ESPN and Big Ben

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    ESPN and Big Ben

    Bob Raissman

    Journalism basics are news to ESPN while covering Ben Roethlisberger civil suit

    Updated Friday, July 24th 2009, 11:04 AM Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger vows Thursday in Pittsburgh to fight civil suit, calling allegations of rape by a former hotel concierge 'false and vicious' and 'outrageous.'

    No one should be surprised that top brass at ESPN decided it was more important to protect Ben Roethlisberger than report a civil suit had been filed against him, alleging the Steelers QB raped a woman in a Nevada hotel room last year.

    When a genius in Bristol created that "Worldwide Leader" moniker, he was not referring to the worldwide leader in journalism. ESPN is, was, and always will be an entertainment company, more show biz than news biz.

    It is a company that values its partnerships with the National Football League - and other professional sports organizations - more than it values the truth. It is a company more concerned with protecting the reputations of sports' biggest stars, such as Roethlisberger, than the reputations of its employees.

    After all, who ultimately is more important to ESPN's bottom line? Those who know the answer know ESPN's decision to wait until Wednesday night to report the story, more than 36 hours after it broke, was an exercise in protecting the network's self-interest.

    Throughout its multimedia platforms - TV, radio, magazine, Web site - ESPN employs many people: Columnists, talk-radio screamers, investigative reporters (who could have looked into the allegations in this civil suit) and analysts working in broadcast booths. Yet, with one command, one "don't dare report this," they all shutup.

    They now all must live with one perception: They are puppets.

    No one working for ESPN can protest the Roethlisberger edict, at least not publicly. Jobs are hard to come by. The suits who decided the network should sit on allegations contained in the civil suit filed by Andrea McNulty care more about the quarterback's reputation than the rep of a guy such as Bob Ley, who anchors "Outside The Lines."

    If ESPN brass truly valued their employees, including the ones they classify as "journalists," they never would have put them in such an untenable position. Instead of sitting on the story, ESPN could have buried it inside "SportsCenter." No big splash was necessary. Just report the suit had been filed against Roethlisberger and move on.

    Simple, right? Perhaps this was really all about stupidity. Now, how can ESPN voices ever accuse anyone of stonewalling, concealing facts or covering up without being laughed at? ESPN's designated management mouths offered a number of unconvincing excuses for not reporting the Roethlisberger story when it broke.

    The initial ones went like this: "No criminal complaint was filed" or allegations in a civil suit "may not prove to be true." Another excuse was ESPN is "careful" in reporting civil suits "that impugn a person's reputation or character."

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  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from MVPkilla. Show MVPkilla's posts

    Re: ESPN and Big Ben

    I love it! Other reporters are finally starting to call ESPN out for the joke it is.
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Kmaxx. Show Kmaxx's posts

    Re: ESPN and Big Ben

    I herd Francesa on WFAN ripping ESPN this afternoon for this.  Priceless.
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from prairiemike. Show prairiemike's posts

    Re: ESPN and Big Ben

     Entertainment Sports Programming Network

    Nothing in there about journalism.

    (Oh . . .   and incidentally, ABC has been "The Worldwide Leader in Sports" since the days of the actual Wide World of Sports -- surely some of you remember "the thrill of victory . . .  and the agony of defeat." Now that both ABC and ESPN are members of the Mickey Mouse Club, they are interchangeable, but it wasn't any "genius in Bristol" who came up with that "worldwide leader" business. I have no idea who Bob Raissman is, but I think it's kind of funny that a guy cracking on ESPN for a lack of journalistic integrity doesn't appear to have the first clue himself -- this is what makes the internet so much fun.)
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from MVPkilla. Show MVPkilla's posts

    Re: ESPN and Big Ben

    By the way the reporter on this story has a fantastic mustash lol (might have spelt that wrong) Who wants a mustash ride! lol
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from prairiemike. Show prairiemike's posts

    Re: ESPN and Big Ben

    That is a quality handlebar, I'll give him that.

    Hey Bob, 1898 called . . .  it wants its moustache back.
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from MVPkilla. Show MVPkilla's posts

    Re: ESPN and Big Ben

    LoL there is power in that moustache lol
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from PatsRfineIn09. Show PatsRfineIn09's posts

    Re: ESPN and Big Ben

    BSPN is an agenda driven channel, sensationalistic, political and classless.