(aftermath of a prior generation’s Congressional hearing on PED use in athletics)

Asked by SI.com’s Richard Dietsch “why has Deadspin gained cultural currency?”, the ever-humble Will Leitch replies, “I don’t think it is because of my brilliance. I think I was just fortunate enough to have gotten there first.” And while I’m busying penning Leitch a thank-you note for inventing the internet, blogging and blogging about sports, you might enjoy the following excerpts from Dietsch’s interview.

SI.com: Do you consider yourself a journalist?

Leitch:I consider what I do on Deadspin to be based in the foundations of journalism, yes, based on the foundations of journalism that I have been trained and that I certainly use when I write for GQ, The New York Times and so on. Certainly, I think the language can be a little looser on the web, but I am held to the same standards and accuracy everyone else is. If I am wrong, and if I am constantly throwing stuff up on the site that is wrong, trust me, people are more than happy to let me know how wrong I am. And if I do that consistently they will stop coming to the site. That is the key thing. If I have no credibility, people will stop coming to the site. People are not stupid. And, frankly, with the other places I write for, if I had a reputation for using very lax journalistic principles, I doubt some of these places would want me to work for them.

Would you print a photo of a beheaded athlete?

Leitch: To be honest, it depends on the circumstances. I suppose if I found an athlete from 30 years ago, uh, gross, no. I think that would be a question SI.com would have as well. And there would be discretion where I would say, after the jump, if what you really want to do is look, here it is.

If Sports Illustrated had photos of Will Leitch drunk, should we post that on SI.com?

Leitch: Well, I don’t know if that would sell that much on your site. But it would be hypocritical of me to be upset about that, and they are already on the Web anyway. It’s not hard to find. Certainly, I’m not sure you would find much success posting them, but you have every right to that.

Indeed, there’s not much cultural currency to be gained in running tipsy party snapshots of Will. Photos of him perpetuating ugly ethnic stereotypes, however, are pure traffic gold, as evidenced from CSTB’s nearly 3 figures in advertising revenue earned last month.