The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Saturday, October 09, 2004

Media kow-tow: now in baseball

If the management of General Electric, Viacom and Disney ever thought that canning their news divisions would put an end to Rathergate-style woes, they would be barking up the wrong tree.

The tale of the confrontation between LA Dodger Milton Bradley and LA Timesman Jason Reid has been all over.

My beef is with Fox. (A lost cause, perhaps, but this is by way of an example.) A Times story says:
[MLB's Sandy] Alderson said it was uncertain whether major league officials would extend their inquiry to determining whether the Dodgers acted appropriately by asking a Fox Sports Net television crew to erase its tape of the incident.

"We rolled on the whole thing and the next thing I know I've got a PR guy up in my face — pretty big guy — yelling at us to turn the camera off," reporter Brent Stover said on the Fox Sports radio network Thursday. "He said, 'You are not going to get out of here with that tape and it's not going to hit the air.'"

[Dodger spokesman John] Olguin said the camera crew was permitted to be in the clubhouse at the time. He acknowledged asking the crew to erase the video immediately and said the crew complied without question.

Olguin said he did not intend to prevent video of the confrontation from being broadcast. Instead, he said, he wanted to prevent video of partially undressed players from leaving the room.

Complete regulatory capture. Dependence for employment opportunities and must-carry news on a sport where steroid usage and on-the-field brawling are customary will be apt to melt the backbone of any journo or media organisation.

But the smartness of the heel-click, the lack of any show of fight on the part of the TV journo or producer, is just that bit more demeaning than economically necessary.

Ken Auletta's famous New Yorker article on the Bush administration's media relations more than amply reflected in sports, if this case is anything to go by. (I say if, mark you...)

(Romenesko has more links.)

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