Want ethical, socially conscious journalistic standards? Read the sports section | Bleader

Monday, March 12, 2007

Want ethical, socially conscious journalistic standards? Read the sports section

Posted By on 03.12.07 at 11:09 PM

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In the wake of her homophobic attack on John Edwards, Ann Coulter's syndicated column has been dropped by a few papers, but she's still on the TV and in Universal Press Syndicate's stable. In Romenesko's letters section, author Evan Weiner (scroll down) makes the salient point that sports journalism (and the sports world in general) has a much lower tolerance for anything bordering on hate speech than political and opinion journalism.

Weiner mentions Al Campanis, Jimmy "the Greek" Snyder, and Marge Schott, all fairly old incidents, to which I'd add Tim Hardaway, John Rocker, Rush Limbaugh, Ozzie Guillen, and Gregg Easterbrook . Why is the sports world more sensitive than the political arena? Perhaps it's because professional sports as a workplace has a terrible reputation for homophobia (less so for racism), so its public face compensates by aggressively condemning such language. Or because politics is about social conflict, while sports, in the long term, doesn't benefit from it even if it draws attention in the short run. As a lifelong fan who learned the business from the sports pages, however, I'd like to think the culture is just a bit more idealistic and a bit less venal.

(h/t First Draft

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