Sports media beat: Bob Kravitz calls out Boston media; Fallout from Nichols-Beadle credential flap

Old high school classmate, Bob Kravitz, who broke the Deflategate story and writes for WTHR.com, calls out various members of the Boston media in wake of the Wells Report.

I expect a lack of professionalism from fanboi bloggers who dubiously claimed knowledge of the identity of my source, who came after me in the most personal manner imaginable.

I expect that from sports-talk radio, which can often be designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator. One sports talk clown, Scott Zolak, the former Patriots backup quarterback, trolled me constantly on Twitter, which made me wonder if he was still on the team’s payroll. (Maybe he is; I have no idea. All I know is, I haven’t heard word one from him in recent hours).

Here’s what disappoints me most, though: The media. Specifically the New England media, the mainstream media. While some of them were wholly professional – the Globe’s Ben Volin comes immediately to mind – I was amazed at the way many of these toadies refused to consider the remote possibility that there was something to my initial report, despite the fact the Patriots have run afoul of the rules once before. They dismissed it like a minor nuisance.

The people who disappointed me most were the folks at The Globe’s website, Boston.com. They are renowned pom-pom wearers, so it wasn’t a surprise. But I was struck at the enthusiasm they displayed while carrying the Patriots’ water. It shocks me that a great newspaper like the Boston Globe would employ such rank amateurs and cheerleaders. Sad.

Ryan Glasspiegel of Big Lead questions whether reporters actually need to cover big events. Can’t say I agree here, but here’s Glasspiegel.

What’s less clear is what so many outlets — and not just the ones whose reporters were denied access — had to gain from sending so many people to cover this boxing match. Of the hundreds of stories that were written, whose were unforgettable? Dan Wetzel had a characteristically great column, but it’s unclear to what extent it mattered that he was in the arena for it; Drew Magary’spiece on Mayweather’s cowardliness was at least as good as anything else I read about the fight, and that was done from the East Coast.

The National Sports Journalism Center’s Michael Bradley believes sports journalism lost with Rachel Nichols and Michelle Beadle being denied credentials to the big fight.

The decisions to deny Nichols and Beadle their credentials is just another step toward the inevitable acid test that media will have to pass in order to gain access to cover just about anything in the future. As outlets proliferate for teams, leagues, schools, conferences and players to provide their highly-varnished sides of the story, there will be less reason for those who stage and play the games to deal with anybody with the temerity to report and comment on the truth.

Ken Lang of Awful Announcing has an interview with Robert Lipsyte about his tenure as ESPN’s ombudsman.

I saw the job as being ESPN’s window washer, that the goal was transparency, that the audience would understand why it made the decisions or didn’t make the decisions, and that I would have access to everybody, that I would blog every week. I would be on the shows that I was writing about, talking to the hosts and I would be kind of an ESPN presence. That’s not how it turned out.

And get this, Lipsyte is launching his own blog.

Dave Anderson of the New York Times has a terrific column on his stories about covering big fights.

Sitting next to me was Tom Johnson, a Times foreign correspondent based in Kenya. During the early rounds, whenever I completed a paragraph or two on my Olivetti portable, Tom would lean over and dictate it to the telephone room in New York while I kept writing.

When Ali knocked out Foreman in the eighth round to regain the heavyweight title, I wrote a quick lead and then dictated it while Tom hurried to the fighters’ postfight news conferences. As I wrote my final lead and then dictated it, Tom wrote his story, then dictated it.

For one big fight on one big night, the telephone had replaced the telegrapher’s dots and dashes and the Teletype machine.

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