guessed.

In addition to the numbers cited, consider this: if that many are willing to admit the behavior on a telephone survey, what do you suppose the actual numbers are? Here, let’s put it to a poll:

40% of sports journalists gamble on sports? 5% on the sports they cover? The actual numbers are…

View Results

The report added that gambling on sports by reporters who cover them is banned by the ethics codes of some news organizations, including The New York Times, because of the potential conflict of interest.

“What was most interesting was the admission by reporters who gamble on sports that it likely influences the ways they covered stories,” Marie Hardin, associate director of research for the Center for Sports Journalism, said in a statement. “That’s exactly the reason why it’s considered a no-no by some ethicists and editors.”

Yes, a no-no… which is why most provide gambling information and the dominant sports journalism conglomerate has prominently featured NFL betting by a crude caricature of a sports analyst for decades.

Look, there shouldn’t be a problem with journalists gambling as long as they’re open about it. Not that we want to see some Joe Meathead color commentator preface every comment with “I bet $40 on the Tigers, but…” or anything, but making gambling strictly taboo only strengthens itsunderlying influence when it’s done. Into the light, gents.