OK, that’s not exactly what Bob Costas said while speaking at a charity auction in Miami the other day. But since I lack the same journalistic background and training as say, Mike Barnicle, I’m gonna resort to cheap tactics like that on a regular basis. The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson convey’s Costas’ sense of outrage.
NBC/HBO’s Bob Costas wondered this week about the wisdom of offering a wider forum to fans who can say whatever they wish without being held accountable.
Costas, speaking before he emceed (and donated $50,000) at Tuesday’s Make-a-Wish sports auction at the Broward County Convention Center, doesn’t understand what compels so many nonjournalist sports fans to seek a forum for their opinions.
”Today, I saw on ESPN a poll about which Western Conference teams would not make the playoffs,” Costas said. “Well, 46 percent said the Denver Nuggets, which has zero percent influence on anything. No reasonable person who cares about the NBA should care about that. Who has the time or the inclination to do this, even if you’re sitting on your computer? Why would you weigh in on it?”
”I understand with newspapers struggling and hoping to hold on to, or possibly expand their audiences, I understand why they do what they do,” Costas said. ‘But it’s one thing if somebody just sets up a blog from their mother’s basement in Albuquerque and they are who they are, and they’re a pathetic get-a-life loser, but now that pathetic get-a-life loser can piggyback onto someone who actually has some level of professional accountability and they can be comment No. 17 on Dan Le Batard’s column or Bernie Miklasz’ column in St. Louis. That, in most cases, grants a forum to somebody who has no particular insight or responsibility. Most of it is a combination of ignorance or invective.”
What bothers Costas — and he’s not alone — is Internet and talk radio commentary that “confuses simple mean-spiritedness and stupidity with edginess. Just because I can call someone a name doesn’t mean I’m insightful or tough and edgy. It means I’m an idiot.
“It’s just a high-tech place for idiots to do what they used to do on bar stools or in school yards, if they were school yard bullies, or on men’s room walls in gas stations. That doesn’t mean that anyone with half a brain should respect it.”
Though I don’t really disagree with Costas’ argument about goofy polls or edginess-for-the-sake-of-it (the latter hardly being excluded to bloggers or chat radio howlers), he’s conveniently ignoring how some of these pathetic fuckin’ losers are actually decent writers and sometimes manage to shine a very bright light on issues or incidents Bob’s buddies with their Syracuse degrees (oh, that Big East broadcasters’ old boy network!) might very well ignore. At the risk of parroting the Will Leitch Party Line, just how far might NBC’s Sunday night football panel go in hammering Roger Goodell if the network only had a year left on their TV deal?
Eloquent though he may be, Bob is paid a ton of money working for a major sporting organization’s broadcast partner. CSTB? Nobody owns us. Well, other than Yardbarker, 2K Sports and Cumbucket Media.