Logic and Respect: What a Noble Concept

As you hopefully have read, either through the link Nathan provided earlier, or by reading it directly from Puck Daddy, as you should be as part of your daily assigned reading, there are NHL teams that have decided it is better to live in the last decade, rather than move ahead with the rest of the world.

I'll keep the main page part of this short. Make the jump and discuss this further, should you so choose.

The newest proposal suggests that bloggers be segregated from the rest of the media, in what I like to call the Jim Crow laws for media. Separate but equal has always worked so well in the past in this country, why not apply it to the media covering a sporting event as well, right?

Before you jump on me, no, I do not equate the civil rights of an entire population of people to be the same as being denied a credential to cover a hockey game. What I mean by this comparison is that some people refuse to take lessons learned in the past and apply them to present day situations.

Are there different classes of media? Sure there are, and anyone who tells you different is more delusional than the media people with the Oilers. Radio is different from television, both are different from newspapers, and all are different from blogs. Each have their own standards for their professionalism, and for their journalistic ethics.

How often have Vikings fans heard Paul Allen call a play over the waves of KFAN and wondered, "just how objective can this guy be?" Never, that's how many. Radio people don't need to be objective, they are calling the game, they are supposed to bring excitement. Anyone ever heard Mike Greenlay bad mouth a call the refs made? Is that objective? No, and most likely if they suddenly became objective, they would lose their jobs.

What if Michael Russo did the same thing? What if Russo jumped up and down or yelled when the Wild scored? What if Russo wasn't objective? Would he then be stripped of his credential? Maybe, but I have my doubts.

If Russo criticizes the team, using factual accounts and statistics, would he be stripped of his credential? Absolutely not, he would instead be praised for his objective, rational look at how the team is performing, calling out the team for under performing for their fans, for protecting the interests of his readers.

However, even within the well established newspaper business, there is a loophole. What is Jim Souhan criticized the Wild, using no stats, no rational logic, just a gut feeling. What if he used terms like "The Cult of 18000" such as Patrick Ruesse often does? Would they be stripped of their credentials for doing so? No way. Instead, they are praised for their creative take on the game, and hide behind the "columnist" tag, giving them the right to write whatever they so choose.

After all, it is their opinion, and a credentialed one at that.

The question comes down to why the teams cannot put forth the effort to weed out who deserves a credential and who does not? Would the Wild credential the National Enquirer? While I don't work for the Wild, and have not asked them, I have strong doubts. Would the Wild credential say, the gossip columnist from the Star Tribune? I have my doubts there as well.

So if it isn't the organization you work for, and it isn't the type of article you write, and it isn't the opinion vs fact argument, what is it? The medium in which it is delivered? As I have said before, I read the StarTrib online everyday, so that can't be it, can it? I mean, Russo provides more information in his blog, and in a faster manner than do his articles. (No, don't stop reading the Trib, Russo's articles a re still pretty good.)

You see, this argument has been hashed and rehashed and then fried, eaten, digested, used as fertilizer, grow into a new argument and hashed again. The way it all boils down is this:

Why can I not get a credential because someone else did something stupid? Just because one blogger in Edmonton acted like an idiot should not bar me from covering games anymore than David Fuller acting like an idiot should prevent Russo from covering an event. Even if you go to the example Wysh gives of my fellow SBN blogger not being credentialed by the Rangers because of actions he undertook, that should not mean I cannot interview Rangers players anymore than Jim Souhan saying or doing something stupid should bar Russo from doing so.

While none of my opinion on the subject likely matter to anyone except myself and my children, it all seems like a massive waste of everyone's time. It is only a hockey game. Allow people who apply for a credential to prove their worth. Allow a "try-out" period. A credential is always revocable, no matter who the bearer is. Why not drop the histrionics and just do the right thing here?

Sigh.

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