John Ourand of SBJ/SBD and Richard Deitsch of SI were chatting on Twitter the other day about the potential conflict of interest Jenn Brown may have as spokeswoman for IceHouse beer and ESPN college sports sideline reporter. I thought it was ridiculous at the time and still think it’s ridiculous.
ESPN, however, does not find it ridiculous, as they reportedly told Brown she could not sign the deal (even after they approved it, according to MillerCoors). So, did Deitsch and Ourand kill this deal for her? I wanted to ask Deitsch, who tweeted a response to this allegation and denied my repeated cajoling to come on and the show and talk about it. Ourand was more forthcoming and generously gave up his time to discuss the situation.
He feels I’m giving too much credit to two media writers on Twitter and that the deal may have been quashed with more important folks in mind…namely the NCAA and the heads of major conferences who take the association with alcohol very seriously. I try to point out the hypocrisy in that hypothesis. I’m not sure I succeed.
We also talk about the ESPN ombudsman — part of what started this whole back and forth was Ourand’s comment that he was interested to see what the ombudsman had to say about Jenn Brown — and discuss whether Don Ohlmeyer has been a success or a colossal failure (hint: we feel it’s the latter).
The concept of the ombudsman is entirely necessary for ESPN and after two newspaper people filled the role, they went with a TV guy because ultimately ESPN pays the bills with what’s on TV. The problem, per Ourand, is that Ohlmeyer “can’t write.”
So, who should ESPN get to be the ombudsman? Deitsch? Ourand? Daulerio? Simmons? And regardless of who has the job, what can they do to make the position actually relevant? We throw some ideas around.
Nick and I talk about the on-going Darrelle Revis situation and who to believe when trusted reporters have sources telling them the exact opposite information. Nick takes issue with PFT’s article that says reporters or sources “are wrong or lying.” He points out that it’s not lying, per se, when everyone is in on the game …media included.
Eventually someone will be proven right, but will it matter in the end? Will we find certain reporters less credible if it turns out their information was wrong on this story? We’d like to say yes…but it rarely happens in a 24-hour news cycle. There’s always another story to break and another source to trust…and little accountability when it doesn’t work out.
We also discuss the decision by some sites to post the 911 call follower LPGA golfer Erica Blasberg’s suicide. Is that necessary? Is there a reason to post something like that other than the fact that it will get pageviews? The fewer people who think it’s fair game to post, the more pageviews for those who do post it, right? Or am I upset because one of our contributors, Shane Bacon, was friends with her and I feel bad that he…and her friends and family…have to see that kind of stuff on sites we read.
What do you think?
We talk briefly about the Phillies 16 innings, Elin Woods talking to People. Who gets on Oprah’s couch first?
Thanks to John for not ducking us. Thanks to you for listening.