The June 28 Message column features excerpts from an anti-ESPN screed Denver Post sports writer Adrian Dater put on the newspaper’s blog, and his superiors quickly removed. Fortunately, a keen-eyed reader saved the text before it disappeared entirely. Below, feast on Dater’s entire piece, which kicks ass and names names in very entertaining fashion. It won’t take long for you to realize why Post editors didn’t want you, or anyone else, reading it.-- Michael Roberts
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Here’s a Shout Out to ESPN Sports Reporters, Another Name for Leach or Lamprey or Something Much Worse That I’ll Have a Little Class and Won’t Say Here
Posted by Adrian Dater
Back from covering tonight's Yankees-Rockies game, where I had a very interesting, wide-ranging post-game conversation with a respected member of the media who I will always respect - but will now vehemently disagree with about the major topic of our discussion that I waffled about at the time - and throw the question out to Blog Nation to get its input on the matter.
The major point stressed to me by my respected friend, when it comes to the news-media-journalism business these days is that it's "all about info-tainment." I'll forgive his use of a word that is not a real word, and get to his argument: that, basically, I, Adrian Dater, respected member of the Denver Post sports department the last 16 years, am not all I can be because I'm not a talking head on ESPN.
At one point, the argument presented to me was that, basically, it's all about money. That, presumably the people standing on ESPN and speaking into the camera are bigger successes in my profession than little old me, sports reporter for a Denver newspaper.
I tried to be polite and see his point of view and acknowledge, that, yeah, it takes a special talent, perhaps, to be on ESPN every day and that, well, maybe I'm just not worthy.
Then, on the walk back to my car, this was my new train of thought: You can take your ESPN and all the alleged superiority that comes from being on it every day and you can shove it in that little space where there is very little sunlight, ever.
Wanna get mad at me for saying that, my bosses out there and anybody else in this business we call newspapering? Fine, but before I get hauled onto the carpet, let me stick up for you and your business and call out the people that have helped ruin this business for you.
You know all those stories that we broke with our hard work, with real reporting and real journalism? Yeah, ESPN decided it would be a neat trick to see it on the wire and call up their so-called "expert" in whatever sport the news broke and then put on the little scroll at the bottom of their screen that it was "ESPN's so and so "expert" that reported that the news story someone else actually broke was really broken by our lackey expert here."
Do you hear me, Ed Werder? Do you hear me, Rachel Nichols? Do you hear me, Chris Mortensen? Do you hear me, Marc Stein? Do you hear me, ESPN producer schmucks? You didn't break JACK SQUAT. Some real journalist at a newspaper broke that story. You're nothing more than a bunch of pathetic piggybackers, trying to fool that gullible sports audience out there - of which you have legions of the duped tuning in daily. Oh, and here's a little shout out to guys like the Bill Simmonses of the world - guys who never did the real work of journalism but just love to sit from their on-high funnyman thrones and crack wise on the doings of those who could: Hey, I'm from New England - I AM YOUR DEMOGRAPHIC - and I'm even tired of your act. Thanks, Bill, for the 113th "column" on a Vegas trip last weekend. Hench, J-Bug, the line at McCarran, Seventh Circle of Hell, oh, it's all so fresh and funny, my man. Yes it was, the first 23 times I read it. Go out and hang by Jorge Posada's locker, as I did tonight, and ask why he stranded the bases loaded in the eighth inning to cost the Yankees a game. Then, come and lecture me about the newspaper business and how it's all so tired. If I didn't do what I did tonight, you wouldn't be able to do what you will do today, which is sit in your underwear, click on a story that a real journalist wrote, and then pass judgment to all the middle management drones out there in the workplace that pass their time in boredom reading your tired act.
And here's my answer to my still respected friend, that I should have said right away: hell yes, I'm glad I'm not some ESPN stooge, who might make more money than me, but spends his/her entire day preening around the athletic arena, microphone in hand, makeup case in hand, hair spray in hand, ready to ask an inane, suckup, kiss-butt question to a player that, at the end of the day, at the end of this life, at the end of this universe, HAS ABSOLUTELY NO RESONATING IMPACT ON THE MEMORIES OF ITS VIEWING AUDIENCE, AND ABSOLUTELY NO LASTING IMPACT ON ANYTHING REMOTELY ASSOCIATED WITH THE ART CALLED "JOURNALISM" WHICH YOU FALSELY ATTACH YOURSELVES TO." We newspaper people - the real journalists out there still - do not need to feel inferior to a bunch of made-up clowns with microphones in hand. Cash your paychecks and feel superior if you need to. But remember this: you'll never be half our equals when it comes to being able to write and really report a story. Oh, and good luck making it in your business when the wrinkles start to show a little.
And to my friend: sorry, I'll skip the "It's all about Info-tainment" inscription on my headstone. I'll stick to doing the real work that all the circus clowns in front of the camera leach off and try to pass off as their own. But the truth always wins out.