Question of Professionalism

If Gordon Edes or Tony Massarotti (or Rob Bradford or Amalie Benjamin) in an in-game blog criticized Yankee fans for granting a curtain call on, say an Alex Rodriguez first-inning home run, would it be within their bounds as professional journalists to call those fans a "pack of drunks"?

That question in mind, here’s what Peter Abraham had to say about the Red Sox’ fans decision to give Josh Beckett, who retired 15 of 17 14 of 15 Yankees at one point in his effective start, a standing O as he left the field. In a post entitled, "Low Standards at Fenway Park":

Josh Beckett allowed four earned runs on nine hits in 6.2 innings and got a standing ovation from the pack of drunks fans here when he came off the field.

What would they have done if he had pitched well?

Not only is this truly a case of the pot calling the kettle black — no one gives out curtain calls more frivolously than the Yankee Stadium crowds — but isn’t a professional journalist, one who is supposed to be fair (if not impartial), supposed to avoid the generalizations, stereotypes and name-calling engaged in on the lowest levels of this rivalry — even as a joke?

65 comments… add one
  • Well, it’s a joke, and maybe not to a Sox fan’s liking, but since it’s a blog, and I suppose a place for him to shed some of the beat reporter’s objectivity and reveal his personality and sense of humor, I don’t see the problem here.

    Nick-YF April 22, 2007, 9:36 am
  • Lighten up, Frances.

    The Big Toe April 22, 2007, 9:38 am
  • I can see it as a joke. The main problem I had was the forum. If you had said it, Nick, I would have immediately taken it as a joke, because it’s said in a forum where Sox fans come every day, and where we all know and respect each other. In a forum populated by mainly rabid Yankee fans, it had more the feel of preaching to the choir or playing to the crowd. Just wondered if that’s where journalists should go — even in the medium of an informal blog.

    Paul SF April 22, 2007, 9:44 am
  • Paul is like a little chihuahua yapping at the heels of Pete Abraham.
    Paul, you complain about every article that’s written that portrays anything about the Red Sox, in anything less than your utopian perception of them, whether it be written by A NY writer, a Boston writer or whoever.
    Why don’t you quit your whining and enjoy the fact the Sox have pulled out the 1st 2 games of the series?

    Whatever April 22, 2007, 9:47 am
  • I see your point, Paul, and my first feeling is that it’s fine because of the seemingly agreed-upon difference between a blog and other more official media. I’m not sure if I’m being too cavalier about that perceived difference, if I’m taking it too much for granted, but I think it’s a good trade-off for us as readers. I think the difference between reading a beat reporters report in a paper and his reporting on his blog is that we learn about who that beat reporter is in the latter case. I think that’s a good thing.

    Nick-YF April 22, 2007, 9:48 am
  • Yeah, Paul, I think maybe you’re giving his blog waaayy too much credit, man. His article is often very good, but his blog has one purpose: to appease the Yankee readers who are looking for a good story or a good laugh in this hour of ugliness. He’s a homer, just as you are, or YF is, or anyone else who comes on here (or there).
    He could have said anything about Beckett, but it wouldn’t have changed the fact that after a slow start, Beckett put up very good innings agaist that lineup, and really, what else could we ask of him? Another good start, and another win for Beckett.
    Sour grapes, man. No need to get on Peter that much, but hardly is he one to talk about standards!

    Brad April 22, 2007, 9:50 am
  • I’ll argue the another good start line with you Brad until the roosters come home! So far it’s Beckett 3, Nick 1, in the battle of “To Eat Crow, To Not Eat Crow, That is the Question”.

    Nick-YF April 22, 2007, 9:52 am
  • WE is hardly one to talk about carping OR whining, since that’s all he ever does when he posts here.
    I wouldn’t have even brought up the Beckett comment if not for the “pack of drunks” line. It just struck me as odd is all, since I’m pretty sure we’d never see that from ANY of the other newspaper-affiliated blogs that cover the Sox or the Yanks. But Pete’s style is also different from the other such blogs, so I can see how this fits in with his m.o.

    Paul SF April 22, 2007, 9:56 am
  • Paul, I am a Yankee fan, and I do see your point. It was unprofessional to say the least. But Abraham has a history of being personal and unprofessional, and his pet excuse when he gets called out on those is “Lighten up, I am trying to have some fun”.
    But more than that, I believe it is time for you guys to pay less attention to him, period. His analysis is sophomoric (he proposed a trade that would send Farnsworth (not a championship caliber pitcher™) and a prospect to the Phillies for, wait for it, Jon Lieber (can pitch in New York™)), and beyond the real-time news and the audio, his writing, analysis and professionalism leaves much to be desired. He keeps getting back to his proposed trade childishly whenever Farnsworth has a bad day (granted, those keep coming awfully often). And wait for Alex Rodriguez’s (who apparently rubs him the wrong way) first slump of the season for him to jump all over him with assortment of snide remarks. Also hates Curt Schilling, but that is probably as widespread a thing as hating A-Rod.
    One thing he is not though, is a Yankee fan. He grew up a Red Sox fan (and might have more in common with the “pack of drunks” he refers to that fill Fenway), and these days his job probably requires him to take a more Yankee-centric view. He worships Derek Jeter and Joe Torre, and is their biggest apologist. Guess he likes their banal and cliched responses to everything.

    Sam (A different one?) April 22, 2007, 10:34 am
  • “WE is hardly one to talk about carping OR whining since that’s all he ever does when he posts here.”
    Now Paul, that’s a bit unfair. But whatever. Heh.
    You do more complaining about unflattering articles on the Sox than all the rest of the Sox fans put together here, but instead of being wise enough to realize there’s always going to be somebody writing articles or making comments about your team you don’t like and letting it go by, you harp on and on about the audacity of these mentally unstable, unethical bastards who dare say something derogatory about the Sox.
    I mean, this is about the umpteenth time you’ve been unhappy with something Abraham or Shaughnessy or Chass or whoever, had to say about the Sox and then felt compelled to do a weak character assassination on them for it. Do you stay awake at night fuming over this shit? Give it a rest.

    Whatever April 22, 2007, 11:55 am
  • As a budding journalist, that sounds like typical press-room/box chatter to me.
    And since it’s a blog, it’s not like he can’t put any opinion/jokes in it.

    yankeesnj April 22, 2007, 12:09 pm
  • but his blog is attached to the newspaper.. and he wasnt criticizing the team.. he was calling the fans a pack of drunks… not cool.

    Ric April 22, 2007, 12:18 pm
  • not that i think being drunk is bad ;)

    Ric April 22, 2007, 12:19 pm
  • Drawing attention to any hack gives them undeserved credibility. It is best just to let it rest.
    It’s all about the ratings. In the print business, and I guess blog business, what you want most is readership. Draw attention to something negative and people will go to it and then get p!ssed off.
    You linked Lohud, I went there when I otherwise would not have. It got another hit (a positive for him) and I got nothing in return (a negative for me).
    I think you would be better served by pointing out interesting and even-handed work (Cafardo’s notes column today, for example), than a name-calling hack who just wants attention.
    Point us to something interesting, revealing and provacative. It doesn’t necessarily have to be positive. But as long as it’s well argued and well written, I can live with it.
    There’s no reason to even acklowledge the chumps.

    I'm Bill McNeal April 22, 2007, 12:20 pm
  • That said, I agree with Ric. Because PA’s blog is attached to a newspaper, he needs to show beter judgment and forego the namecalling. That’s simply unprofessional.
    His editor should not have let that through. And if there is no editor for the blog, there should be.
    (Besides, we all that know the REAL pack-of-drunks stadium is Wrigley Field.)

    I'm Bill McNeal April 22, 2007, 12:26 pm
  • I think Bill is drunk again everyone.

    walein April 22, 2007, 12:46 pm
  • I’m certain that when something rises to the level of having a negative impact on advertising, Pete and any other writer will be called to the editor’s office to “have a come to Jeebus” session. Pete’s remark was rather innocuous in the spectrum of unprofessional things to write in a blog. Maybe it isn’t where blogs, or at least ones tied to “traditional” media sources need to be at. The market will bear that out. Personally, I appreciate a bit less of a filter on the words coming out of the writers’ mouths in the one-off form of a blog as opposed to a masthead article, and I just don’t see this as a big deal.
    I disagree that blogs should have editors, for two important reasons:
    1) Blogs by their very nature are rapid-fire, give and take, and are for the most part, self-policing. Editors would muck it up.
    2) Not one word from me would make the page

    attackgerbil April 22, 2007, 12:52 pm
  • >>>Well, it’s a joke, and maybe not to a Sox fan’s liking, but since it’s a blog, and I suppose a place for him to shed some of the beat reporter’s objectivity and reveal his personality and sense of humor, I don’t see the problem here.<<< Interesting. Let's remember this opinion the next time a YF accuses a SF of not being "classy."

    Hudson April 22, 2007, 12:52 pm
  • Walien, not yet. It’s only noon here in the Midwest.
    AG, I appreciate your take. Given that, let me amend my note on editors. They should have an editor to ensure that nothing inappropriate or libelous is written, again, in the context of it being attached to a newspaper. And I say that for this reason: Would you not agree that such blogs are subject to the same libel laws as newspapers? (Or perhaps since this probably would fall under opinion, different rules apply?)

    I'm Bill McNeal April 22, 2007, 1:07 pm
  • Wow, Sox fans win the first two games in nice dramatic fashion, and Paul is angry about a post on another blog.
    Lighten up and enjoy the moment.

    jim - YF April 22, 2007, 1:22 pm
  • Totally with you on the pot/kettle analysis here, Paul. YFs throw around ovations like nothing. And besides, Beckett was good. The runs came from a couple weak hits in the first and some shoddy fielding in the second. Homeboy left in the 7th inning with a lead against the Yanks. He wasn’t great, but he was good enough for the win. I’ll take it.

    Tyrel SF April 22, 2007, 1:40 pm
  • Meanwhile, I still can’t figure out why SF’s (with Paul as their erstwhile spokesman) are so sensitive to generalizations about them. My god, two great wins to go with first place in the division and they’re still whining about names they been called (Torre, Ryan, PeteAbe).
    Man, that inferiority complex runs deep. Who’s give a flying funk?

    jim - YF April 22, 2007, 1:42 pm
  • I was mildly irritated by the post for its hypocrisy, given the NY penchant for pointless and premature curtain calls, but I don’t think this is a big deal. (And FWIW, many of his commenters thought it was a stupid remark) That said, I’m fairly certain that newspaper bloggers are subject to most of the same rules. Rightly or wrongly, they’re under editorial control for the reasons Bill just stated; the newspaper is still liable for anything they say, so this is somewhat unavoidable.
    As CHB and others have shown, you can stereotype all you want about a fanbase without repercussion, at least as long as it’s in jest. I’m guessing there are other boundaries, too; I don’t think a joke about Boston’s perceived whiteness and racism would have gone over too well.

    desturbd1 April 22, 2007, 1:43 pm
  • And Tyrel, Pete isn’t a YF (He’s a Pats fan first). Sure, he’s pandering to his audience, but who cares? Oh right, Paul does. He’s angry and he’s not going to take it anymore.

    jim - YF April 22, 2007, 1:44 pm
  • This dude Abraham has been wrong at every turn…his petty Arod bashing cuz Arod wouldnt talk to him..Sox camp is chaos…JD Drew is an awful fit in Sox lineup..Sox offense is a “house of cards”..comparing Igawa and Matsusaka spring stats..the kid is a joke. for real

    Buffalohead April 22, 2007, 1:48 pm
  • Apparently, some YFs here are incapable of having more than one thought or opinion at a time, such is the nature of their disagreement with me.
    “The Sox won! You should be happy!” I AM happy, but as a journalist myself, I was bothered when someone who is a professional journalist stooped to the name-calling we see on the lowest levels of our great rivalry. I believe my brain is sophisticated enough to be happy and grateful over two Sox wins over the Yankees while simultaneously being able to process and comment on negative information. If this is a problem for certain YFs, there’s nothing I can do about that.
    I mean, this is about the umpteenth time you’ve been unhappy with something Abraham or Shaughnessy or Chass or whoever, had to say about the Sox … Give it a rest.
    Funny. I thought this was a blog at least in part about the Sox, therefore leaving room for me to comment on things I find interesting or relevant about the Sox. I must be mistaken. From now on, WE, I’ll only post about great fantastic stories about how great and fantastic the Sox are and await your inevitable reply that I’m a rose-glasses-wearing homer.
    I have commented about articles about the Sox that I’ve liked and didn’t like throughout my time on this blog. If something seems interesting and might fuel discussion, and I have something I want to say about it, I post it here. Generally, it generates discussion. This seems to me the point of the blog. If you disagree, then perhaps you’re visiting the wrong blog.
    I think you would be better served by pointing out interesting and even-handed work (Cafardo’s notes column today, for example), than a name-calling hack who just wants attention.
    I don’t worry about whether I’m generating traffic to so-and-so’s site because that’s not the point. If I — or more broadly any of us — were to worry about driving traffic everytime we posted a criticism of another blog or reporter or Web site, we would be a boring place indeed, heaping praise on everything and ignoring the negative. The x number of blog hits this post does or does not direct toward Pete’s blog will not sway his traffic much in either direction, so that was the least of my concerns. Considering I excerpted the relevant portion of Pete’s post, the choice to click the link was yours, Bill. I haven’t gotten to Cafardo’s notes yet today, for what it’s worth, though I do read it every week.
    For the record, I post about articles I like here: http://yanksfansoxfan.typepad.com/ysfs/2007/02/sox_spring_roun_1.html
    And here:
    http://yanksfansoxfan.typepad.com/ysfs/2007/03/props_to_the_ch.html
    And here:
    http://yanksfansoxfan.typepad.com/ysfs/2007/02/humanizing_scot.html
    All done with about 1.5 minutes of searching. You can also find without any difficultuy, rants from all my fellow bloggers here on various articles and whatnot about both teams that they’ve liked and hated.
    This is a blog. We spout opinions of all kinds here. Discussion is encouraged. Complaining about what kind of opinions I’mn posting, though, is pretty ridiculous. And seems to be an easy way to skirt the substance of the post to avoid actually discussing the issue.

    Paul SF April 22, 2007, 1:53 pm
  • > Would you not agree that such blogs are subject to the same libel laws as newspapers? (Or perhaps since this probably would fall under opinion, different rules apply?)
    Interesting question. It certainly makes me think that papers would want to distance themselves from author’s blogs in some fashion. A libel suit is a civil action, and from what I know, bloggers face the same liabilities as print publications, and are afforded the same protections more or less. However, IANALNEAA (I am not a lawyer nor even an attackgerbil).
    There may be a difference in the matter of the “deep pockets” sides of the argument. Let’s say Nick writes in the blog, “attackgerbil is a drunken idiot who has no clue about baseball whatsoever.” I’m not likely to sue Nick, because first of all, it would be impossible for me to convince a jury that what Nick wrote was false or unjustly injured my reputation, and secondly, Nick’s a teacher and doesn’t have any money. However, if Pete wrote it, I could go after Lower Hudson, even Gannett maybe, but they’re really good at defending libel suits since they get sued by kooks like me all the time.
    On the other hand, if I theoretically were to write, “The off-season decisions made by the Yankee F.O. delivering the current MASH unit of a rotation leaves no doubt that the Yankees are currently piloted by a pen full of chimps with cell phones.” Now, keep in mind I wouldn’t write that on a blog, ever. However, if I did, the Yankee organization could slam me with such a burdensome court suit that I’d never be near public forum again. Which may be a public service.
    I agree that people should be responsible about for what they say and be responsible about what they say. I hope that doesn’t keep writers from dipping into a little controversy and humor, and I especially it doesn’t keep people from laughing at themselves and not taking things too personally when a writer makes a flip comment.

    attackgerbil April 22, 2007, 1:58 pm
  • Sadly, When AG says “Nick has no money” it is not libel.

    Nick-YF April 22, 2007, 2:02 pm
  • The entire Yankee organization is UNPROFESSIONAL! You’ve got playerz knocking up the sluts on that stupid YES network show where the groupies just follow the players around hoping to get laid. Good gig if youre a groupie but not that classy image the yankz always r trying to project!

    Sox Man April 22, 2007, 2:11 pm
  • Paul: “This is a blog. I have every right to be angry whenever, and regarding whatever, I want.”

    jim - YF April 22, 2007, 2:11 pm
  • “I don’t think a joke about Boston’s perceived whiteness and racism would have gone over too well.”
    You mean like in the comments on LOHUD?
    Jim, it’s irrelevant whether PA is a Yanks fn or Pats fan (but who can blame him if he is a Pats fan?), he was writing to an audience of YFs and pandering for a paycheck. PA has been held up on this blog as an example of a quality sports journalist, and a friend of the site, but I think of him as a sports radio variety journalist.
    That said, I don’t really care what he thinks of Boston fans. At least we can still drink in the bleachers.

    Tyrel SF April 22, 2007, 2:12 pm
  • “You’ve got playerz knocking up the sluts on that stupid YES network show where the groupies just follow the players around hoping to get laid.”
    I remember some rumor about D. Lowe and Hazel Mae, or something.
    Otherwise, I got nothing.

    Tyrel SF April 22, 2007, 2:18 pm
  • Um, I was making a joke. Sorry you you didn’t get it. But thanks for reading the blog.

    Pete Abraham April 22, 2007, 2:21 pm
  • “On the other hand, if I theoretically were to write, “The off-season decisions made by the Yankee F.O. delivering the current MASH unit of a rotation leaves no doubt that the Yankees are currently piloted by a pen full of chimps with cell phones.” Now, keep in mind I wouldn’t write that on a blog, ever. However, if I did, the Yankee organization could slam me with such a burdensome court suit that I’d never be near public forum again. Which may be a public service.”
    But I don’t know that that’s true. The Yankees are in the public domain, as are Yankee management and our respective “fanbases.” If I write, “Britney Spears is a crazy f*cking whore whose kids will be lucky to survive into adulthood,” she couldn’t sue me. People say things like that all the time over the Internet. Unless you stand to make personal gains over an attack, try to incite violence, or hammer random non-celebrities–like your neighbor or coworker, for instance–to try and make their lives hell, I’m pretty sure you’re in the clear.
    By the same token, newspaper columnists seem able to write whatever they want–so long as they are clearly writing opinion pieces and avoid telling outright lies. If a journalist writing a normal story on Britney Spears says something like, “Yesterday, the crazy whore was spotted banging a busboy…” that’ll be a problem. “Crazy whore” is an editorialization, which is not OK in impartial news stories.
    But if the author’s writing an opinion piece about her fitness as a parent, the rules regarding what he can and cannot say are far less strict. It might still be unethical and/or illegal to needlessly name-call, I’m not sure, but attacking her parental skills or singing ability is perfectly legit regardless of the language involved. Kind of like attacking the Yankee FO (or any other FO) for its ineptitude; and in AG’s example, the rules allowing for satire would almost certainly come into play.
    (And yeah, Tyrel, exactly like the comments in LOHUD. Difference being that guy’s not a journalist.)

    desturbd1 April 22, 2007, 2:22 pm
  • It may be politically correct for thin-skinned Red Sox fans, but the following comment from that LoHud Yankee link is pretty funny, if not true:
    “Low standards is right. Here’s a fun drinking game if you have to drive home after watching a Fenway game at a friend’s house or a bar. Take a drink every time you spot an African-American fan in the Fenway crowd.
    Your sobriety is guaranteed.”

    yf2k April 22, 2007, 2:45 pm
  • yo Pete…. YOU SUCK!

    TJ April 22, 2007, 2:50 pm
  • Sox fans aren’t all drunks?
    Personally, in a series like the Yanks/Sox one, where emotions are high and people invest alot (especially the people that are able to actually GET tickets to those games), I completely understand people giving standing ovations and cheering louder, and booing meaner, than they might in a less noteworthy situation.
    In the case of Beckett (who I”m not the biggest fan of), he was able to weather a very rough patch against a very powerful offense, and then shut them down. It’s worth a standing ovation the way A Rod would deserve a standing ovation next weekend if he hits a homerun in the first inning.
    I don’t think Abraham needs to write in any specific way other than how he writes. People will disagree and question him (as Paul has in this instance) and others will lambast him for his Rodriguez bashing (of which i’ve been critical).
    As long as he doesn’t shut off his comments, and continues to get “hits” on his blog that should be fine for both the readers and the authors of the internet. If Sox fans decide to put internet critical pressure on Abraham because of anything perceived erroneous he will either apologize or not, suffer the issues that come with that or not.

    walein April 22, 2007, 2:50 pm
  • “I hope that doesn’t keep writers from dipping into a little controversy and humor, and I especially it doesn’t keep people from laughing at themselves and not taking things too personally when a writer makes a flip comment.”
    The trouble here is that given the nature of blogging, quick-hit, flip comments and the like, it is not always easy to discern whether the author intends humor or it simply being mean.
    If you HEAR and SEE someone make a remark, you would hear voice inflection and see facial expression that in all probability would indicate whether the author was making a joke.
    Similarly in a full newspaper column, one might be unable to tell from an exerpt whether the author was being ironic, humorous, satirical, etc., but the full column would hopefully bear that out.
    On this site, posters often take cheap shots and all names, sometimes to be cute, sometimes because they’re angry, sometimes to be provocative, etc. The fact is as a reader, you don’t always know the author’s intent. So we must be mindful of that both as a writer (can this be misinterprested?)and a reader (am I misinterpreting this?)
    I’m learning that the best rule of thumb is that thick skin is always in order.

    I'm Bill McNeal April 22, 2007, 3:02 pm
  • theres a difference between some fan posting a comment on here and a sports beat writer making a comment like that on a blog for his newspaper

    TJ April 22, 2007, 3:23 pm
  • Thanks for responding, Pete.
    I repeat: This has NOTHING to do with the actual nature of the joke, or whether I thought it was funny. It had EVERYTHING to do with Pete’s status as a professional journalist and whether there is a duty for such writers to hold themselves to a higher standard. This has nothing to do with anger or hurt feelings and everything to do with my own personal interest in the profession and the complications blogging imbeds in that. That’s why I phrased my post as a question.
    The libel conversation is an interesting one. Those blogging for newspapers carry all the benefits and all the problems of being affiliated with the media. On the one hand, those wishing to sue someone like Pete or Gordon Edes for libel based on something they post while on a Globe- or LoHud-affiliated blog (as an employee of that publication) have broad protection from libel suits. They have to either printed something they knew was false or could have easily verified was false that was actually true. A court also would likely be reluctant to convict unless the libelee could prove that they were somehow damaged by this libel. Since the Yankee organization is nebulous and filthy rich, it would be highly unlikely anyone could sue a writer for libel, particularly because opinions — even ones stated as facts — are also protected.
    Individuals, however. If Pete were to call Josh Beckett a raging drunk, for example, Beckett would likely have a case. Britney Spears wouldn’t have a case against Nick or AG, but probably against me if I wrote something in my paper about her as fact that was blatantly untrue.
    So editors edit blogs to cover their papers’ butts, and rightly so. A newspaper-based blog is different from this blog or any other because the people involved have the weight of the First Amendment behind them, and what they say affects reputations far more than if Joe Shmo starts a blog and starts trashing Britney Spears.
    Which brings me full circle to my original point/question. Despite the freedom and humor allowed in the blog format, must professional journalists still hold themselves to a higher standard than what is commonly seen in the medium? The courts, I think, would say so.

    Paul SF April 22, 2007, 3:46 pm
  • “They have to either printed something they knew was false or could have easily verified was false that was actually true.”
    What a butchered sentence. The writers have to have printed something and presented it as true when they knew it was false or could have easily verified it was false. (On a side note, simply quoting someone else as saying it, if it is a potentially verifiable fact and not an opinion, is also libelous).

    Paul SF April 22, 2007, 3:49 pm
  • I was at the game, and I stood and applauded Beckett for making it to the seventh, for picking me up a win on both my fantasy teams, and for his previous performance this year. Going 4-0 in 4 starts is great, no matter how you end up doing it.
    I imagine that everybody else stood and applauded Beckett because they were sauced out of their minds.

    Kazz April 22, 2007, 3:51 pm
  • In all candor and fairness, Paul, and with all due respect, I don’t think it was clear from the original post that that was your point. (If I’m thick and missed that, I apologize.) Regardless, it is a legit point and question, which I think the nature of the subsequent posts on here have borne out.
    Frankly, the discussion has been great. (Stupid night games.)
    As for this:
    “A court also would likely be reluctant to convict unless the libelee could prove that they were somehow damaged by this libel.”
    Wanna bet?
    There was a certain small newspaper in Illinois that late last year lost a libel suit to a certain Illinois Supreme Court chief justice, who just happens to be a former Chicago Bears kicker. The plaintiff failed to prove he was damaged or that the alleged libel was actually false, but still was awarded $7 million by a jury. A judge later reduced the award to $4 million.
    Google: Thomas, Chronicle, Page and libel if you’re interested. (And it should leave all journalists shaking in their shoes.)
    (Also, given that it is in civil court, there’s no conviction.)

    I'm Bill McNeal April 22, 2007, 3:59 pm
  • Good summation of libel on the intertubes, courtesy of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
    http://www.eff.org/bloggers/lg/faq-defamation.php
    And luckily for PA, “truth” is an absolute defense against any libel claim.

    Tyrel SF April 22, 2007, 4:04 pm
  • There’s no accounting for stupid judges, I guess. I’d bet it gets overturned on appeal. Libel cases almost never withstand the first round of appeals, let alone the last (the SCOTUS).
    Anyway, apologies if I made it sound like I was mad about the Beckett aspect of the post or the “drunk fans” strikethrough. If Bronx Banter had posted that, I wouldn’t have said anything. Similarly, if Pete had just posted the Beckett part without the strikethrough, I wouldn’t have posted this either. It was all about the journo-blogger standards for me.

    Paul SF April 22, 2007, 4:08 pm
  • Ehh…that sounds like something of a different situation, Bill. The article in question suggested that the Justice committed a felony in caving to political pressure and giving a defendent a lesser sentence. That’s a pretty serious accusation, and the writer failed to back it up with anything but the old, “anonymous sources” angle. Which would have been OK, except everyone with any knowledge of the subject who was willing to speak on the record supported the judge.
    The jurors basically said that the writer should have been able to substantiate some of his claims with on-the-record sources, but failed to even show an effort to do so. Per libel law, failing to try and substantiate one’s information is just as illegal as knowingly lying. At one point the author also sent an e-mail to the supreme court, threatening a “nightmare of bad publicity” if Thomas refused to remove himself from the case in question. That probably didn’t help him, either.

    desturbd1 April 22, 2007, 4:17 pm
  • Different situation, yes. I mentioned it because Thomas (he if the big ego and thin skin) failed to prove he was damamged and still won a huge settlement.
    D1, yes, the email was bad. Very bad.
    The real problems came in that the judge wouldn’t allow the fact that it was an opinion column on the opinion page to be part of evidence. The judge laid a path that was very tough on Page.
    Further problems: all lower court judges answer to the Supreme Court justices, hense, the judge in this case was, in fact, ruling on a case involving his superior. And the path to the U.S. Supreme Court is still unclear because it is a case involving Illinois libel laws. The USSC would have to determine that it has jurisdiction somehow to take the case. I think the best outcome at this point is for another judge to reduce the award significantly further.
    (Most onlookers believed going in that the jury would rule in Thomas’ favor and award him $1 in damages. No typo, a single dollar.)
    (In an effort of full disclosure, I know all of the people involved except Thomas, and until a year ago was the news editor at that paper.)

    I'm Bill McNeal April 22, 2007, 4:30 pm
  • In the end we believed that the jury gave Thomas such a huge award because he played for the Bears and Notre Dame, and went to law school while he was playing for the Bears.
    The jurors couldn’t get past FORMER BEARS KICKER.

    I'm Bill McNeal April 22, 2007, 4:33 pm
  • Huh. Well, then your perspective’s probably just a little more valid then what I got on skimming through a few googled articles. :-)
    That’s pretty absurd, then, especially regarding the judge’s refusal to allow the article’s status as an opinion piece into the case. How did he justify that? It seems like something that could be, you know, important…
    It seems to me that maybe the US Supreme Court should have jurisdiction in any case involving a state Supreme Court justice. Or at the very least, there should be some way to ensure that a guy’s subordinates won’t be the ones deciding whether he’s in the right or wrong, especially in a civil suit.

    desturbd1 April 22, 2007, 4:41 pm
  • Oh, and going in a completely different direction…those Orioles have been somewhat…surprising thus far. The Roberts-Mora-Markakis-Tejada top of the order is very good, and with that (overpriced) bullpen…
    I don’t think they’re going to threaten for first, but they could be a major thorn in both our teams’ sides through much of the season. Bedard’s struggled a bit, but we know he’s a good pitcher; Danny Cabrera’s brought his walks down considerably, and if he keeps it up, his ERA will follow. And Adam Loewen’s as good as anyone when he’s on…though he walks a ton of guys, and looks like he’s probably a year away from coming into his own. Even Trachsel seems to be benefitting from Mazzone; their 5th is a mess, but…I dunno, they concern me a bit. If things go right with that top 3 and they can stay healthier then the rest of us, they could be in it for a long time.

    desturbd1 April 22, 2007, 4:52 pm
  • Recent post on LoHud:
    Just saw an AP story where a Mets fans was charged with “interfering with a professional sporting event” for shining a high-powered flashlight at some Braves players on Friday night.
    Interfering with a professional sporting event? Can they pin that on Carl Pavano?
    There has to be something they can charge him with.
    Here is ranking on Pavano. He made fun of A-rod earlier. I enjoy reading his blog bc its funny and has good anecdotes. SFs arent the target audience for LoHud I honestly have no idea why you bother reading it and especially the comments which are totally one sided. I avoid Sox blogs (except BDD) b/c I just dont need to get angry or whatever about dumb comments made by the other team’s fans. (there are plenty here, JK) To me its like going on a conservative website as a liberal and getting angry about the posts. What point does that serve?

    sam YF April 22, 2007, 5:10 pm
  • Paul,
    Pete’s ‘pack of drunks’ line was in reference to a previous post he had about the pizza thrower at the Angels game. it was a joke. it was a baseball game. in all probability they were a pack of drunks, just like at any fun sporting event. you should probably take it more seriously next time.

    Gibb April 22, 2007, 5:19 pm
  • Bonds homered again.
    Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

    I'm Bill McNeal April 22, 2007, 5:26 pm
  • I avoid Sox blogs (except BDD) b/c I just dont need to get angry or whatever about dumb comments made by the other team’s fans.
    That would make sense, for a YF. BDD doesn’t allow comments, first of all, so that’s off the table. Secondly, BDD is the most self-loathing Sox site on the web: they are more likely than not to spew invective towards the Sox and their fanbase. So I understand the appeal to Yankees fans. Why Sox fans seem to adore the site and why the Globe gives it their imprimatur and features it I have a difficult time understanding.
    As for Pete Abe’s original comment, how about we leave it at “a joke, but a really stupid one”. I don’t think Pete has a job at “Late Night” waiting for him, let’s put it that way. And Paul’s comments about the line between blogs and journalism are good ones, no matter what team he roots for.

    SF April 22, 2007, 6:21 pm
  • gibb is right about the “pack of drunks” reference. PA was reiterating a funny he made during the patriots day game.
    as for the amature lawyers on this site…..is calling CHB a nappy headed ho grounds for libel?

    sf rod April 22, 2007, 7:25 pm
  • Have you ever read the Boston papers like a Yankee fan? They say all sorts of things that Yankee fans can object to.
    You’re talking about two New York papers. The sports pages are not the news pages. There is a long tradition of sports columnists being highly partisan.
    As others have said, if they upset you, why read them?

    john April 22, 2007, 7:33 pm
  • I’m a drunk, Walein…well, sometimes!ha.

    Brad April 22, 2007, 7:37 pm
  • Manny gets it started with a single.
    There’s no way this guy doesn’t get his batting average back up to .300, he’s just too solid.

    Hudson April 22, 2007, 10:37 pm
  • JD with the double, Manny on 3rd, no outs.
    Can’t squander this opp…

    Hudson April 22, 2007, 10:38 pm
  • Giant smile on this Hudson Valley Sox Fan’s face.

    Hudson April 22, 2007, 10:42 pm
  • (7-5 Sox after Lowell homers, since no one else posted it.)

    Hudson April 22, 2007, 10:43 pm
  • Well, I’ve been a Wily Mo booster in the past, but he really looks like garbage this year… he adds yet another K, three on the night.
    He’s struck out 8 times in 14 at-bats so far this year, yikes.

    Hudson April 22, 2007, 10:48 pm
  • Haha, Hudson buddy, you’re on the wrong thread!

    desturbd1 April 22, 2007, 10:50 pm
  • Lugo walks after a Pedroia single (8 walks by the Yankees tonight), Youks up with two outs.
    Be nice to put this one out of reach here.

    Hudson April 22, 2007, 10:51 pm
  • Oh, hell. I wondered why it had gone so silent…

    Hudson April 22, 2007, 10:52 pm

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.