Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Ethics seems too refined a term to describe the professional shortcomings of this sports column.

But any writer can fall in love with her/his own cleverness. But how did the copy editing/editing corps let this through? Do they hate the guy??

The kicker:

And ballplayers, who always invent the slang no matter what ESPN would have you believe, came up with an expression for a home run that you might appreciate.

Congratulations, Jaycee. You left the yard.

8 comments:

Susan White said...

Why did anyone think this was worth joking about? The entire premise of the article is bad enough, but to end it with a light-hearted comment on Jaycee’s years in captivity (at the hands of a sexual predator, no less) makes me want to puke. I can’t believe this is still on the Internet. Is this typical of the sportwriting world?

Susan White said...

Also, I was thinking about our discussion in class about whether women have “better” ethics than men. I’d like to think the answer is no, but it does occur to me that this writer is a man and that sportswriting is a male-dominated profession. If this article were in the hands of a female editor, I’m 100 percent positive it wouldn’t have gone to print. Women typically aren’t amused by instances of rape, and while I don’t think men are either, they do tend to have a crasser sense of humor, and occasionally overstep their bounds without thinking about it.

....J.Michael Robertson said...

Susan: Your comment about how in some instances women react to certain things differently is an argument for a diverse newsroom. It's useful -- if only from a business standpoint -- to have aq variety of perspectives and life experiences brought to bear on stories. Does this necessarily mean that every member of the newsroom has veto power? No. But, as we'll talk about when we get to Milton and Mill, we like to think that being challenged makes us think with greater depth and clarity about what we finally decide to do.

caitlindee said...

I agree with Susan, this is ridiculous! This woman was kidnapped and held captive for almost 20 years; have some compassion. Jaycee's story is completely irrelevant to the writer's sports article and in the end, what did we even really walk away with after reading it? I don't think there was any valuable information in this article. If anything, it seems like he used her story as an excuse to share his negative critique on sports events over the past decade. Is that the only way people would listen to this excuse for a man?

After reading this, maybe women DO have better ethics than men. We'd respect the victim whether male OR female during this difficult time. This writer showed no sense of real remorse for this innocent victim and I believe he acted unethically. Inhumanely, actually - no "good" person would have the audacity to do this. I want to know why his editor approved this. Also, I just read all the comments people left on the article, including Jaycee's family. They said "have some respect please," and posted a link to their website. How disheartening that they even had to see it.

Jonny said...

I tend to have a pretty open sense of humor, but... too soon. WAY too soon.

....J.Michael Robertson said...

Interesting point. Timing does make a difference. Also, venue -- who is the audience; who will read and who might -- and "professional expectation" Certain standup comedians might make such a joke, and we might shrug it off or even laugh

....J.Michael Robertson said...

Addendum: I don't think I'd laugh, even in a club. But it raises an interesting point for your interviewing essay: What if you were interviewing someone who told you a joke about Jaycee Dugard and this was the punchline? Laugh? Smile? Ignore? Say 'Oh that's bad' smile? Look grim and say, 'I really don't think that's funny'?

caitlindee said...

i'd be honest and say that I don't think it's something to be joking about. But I'd still include it in the article...