Why Isn’t Anyone Talking About This Blogger’s Steroid Accusation?

Where is the Justice League of Sports Journalism now?

June 22, 2009

Self-righteous indignation and overblown outrage come cheap in the world of sports journalism. (Seriously have you read this guy lately?) But all that keyboard-pounding and hand-wringing over "basement blogger" Jerod Morris’s refusal to deny the possibility that steroids played a part in former Mariner Raul Ibanez’s uncharacteristically hot start this season must have drained the anger tanks dry because no one with a journalism degree is losing his head over this. But then why should they? It’s only headlined, "Let’s Play the Steroid Speculation Game."

"Hef" and the boys at held an online roundtable on Friday to discuss the players they most want to see linked to steroids, the players they least want to see linked to steroids, the players they would be most surprised to see linked to steroids, and the players they’re certain are using or have used in the past. Why? "Well," Hef writes, "since Major League Baseball refuses to release the entire list of the 104 players who tested positive for PEDs in 2003 even as individual names leak every few weeks, I have taken it upon myself to speculate as rampantly as possible."

The first three categories are fairly innocuous, but the fourth — at least by the standards set forth by all those baseball reporters who sleep with their AP Style Book under their pillow — would seem to be the one that might set off alarm bells. (Ken Griffey Jr., in case you’re wondering, got a few nods for "most surprising if found to be juicing." Brett Boone wasn’t so lucky.) But not one of these evil, reckless "basement bloggers" has been taken to task by an upstanding journalist or embarrassed in an ambush interview on ESPN. Wonder why. Could it be that Hef’s post was ignored because it read like a joke while Morris’s was held to a higher standard because it was written in a methodical, analytical style (and therefore felt more "journalisty")? Maybe it just slipped under everyone’s radar? Or maybe the angry protectors of print journalism just got tired of the faux controversy and moved on to other stories that didn’t feel so "yesterday."

Here’s the thing: If you want to fire arrows from atop Mt. Ethics at a blogger just because a newspaper columnist read something he wrote, took it out context, and turned it into the story of the moment, you better be prepared to quit your day job and keep a stocked quiver, because you’re going to have a lot of journalistic sinners to hunt. Or, you could just lighten up and report the sports news that actually means something to your readers.

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