There’s an acerbic, ‘humorous’, wildly popular sports blog that is running a story about a well known athlete sending ‘personal’ pictures of himself to a female cheerleader turned quasi sideline reporter. The blog is knee deep in dark humour normally, and appears to particularly love running stories that involve male athletes sending pictures of their, ahem, appendage to women.
Normally, and bear this in mind, with evidence.
The editor in chief, who is running this story, is a small, angry, awkward looking man with bad hair, kind of akin to Artie Ziff. In fact let’s call him that from here on in.
This person doesn’t appear to actually have anything going for him in the writing department other than the ability to churn out short, dark paragraphs joking about a drunken athlete, an athlete having an affair with someone in the sex industry or in some cases, dead athletes. One might wonder about his affection for stories that involve, as Jack Donaghy calls it, the male ‘swimsuit area’. You also have to wonder about the obvious joy, or schadenfruede this angry, bitter little man takes in potentially destroying the lives of athletes.
Jealous much, Artie Ziff?
The piece in the blog that’s running today bases itself on a couple of very vague conversations between the smarmy little editor and the sideline reporter wanna-be, complete with whatever, quadruple D implants and a history for being photographed in skimpy outfits. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that the athlete in questions sent any pictures to anyone.
Really, you ask, no evidence? This is all Artie Ziff can come up with;
‘’But soon after (the woman) told me this story, she balked about releasing the photos or voicemails she still had on her computer.’’
Now there’s a whopper of a shocker. Today the editor who broke the story without checking if there was actually any evidence pines;
‘’So, the usual. Still haven't heard a peep out of (the woman), but it appears her handlers are "no commenting" the crap out of this right now’’
The above is, in microcosm, the problem with blogging. Sadly people like the angry, bitter little blog owner that is trying to push this ‘story’, give blogging a very bad name. A real journalist would have stopped at the point where the woman in question did not provide any actual evidence, and said, ‘get back to me when you have something solid’.
Heck, even most blog writers would have done same.
This clown, this idiot, went ahead and splashed his story out anyway, regardless of the potential repercussions. In fact, judging by his slapstick blog posts since, he appears to be enjoying the attention, good, bad or indifferent.
The editor seems to be actually getting some sort of masochistic enjoyment out of the barrage of mails, posts and articles coming out against his piece. He writes;
‘’Welcome back to the heaving underbelly of the internet. That incessant hum you hear is because some people are all atwitter about the ethics and legitimacy of a post on this site. Read and enjoy.’’
The underbelly of the Internet? No wonder you recognise it, Mr. Editor, as you are a major part of it. He writes ‘read and enjoy’, a brave comeback to those asking ‘where is the evidence’? His bravery knows no bounds, sitting in his boxers drinking diet Coke courageously posting completely evidence-less and slanderous articles from the safety of the internet.
In terms of motivation, much of his initial article appears to take great pride in having some sort of backdoor, cyber communication with the ‘your 15 minutes is almost up’ woman involved in the story. He frequently references texts, calls and emails, as if we should be impressed that he had some sort of vaguer, flirtatious cyber communication with a woman whose major claim to fame is basically having fake, plastic breasts. That and a willingness to expose them.
At the end of the day, what it all undoubtedly comes down to is the site in question will get millions of hits and generate more internet cash through advertising. Job done, from that point of view.
Sad, though, that the collateral damage could end up in a broken marriage.
That of course, and the fact that the woman and editor in question will never, ever get further or meaningful work on the field they ostensibly are working towards progressing in, sports journalism. Does Artie Ziff really think anybody in sports is ever going to send him a meaningful text, email or other communication ever again? Hopefully he enjoys his 15 minutes to the maximum as it will be the last time he is ever sent anything by anyone of consequence, ever.
At least we have that to be grateful for.