June 20, 2002

Sportswriters can't be relied on to cover athletes because they have to kiss ass to continue getting access, according to this Washington City Paper story, which documents Michael Wilbon's passionate 20-year love affair with Michael Jordan.

posted by rcade to general at 11:24 PM - 5 comments

That's nothing, the Houston Chronicle was still on the Enron bandwagon after the WSJ broke the news about their collapse. Wilbon is from Chicago, so Jordan is always going to get more than the benefit of the doubt. (kiss, kiss)

posted by silent4lie at 11:58 PM on June 20, 2002

There's plenty of bad sports journalism out there. I don't think Michael Wilbon's the problem. Honestly, the linked piece reads like a hatchet job by someone who can't stand Jordan as much as Wilbon loves him: Even Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist David Halberstam succumbed . . . cit[ing] the event as proof that Jordan's "competitiveness was now surfacing on the golf course." . . . Alternate interpretation: Jordan cheated. No shit. If Halberstram had "succumbed" to the cult of Jordan, he wouldn't have mentioned the episode at all. The fact that Jordan cheated isn't an "alternate interpretation", it's the only interpretation. That Halberstram used it to illustrate a larger point doesn't mean he ignored the plain fact of the story.

posted by yerfatma at 08:29 AM on June 21, 2002

I think celebrity sports journalists like Wilbon are a big part of the problem. They have a lot more to lose if people like his Airness won't talk to them on their TV shows and radio shows, so they refuse to cover them with any objectivity. I think the piece on Wilbon did a good job of showing some hilarious examples of ass-kissery. Maybe I'm biased against the guy (and Tony Kornheiser) for that dumb ESPN show they do.

posted by rcade at 03:34 PM on June 21, 2002

Neither the criticisms of nor the excuses for sports media in situations like these are completely on point.

posted by jackhererra at 10:28 AM on June 22, 2002

Another interesting article about how the web has changed the art of sports writing, and a bit about how athletes view reporters.

posted by iconomy at 06:25 PM on June 27, 2002

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