For years, mainstream media outlets have declined to give credit to the vast majority of sports blogs based on two major pillars of journalistic self-importance: one, that bloggers blog their bloggy little blog posts anonymously (and presumably without the holy grail of a Journalism Degree from an Accredited Journalism Program) and two, that their little rabble-rousing rumors are unsourced and unverified by Multiple Reputable Sources or other Credentialed Journalists.
For years, ESPN led the self-righteous anti-blog crusade, stealing scoops and refusing to credit anonymous bloggers. Now, though, they’ve seen the
light profit that spurious rumormongering can bring: ESPN THE MAGAZINE is launching a new, anonymous gossip column supposedly written by an NFL player. The only difference between that and an anonymous, unsourced blog is…what, exactly?
ESPN THE MAGAZINE must really be grasping at straws these days. They’re practically giving the magazine away to anyone, and now they’re going after the coveted US WEEKLY braindead moron demographic. According to USA TODAY (who knows bad journalism when they see it):
ESPN The Magazine is launching a column by an NFL star dubbed “Player X“ who’ll give readers his anonymous take on on athletes’ extra-marital affairs, dalliances with groupies and other taboo topics, says editor-in-chief Gary Belsky.
In his first piece hitting new stands Friday, the player admits that not only are many “negative” tales about pro athletes true, they’re actually worse in some cases. The hedonistic lifestyles of some younger, single jocks are ”no different” than the party-hearty worlds depicted in sports movies like Semi-Tough or HBO’s Entourage, he says.
Is this actually news to anyone? Millionaire athletes leads hedonistic lifestyle! Read the general, anonymous, possibly-maybe-true non-details every two weeks in ESPN THE MAGAZINE! Online outlets like TMZ and DEADSPIN already do this sort of thing better, with more detail, than ESPN’s stool pigeon could ever hope to. But then, that’s kind of been the mantra of journalism for years now. Pity the fools who are too dumb to notice.