Mushnick Shoots First, Does The Research Later (If At All)

Posted in Sports Journalism at 11:04 am by

It’s nice that the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick is the last man in the sports media biz with a conscience. But it might be equally useful if he actually paid attention every now and then.

One of 2006’s most remarkable happenstances was that the sports media, for the most part, wasn’t particularly shocked by gun stories.

That a starting NFL lineman – the Bears’ Tank Johnson – was arrested for a second time with an assortment of assault rifles, and that his bodyguard and close friend, a man with felony convictions for drugs and guns, was shot dead by a reputed gang member – with Johnson nearby during an early morning nightclub hassle – should have made huge news outside of Chicago.

But it didn’t.

Could it be that the media have become numb to such news? Or is it that we lack the stomach for it?

Or could it be that the story in question did receive major coverage —- in print, online, on television and yack radio — and Phil would have us believe otherwise in order to promote his tired “the world is going to hell” spiel?

Likewise, Mushnick claims that Carmelo Anthony’s cameo in the infamous Baltimore “Stop Snitching” DVD (“a homemade rap video”, according to Phil) was “an under-played story.”

Simply googling “Tank Johnson guns” or “Carmelo Anthony Stop Snitching” will reveal that neither story has escaped the notice of the news media. Johnson’s case, in particular, was sports radio fodder for days.

5 responses to “Mushnick Shoots First, Does The Research Later (If At All)”

  1. Hot Shit College Student says:

    Mushnick’s or anyone’s beliefs on gun ownership aside, the only law Tank broke was not having a FOID (firearm owner’s identification) card, which was hardly worth the coverage and handwringing from the local and national media. If anyone thinks Tank got off easy (murdered friend, police raid on his house, home confinement, neighbors with binoculars, etc.) because of his celebrity/Bears are going to the Superbowl status they should know that IL courts normally drop gun charges if offenders apply and receive a FOID card after the fact.

  2. susan mullen says:

    Sadly, you’ve reinforced Mushnick’s point. You’ve been raised to think it’s acceptable to consort with felons, assault weapons, and pit bulls. The outcome with any of this ranges from mental cruelty and further crime to death. When the story’s on the front page of the N.Y. Times every day for a year, that will be a beginning of media acknowledgement.

  3. GC says:


    with all due respect (cough), I don’t think you’re qualified to comment on how anyone else was raised.

    Secondly, as someone who has had the pleasure of living under the same roof as a pit bull, the breed gets a raw deal. In retrospect, said pooch was one of the best behaved roomies I’ve ever had.

    I’ll stand by my original claim — the Tank stories & Carmelo’s DVD got loads of coverage. If Phil considers either to be newsworthy this far after the fact, that’s his call, but his column slides further into irrelevancy each time out.

  4. Rog says:

    When the story’s on the front page of the N.Y. Times every day for a year, that will be a beginning of media acknowledgement.

    That’s a pretty bizarre statement, even for the comments section of a sports blog. There are a handful of vitally important issues not being covered enough by the mainstream press (‘peak oil’ theory comes to mind) but I don’t think that a millionaire athlete hanging out with shady characters should muscle the War or corporate scandal out of the front page. But every imbecile with a part-time job and a dial-up connection seems to think that the press should cover whatever they deem to be most important.

  5. GC says:

    actually, Rog, I’ve thought long and hard about Susan’s remarks and I think she might be on to something. For instance, I no longer think it is acceptable to consort with known felons like Jack Abramoff and George Steinbrenner.

    As far as the weapns are concerned, let’s leave the Vice President out of this. Anyone can make a mistake.

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