Friday, June 16, 2006

Media Part Deux

I wasn't planning to post on this today, but a couple people wrote as the evening developed asking for thoughts/reflections on the latest version of "Quickgate". For those who might not have heard, Jason Quick was at the practice facility for the Big Workout of multiple draft picks yesterday (along with other media members). Officially the workout was closed to media until the last few minutes, but Quick, peering through what the Blazers describe as "closed blinds" watched much of the duel between Adam Morrison and Rudy Gay and posted a report in the Behind the Blazers Beat blog. The Blazers responded by issuing a press release saying that because a reporter had "breached professional trust" by releasing sensitive information on a blog, they would have to "close workouts indefinitely".

Thoughts:

1. This is exactly what we were talking about the other day in terms of the ambiguous role of reporters. Are they fact gatherers, official mouthpieces, or are they called upon to offer opinions and analysis as well? The basic thrust of the piece was Quick's opinion that Gay outplayed Morrison. The author himself admits he's not a talent evaluator, but in order to give the report the weight and meaning that was intended, you'd have to assume he was. Reporters routinely assume the role of analyst, scout, or in this case GM. Is this what we want our reporters doing? Are they qualified to do such? The fact that this appeared in a blog also underlines some of the things we were talking about below.

2. That said, how can you blame Quick for doing what he did? The access was there. And this is what we look for in reporters and news nowadays: access and somebody to blab about it. I would be shocked if he or any other reporter would turn away from that opportunity. You can't reasonably expect them to. And before you start pointing fingers, remember they do it because this is what we buy. Any number of people were salivating all over themselves waiting for news, rumors, or anything out of that building no matter what the source. And if the Blazers' statement about the report being nationally disseminated is true, not just locally either. If the crack was there and the opportunity was available, I do not fault Quick for peering through. He was just giving us what we want.

3. Speaking of the Blazers response, this also proves the point of the childishness on both sides of this equation. Granted the Blazers have a right to control their own information, at least as far as keeping workouts private. But kicking out all media is an overreaction bordering on tantrum. First of all, the crack shouldn't have been there. And nobody looked or passed in and out during the whole workout to notice this? But even if you buy into that idea, a six dollar an hour security guard (or heck, even team picture sub Tyler Assmus in an official shirt) standing outside the door during the restricted part of the workout would solve the problem entirely. The reason the Blazers are taking their ball and going home is because they want to publicly prosecute their ongoing war with the Oregonian. They took that action and released that statement in the hopes that you and I (and maybe his media peers) would say, "Well look what Quick has done now! He's gone and spoiled it for everyone!" He hasn't. The Blazers have. Or at least the Blazers are contributing equally by taking this stance. They may be turning the screws by denying the media access, but the move is horribly short-sighted. The people they're really denying access to are their own fans.

(I know...the overall strategy at HQ is to try and supplant local media outlets with their own website and the way they're spinning this plays right into that, but that's a story for another time...)

4. Speaking of fans...I'll admit a love/hate relationship with the O-Live Blazer forum and the posters there. I do not choose to join in that conversation, but I do read through from time to time because the forum represents a segment of the population which, if not as all-pervasive at it thinks it is, is at least worth hearing from time to time. Mostly I read to see which way the wind blows there, sometimes for a good laugh, and every once in a while because something meaningful is said.

I assume that likewise a few readers from that venue also come here and I have no wish to impugn them or get in a fracas with anyone else there. But I must admit laughing, no...guffawing, as I read through some of the righteous indignation directed at Quick and the rest of the media last night. Even a casual read through forum history will show you dozens of examples of people releasing supposedly sensitive or exclusive information gathered through private conversations with Kevin Pritchard, Steve Patterson, John Nash, ball boys, Blazer dancers, team janitors, or Zach's cousin's boyfriend. And we're not talking just the usual crackpots making these claims either, but respected forum regulars. It seems to me one of two things is true. Maybe these claims have legitimacy, in which case the Blazers obviously have security issues that go far beyond a gap in the blinds. Apparently high-placed Blazer officials are letting things slip on a weekly basis to people who immediately and repeatedly re-post this information online for all to see. (How could that former-FBI-agent investigation last year have found nothing? It's so obvious.) If this is true, team officials really need to check themselves and nobody has any ground to get mad at Quick or anybody in the media for doing what the rest of us could be doing if we were rightly placed. However, if these claims are not true then the credibility of the medium as a whole, including its criticisms, comes into question.

Also, as I recall, this is not the first time folks have been privy to knowledge gained by peeking through cracks. I don't remember whether it was a reporter or just a regular Joe with internet posting capability, but didn't the same thing happen at pre-season practices a year or two ago? And wasn't black paper put up in response? I don't recall cries of outrage at the reporters, or whoever else was involved, then.

So what have we learned? Jason Quick did what reporters are expected to do nowadays. I don't like it, but that doesn't make it wrong. In fact we're all probably hypocritical to point fingers when we've either done, or at least been fed by, the same thing for years. The Blazers, as is typical of them lately, are only making things worse, which does not give me hope that they're actually learning anything from any of these experiences. That is probably the saddest part of all to me. I can take or leave the Oregonian most days, but I really care about the team and look forward to a day when we don't have to talk about this kind of stuff anymore.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)

26 Comments:

Blogger BLAZER PROPHET said...

I think you hit the nail squarely when you stated, “this also proves the point of the childishness of both sides of this equation”.

While it can be debated if the Blazers should make these workouts ‘open’ is not the point. They don’t and they have reasons. The media is allowed access after the main body of the workout. Those are the rules and they ask the reporters to abide by them.

As to Quick, it’s not like he was peeping into a women’s shower room or breaking & entering to steal trade secrets. He peeped thru some blinds to watch a basketball workout. Again, another debate for another day.

Indeed, we have a couple of children. On the one side, the Oregonian & KFXX have set themselves against the Blazer organization and they have made it clear they will not let a lie stand in the way of a story and are bound & determined to paint as negative a side to the Blazers as they possibly can. Then we have the Blazers- unaccommodating and often belittling the local media when some good PR might go a long way to smooth over the situation.

Hopefully, at some point in time, one side or the other will act like an adult and perhaps this mess can get straightened out.

9:04 AM  
Anonymous BC said...

I think the Oregonian is nothing more than paparazzi. Why didn't any of the other reporters jump to the crack and blab? Simple enough, they respect the Blazers right to have a private workout and Quick didn't.

As a fan, I am not happy that he brought what might be taken as a legitimate view of a private workout so public, especially with a lot of other teams having a vested interest, as it may allow for our top choice in a draft pick to elude us.

Unless Quick is covering some garbage like Brangelina of Britney Spears, behave like a professional who writes for the states leading newspaper.

12:30 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

That's part of the argument I'm trying to make...EVERYTHING is Brangelina and Sean Preston nowadays, even things that were once considered serious news. This is where the media has gone. That's the part I don't like, but it's not a Quick thing.

I do wonder, though, had we been there, would we have looked? And would we have told? For myself, certainly yes to the first, and maybe to both.

--Dave

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think there is a vast difference between someone with no credentials passing on a rumor that they heard in an online forum and a prominent media member passing on sensitive information in a public setting such as his blog. Jason Quick's blog gets picked up by Hoopshype, Truehoop, etc. and suddenly everyone in the country heard that Rudy Gay outplayed Morrison. If Joe Schmo says that in a forum, nobody cares, and his credibility is suspect at best.

1:05 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Which is part of my argument against media people upon whom we depend for sensitive and authoritative information having blogs. To me it kind of reduces them to the level of the forum. I think blogs like Eric Marentette's are great because he only has one role, which is to run the blog. But I dislike the dual role of reporter with access to privileged information and blogger sharing behind-the-scenes stories.

--Dave

1:32 PM  
Blogger Scott R said...

i am sincerely disappointed in both sides. Quick should not have been looking behind the curtain(pun intended), but he did and it is human curiousity to do so. i know i would have done so. But, i can say i would not have posted what i saw on such a high profile outlet as the O-Live blazers beat blog. The Blazers, on the other hand, should have been more security conscious in how they had their thing set up. You hit it correctly saying all they needed was a very low paid person to stand there and keep a watch and look official. it may have cost them $100, but it would have saved this entire fiasco. The blazers are way over reacting. if they really want to prove a point, just pull quick's credentials. it's that easy. It is obviously Quick that they have a problem with, so just deal with him and not ban ALL media. But, what's done is done. Both sides are equally at fault, and it's unfortunate that such a petty incident by a reporter who has his own interests placed over that of the team, brings yet even more negative attention to the franchise, city, and state.

1:37 PM  
Anonymous BC said...

It seems to me this is another case of The Oregonian(or Quick as a person) of disrespecing the Blazers(not discussing this ongoing stuff now), whom were having, as it was called, a 'private workout'.

Sure, there are ways in to see what is going on, like peeking, or installing a camera in the walls or ceiling, but the bottom line is that the Blazer Organization said it was private and the media would have their time later in the day to do what they do best.

We need to hold the media to a higher standard. I feel they have run amok in the Oregonian Sports Section when it comes to the Blazers and they need to know it. So many people don't let them know they cross the line at times, and they shouldn't be afraid to let them know it.

1:38 PM  
Anonymous fatty said...

#1 who the hell is britney spears
bradgelina and sean preston who
are these people, locals i guess
anyway again it proves my point
quick was only doing his job
it's not like watergate or the
abscam tapes, it's just a work
out between potientially the
best player talent wise (gay)
vs the peoples choice morrison
so he wanted a little looksie
no harm no foul, not with the
abbott*costello team of patterson
and the boy wonder pricthard
oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh no !!!!
instead like the lying swine
they are they banished the entire
local media so you know what,
if i'm the portland media don't
cover any prees confrences unless
a d.wade,l.james type player is
coming to play for the blazers !!!
like you said dave a little positive media is a little ray
of sunshine for the most pathetic
organization in sports, yeah
blazer prophet for a change we
agree on something, hey dave did
you get my personal e*mail i sent
you yesterday !!!!! h.father's day

1:41 PM  
Anonymous fatty said...

this is for blazer prophet,
i personally like noah 1)the
kid lives in my neighborhood
2)he carried a very underachiving
florida program to new heights
and 3)most importantly he has
a little b.walton in him he's
a spoiled cultured rich kid but
he's refreshing young free*spirited
young man who speaks his mind
very good p.r. for this team
and like a said before buddy
a lineup of jack,roy or morrison
or even gay with martell and
noah with a tough minded pwf
trust me blazer fans the fortunes
of this franchise will change in
a hurry !!!!!

1:53 PM  
Blogger Scott R said...

i know this is out of context, but i have got to know this about fatty:

Where are you from?

Are you a blazers fan?

basketball fan?

it doesn't sound like you are a blazer fan to me since you are bashing them every time i read what you post, but i still read hoping there is an objective point of view from another basketball fan.

2:01 PM  
Blogger ignacio said...

I don't believe fatty when he claims never to have heard of Britney Spears despite his use of 4 exclamation points, 3, 5 and then 5 more!!!!!

And he might be right about Noah but the general belief is the guy's staying in school!!!!!

2:05 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Noah has to stay in school now as he hasn't declared for the draft. But let's try to keep this thread somewhere near the topic.

Fatty, I did get your e-mail. I am going to be really rushed all weekend but on Monday I should have more time to get back to folks. Thanks!

--Dave

2:47 PM  
Blogger BLAZER PROPHET said...

fatty- as to Noah, my jury is still out on him. I watched him play about 7 or 8 games last year. He plays well against non-athletic players 4-6" shorter than he is, but I haven't seen him play against anything resembling a quality opponent. Before I'd consider drafting him, I'd like to see him play against a few players similar to him in size & athleticism. That said, I do like his attitude and passion for the game. But that only goes so far.

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's my question to you guys... How many of you, when you read that Quick had obtained his info by peeking trough the blinds, stopped reading and clicked on a link to another story? Probably none. It makes me laugh when people rabidly consume every bit of info the Oregonian reporters put out there and then villify the source for bringing it to them. You want the Oregonian to change its ways? Stop clicking on the site or at least on the links to Quick's stories. Put your money where your mouth is.
Personally, I don't think Quick's actions were that out of line. Reporters are paid to gather information like this. Nobody complains about this sort of thing in other areas of news reporting. If a reporter wrote about something he or she had seen through a cracked office door at the mayor's office, I think very few people would cry foul.
The Blazers are paying for their own stupidity on this one. Let's see.... we know you guys are all paid to write about the team and that the draft is the hot topic of the day, so we're going to put you all in a room that overlooks the court with shoddy blinds while we hold a "private" workout with top prospects. But don't peek, ok?
Utterly ridiculous! Bordering on entrapment IMO. And let's not even start on their retarded response to the blog entry...

5:40 PM  
Anonymous jorga said...

I just read Canzano's blog in which he said the blinds were on the Blazers' side of the window which, if true, means the team has to share part of the blame. (And I hate using the word "blame" because this incident is so trivial!) Rule 1: If you want to keep something private then make sure your blinds are drawn! I'd like to know how many others were in that room and how many of them "peeked". I would have looked and unless I had taken an oath that "what you see here stays here" I would have blabbed - mostly because of the stupidity of having to be held hostage in the little room when there were, apparently, more appropriate places to be asked to wait. (Taking Canzano's statements as fact.)

When I studied journalism (long long ago) news stories were to be "just the facts". Who, what, when, where, why and how. Period. These stories were published without a byline. Then there were opinion pieces - columns and editorials. They were always signed - and always reviewed by an editor. Ethical standards were high. Journalists still go to jail to protect their sources.

I'm having trouble sorting out the ethics of a reporter blogging about what he's reporting on. There just isn't room for everything in a story or column, but I'm not sure the blogs should go as far as they do. It's OK if teacher blogs about what goes in the classroom but not Ok if she writes about where she saw a student's parents on Saturday night.

I cannot see how what Quick wrote could jeopardize our draft. No GM is going to read that and think "Oh, we'd better rethink our plans since Quick thinks Gay better than Morrison". No GM is going to read it, period. It's only the fans who are going to put any stock in what he says.

Unfortunately there are way too many people out there who think because they read something, it is fact. It used to be bad with just newspapers and magazines (OK, radio & tv too - because, to some, if you hear it, it is also fact.) Now you can read even more on the internet. Thousands more places for opinion to be confused with fact (for some writers as well as readers.)

And maybe I should have asked this question straight out: why do any parts of the workouts have to be private? Would teams be sending spies around to check them out? Doesn't everyone know what the top prospects can do by now? The draft is a crap shoot anyway - you make your best guess and wait.

Which takes me off on another tangent : Were the Celtics ever "compensated" for the death of Len Bias? Have there been other high picks who never played in the NBA?

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quick...grow up and stopping irritating the Blazers. You and them are both to blame. It's kind of like "he hit me first"... Take the higher ground. You knew you were breaking the rules by peaking through the blinds and you were trying to draw a reaction from them. Well...you got one. And now we all will pay as a result. I personally hope they just cut off all your access to the team.

Your an idiot!!!!

9:32 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Good question Jorga! I know the Celts weren't compensated for Bias. I'll look for other examples.

--Dave

10:10 PM  
Anonymous fatty said...

#1 ignacio can you please tell
me who the hell is b.spears
bradgelina or s.preston are
these people blazer scouts
or something please let me
know who they are..
as for scott r, when dave
reads my e-mail he'll let
everyone know about how
i really feel about thr
blazers!!! happy father's day !!

11:43 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

I suppose we've reached a milestone of sorts. I've just deleted my first comment. My intention has always been to make this as free and honest of a place as possible, so I will resist any pre-comment screening or registration as long as I'm able. Basically I trust in you guys to contribute to the site and its conversation without destroying either. I suppose as the site gets more popular a few odd things might creep in, but we'll deal with that.

Just to be clear, the comment in question made an analogy to sexual violence and also had pretty heavy swearing. The first will never be tolerated here. Sorry, in my mind that's not a subject to compare to basketball in any way. And while I'll gloss over a little light profanity, just as I would if we were all in a conversation together in the living room, repeated, heavy stuff is not welcome.

My vision for this site is to duplicate as closely as possible the type of conversation we'd have if we were having coffee together and talking about the Blazers. The world needs more of that. Please help out by keeping the discussion reasonable.

--Dave

4:35 PM  
Blogger Scott R said...

amen dave. you've got the right idea going here! let's keep it clean.

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Lord. Portland HAS become Salt Lake City.

There was NO allusion to sexual violence. It was a response to the comment you made of 'who can blame the guy for sneaking a little peak'.

My point was that Quick was a guest as a company reviewed it's potential 'product line' and he spilled details he knew better than to peak at and steal.

If you need a different analogy, it's like stealing a prescription drug from your friends bathroom because you had the opportunity to dig through the drug cabinet that was left unsecured.

What Quick did just goes to show what a little punk he is. It was wrong; he revealed privileged - PRIVILEGED - information. And just because he's a part of the media and people in the public are willing to overlook that because getting a tid-bit from a beat reporter that safisfies their information addiction doesn't make it OK.

Quick was wrong, no excuses. He abused the trust he was granted and if it were my company, given Quick's history, he'd never be invited back - nor would his company, without some serious fence mending.

Clear and clean enough for you this time, church boys?

5:54 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

Better put, yes. Thanks.

--Dave

6:36 AM  
Blogger Spotchester said...

I wonder how many of you whining about Quick peeking through some blinds salivated over his every word regarding Morrison and Gay. Probably safe to say quite a few.

I think it's awfully naive to assume a reporter is going to hold himself to some mythical moral standard that you've set for him. Reporters are out for stories and if you think this incident was scandalous, well...only in a small town like Portland could someone hold such an absurdly rosy and not-at-all realistic way of thinking.

Which brings us to the Blazers Let's just say this, if you were to get me slightly drunk and try and convince me that this organization is run solely by persons under the age of 5 years old, I would 100% absolutely believe you.

If I attend any games next year, I assure you it will be with paper bag firmly in place over head.

I think the day this franchise starts to right itself is the day the fans quit apologizing for every idiotic and/or sleazy move they make.

1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I think it's awfully naive to assume a reporter is going to hold himself to some mythical moral standard that you've set for him. Reporters are out for stories . . ."

You see, my first post was removed for comparing this attitude to "Hey bro, of course I got it on with your girl - What do you expect, huh? I'm a guy."

This isn't a mythical moral standard; it's right versus wrong.

If I make a move on your girl because you were naive enough to TRUST me, who's the ass?

You?

You shouldn't trust me and you're a fool to ever allow me into your home again.

Quick, pious and self-righteous as he is, has shown his true character.

Don't make excuses for him "doing his job". He's a sleezeball - and that's the story.

Now, if it's true that Gay really did outplay Morrison - and Gay is the Blazer's target - what kind of damage could Quick do to this organization for years to come by tipping the Blazers' hand?

Since sports are so commonly mis-associated with war, let's go ahead and call him a spy who should be beheaded for revealing top secret information that could compromise the war effort.

If the Oregonian had a spine, they'd fire him and make a statement about the quality of their
own organization.

And don't be so sure Quick wouldn't peep into woman's shower - a peeper is a peeper. A person with a deficient moral compass, is a person with a deficient moral compass.

Period.

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