Monday, January 12, 2009

ESPN Ombudsman scolds Chris Mortensen

Before Johnny and Jerry pointed her out, I had never given a thought to an ESPN Ombudsman. But Le Anne Schreiber exists, and today she called out Mort for his "privilege" comments regarding the Raiders. It's an interesting read, with her initial reaction being, "It couldn't be true. Chris Mortensen wouldn't say that," and wondering whether Mort and ESPN were "scuttling the basic journalistic principle of allowing subjects the opportunity to respond."

She wraps up by concluding that it was a "one-time lapse," but asks, "Why didn't someone at either ESPN's television or online news desk remind Mortensen of that basic journalistic principle when he needed reminding? And just as importantly, after failing to do that, why didn't someone at ESPN elicit that straightforward 'I was wrong' statement that Mortensen handed me on a platter?

If I may...

It is most likely because Chris Mortensen has achieved that level of celebrity as a sports journalist where pride becomes more important than "basic journalistic principles." And he works for a network that has carefully crafted a personality that is as arrogant and bombastic as the worst among the athletes they cover.

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