Volin, Owners, Sources, and Other Stuff. Maybe.

simplyeric

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RGREELEY33 said:
Can we please not even discuss the potential of "secret evidence"? It isn't even worthy of wasting our breath on it is so obscenely ridiculous.

It is arguably more indicative of an anti-Patriots sentiment in the National Football League than the Wells Report itself.
But proof of withholding of all that secret evidence would finally give Brady the amo he needs for his defamation suit!!!!!!!

Wait a minute....
 

PedroKsBambino

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Super Nomario said:
To be fair, if you're Volin, and an NFL owner comes to you with this, you pretty much have to print it, don't you? I don't really begrudge him, and I suspect that it is an accurate reflection of how many in the game feel about the Patriots. He probably goes a bit farther than he needs to, but I'm more frustrated that this is the perception than that Volin wrote about it. Does any reporter keep that under his hat?
 
No, I think you have to ask what the story is, dig for evidence of it, and do something with the info.

What you suggest above is exactly the approach he is criticizing Rolling Stone for in the exchange with Taibbi.  It's simply not the case that 'because someone told you, say it'.
 

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burstnbloom said:
Matt Taibbi throwing down with Ben Volin on Twitter today.  Volin's only response is to discredit the magazine Taibbi works for.  Weak. 
 
 

Matt Taibbi ‏@mtaibbi 41m41 minutes ago
The column by @benvolin today is a new low.

Ben Volin ‏@BenVolin 38m38 minutes ago
@mtaibbi fan of your work, but don't think anyone from Rolling Stone should be talking

Matt Taibbi ‏@mtaibbi 27m27 minutes ago
@BenVolin Ben, you seriously think that if there was "way more" to this story, that Wells & co. would leave it out? That makes sense to you?

Ben Volin ‏@BenVolin 11m11 minutes ago
@mtaibbi I think there are many things that Ted Wells left out of his report and the NFL isn't mentioning, on all sides, not just Brady

 
Matt Taibbi ‏@mtaibbi 15m15 minutes ago
Then report them. And if you can't report them, you shouldn't allude to them.
This makes me angry.

Regardless of what you think of Taibbi's politics he is a serious person, who tries to think hard about issues, has done investigative work, and has authored thoughtful books. Personally I think he has done an impressive job of carving out a journalistic career in today's enivornment, where print media is going extinct, broadcast media glorifies dumb talking heads who can generate clicks over thoughtfulness, and the future is the Internet -- a diverse free for all where profitability is difficult to produce.

Volin is, in contrast to Taibbi, an insipid newt, angling for a well paying job with ESPN where he can entertain with fake outrage. Volin putting down Taibbi is like Joe McCarthy attacking George Marshall or Robert Oppenheimer -- it's fairly presumptuous for a guy like Volin to put down the hard work and experience of a guy like Taibbi.

Tl,dr: God Volin is an idiot.
 
 
 
edit: less-polarizing example
 

RIFan

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The issue with Volin and others in that camp is they feel they "know" something went on. The problem with that is that they lack the balls to go all in on the position and come out and say exactly why they feel that way. They obviously can't get anyone to go on the record and say they have 1st hand knowledge and have no other evidence. I felt all along that there must have been something going on at some point to justify the hard feelings this has created among the league and some journalists. Given the level of coverage on this guys like Volin know they can make their career by blowing the lid off of this. Yet...nothing. It's well past the time for them to shit or get off the pot and give a basis for why they feel the way they do.
 

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It would be one thing if Volin merely reported that some owner(s) believe there exists secret evidence that has not been revealed. That would be reasonable reporting. But Volin goes beyond this by expressing a "nagging thought" the evidence has been withheld. The person being "nagged" by this "thought" is Ben Volin himself. In other words, he buys in to this garbage. This is pretty much confirmed in his tweet to Taibbi.

As an aside, I agree with what was said above; Volin does not want to get into an pissing contest with Taibbi. He'll get eaten alive.
 

RGREELEY33

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Super Nomario said:
To be fair, if you're Volin, and an NFL owner comes to you with this, you pretty much have to print it, don't you? I don't really begrudge him, and I suspect that it is an accurate reflection of how many in the game feel about the Patriots. He probably goes a bit farther than he needs to, but I'm more frustrated that this is the perception than that Volin wrote about it. Does any reporter keep that under his hat?
I would venture to guess that most NFL owners probably fall in the same camp as most NFL fans in that they don't know what Spygate actually was. If this was something said to him in January and reported then, it would be one thing. But, at this point, he is clearly just trolling and trying desperately to find something that would fit what has ultimately become his own completely erroneous narrative on this whole thing. It is garbage journalism IMO.
 

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Monbo Jumbo said:
We live in the Kurt Vonnegut novels I read as a 12 yr old.
That would be your second masterful literary reference to this, by my count.

This story could use a little Tom Wolfe. His NYC scenes would be beyond compare
 

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Super Nomario said:
To be fair, if you're Volin, and an NFL owner comes to you with this, you pretty much have to print it, don't you? I don't really begrudge him, and I suspect that it is an accurate reflection of how many in the game feel about the Patriots. He probably goes a bit farther than he needs to, but I'm more frustrated that this is the perception than that Volin wrote about it. Does any reporter keep that under his hat?
 
 
Of course not. Journalism 101: dig further to either get some substantive support or, if not such substance can be found, to find out why someone would say something so self-evidently contrary to common sense. I have no idea where you get the idea he "has" to print it. If reporters printed everything spin doctors told them....media would be even worse than it is.
 
PedroKsBambino said:
 
No, I think you have to ask what the story is, dig for evidence of it, and do something with the info.
What you suggest above is exactly the approach he is criticizing Rolling Stone for in the exchange with Taibbi.  It's simply not the case that 'because someone told you, say it'.
 
That is the irony, and shows that BV actually does know the rules of journalism...is just choosing not to carry them out. And, just to reiterate the point, the Rolling Stone/UVA story shows precisely why this is not good journalistic practice. 
 

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crystalline said:
This makes me angry.

Regardless of what you think of Taibbi's politics he is a serious person, who tries to think hard about issues, has done investigative work, and has authored thoughtful books. Personally I think he has done an impressive job of carving out a journalistic career in today's enivornment, where print media is going extinct, broadcast media glorifies dumb talking heads who can generate clicks over thoughtfulness, and the future is the Internet -- a diverse free for all where profitability is difficult to produce.

Volin is, in contrast to Taibbi, an insipid newt, angling for a well paying job with ESPN where he can entertain with fake outrage. Volin putting down Taibbi is like Joe McCarthy attacking George Marshall or Robert Oppenheimer -- it's fairly presumptuous for a guy like Volin to put down the hard work and experience of a guy like Taibbi.
Well, he didn't, right?  He didn't do that at all. 
 
It's downright silly and unserious for anyone associated with Rolling Stone to call any reporting on the issue of deflated footballs "a new low," when his employer's home office is at the center of the earth.  Haven't checked Taibbi's tweets around the time that Rolling Stone was setting itself on fire: anything similar there?
 
"A new low."  Christ, it's closer to an old high than a new low.  And I think Volin's an idiot.
 

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Gorton Fisherman said:
It would be one thing if Volin merely reported that some owner(s) believe there exists secret evidence that has not been revealed. That would be reasonable reporting. But Volin goes beyond this by expressing a "nagging thought" the evidence has been withheld. The person being "nagged" by this "thought" is Ben Volin himself. In other words, he buys in to this garbage. This is pretty much confirmed in his tweet to Taibbi.

As an aside, I agree with what was said above; Volin does not want to get into an pissing contest with Taibbi. He'll get eaten alive.
And even Bob Ryan is in this dubious crowd.
 

dcmissle

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Volin's error was treating the beginning as the end. If this owner had the goods, then go get them.

Or, If the story is really about how much of the NFL believes the Pats are serial cheaters and deserve their comeuppance regardless of the merits of this particular dispute, then chronicle that story.

No, Volin just leaves it there as pungent fruit. And the unmistakable subsidiary point is, I believe that too -- and if you don't, you are fucking rubes. We insiders know the real deal.

This makes him no better or worse than Felger -- but at least Felger quit pretending to be a journalist now long ago.
 

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Whether or not Rolling Stone as a journalistic enterprise can throw stones is really irrelevant. The basic pattern to this whole story has been the facts on the one side and arguments that inevitably reduce to ad hominem attacks on the other.
 

DrewDawg

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Volin seems rather incurious though.
 
First NFL-side leak was 11 of 12 under by 2 pounds. Wrong.
 
Then it was Brady wanted transcripts sealed. Wrong.
 
Then it was Brady didn't admit talking about Deflategate with equipment guy in hearing. Wrong.
 
Those aren't arguable things, where one can lean either way--they are 100% false statements.
 
Now we have this claim. And Volin didn't think to question it a bit more?
 

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slamminsammya said:
Whether or not Rolling Stone as a journalistic enterprise can throw stones is really irrelevant. The basic pattern to this whole story has been the facts on the one side and arguments that inevitably reduce to ad hominem attacks on the other.
Exactly. In fact, you don't even need to be a journalist to see why what Ben wrote was stupid.

But the pattern is there: if someone doesn't agree with your work, never address their criticism directly.
 

dcmissle

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It's fascinating journalistically.

Within months of Hitler becoming Chancellor, Germans began turning each other in to the Gestapo. To demonstrate they were right minded Germans to be sure, but also to advance agendas and settle scores. It got so bad, Hitler complained in 1933 of the nation's " mean spirited" temperament.

This episode is the journalistic version of that. Every Boston based reporter, it seems, has to prove his or her bona fides fides by assuming a 15-year reign of corruption under BB.

It's not just Volin. Sadly this extends to many others including Bob Ryan and Jackie Mac, who one would think have no agendas to advance.
 

garzooma

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DrewDawg said:
Volin seems rather incurious though.
 
First NFL-side leak was 11 of 12 under by 2 pounds. Wrong.
 
Then it was Brady wanted transcripts sealed. Wrong.
 
Then it was Brady didn't admit talking about Deflategate with equipment guy in hearing. Wrong.
 
Those aren't arguable things, where one can lean either way--they are 100% false statements.
And this is a rather short sample of all the false statements that have come out.  Don't forget "all of the Colts balls were found to be in the legal range" and "One of the Patriots balls was at 10.1".
 
It's a big job, but we need a canonical list somewhere of all the false statements.
 

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garzooma said:
And this is a rather short sample of all the false statements that have come out.  Don't forget "all of the Colts balls were found to be in the legal range" and "One of the Patriots balls was at 10.1".
 
It's a big job, but we need a canonical list somewhere of all the false statements.
 
Bob Kraft is a donor to AEI?
 

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Super Nomario said:
To be fair, if you're Volin, and an NFL owner comes to you with this, you pretty much have to print it, don't you? I don't really begrudge him, and I suspect that it is an accurate reflection of how many in the game feel about the Patriots. He probably goes a bit farther than he needs to, but I'm more frustrated that this is the perception than that Volin wrote about it. Does any reporter keep that under his hat?
Yeah.

I'd have to believe an owner really spoke to Volin first. I think he fucking made it up.
 

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Kenny F'ing Powers said:
Yeah.

I'd have to believe an owner really spoke to Volin first. I think he fucking made it up.
 
The only one who makes sense is Ross, which I could see.
 

bowiac

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Myt1 said:
It's downright silly and unserious for anyone associated with Rolling Stone to call any reporting on the issue of deflated footballs "a new low," when his employer's home office is at the center of the earth.  Haven't checked Taibbi's tweets around the time that Rolling Stone was setting itself on fire: anything similar there?
I don't quite get this. Would Taibbi's criticism have more merit if he wasn't working for Rolling Stone? If he were freelance? If he were working for the London Review of Books?
 
Taibbi isn't doing any reporting of his own; that's when your brand-affiliation matters, as you ask people to trust your sources and the completeness of your reporting. And I agree, someone from Rolling Stone doesn't necessarily have the best leg to stand on right now if they're asking the public to trust them. But that's not what Taibbi is doing here. Taibbi's criticism stands on its own merits.
 
Put another way, I don't see what Rolling Stone has to do it with.
 

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RedOctober3829 said:
I take responsibility for bringing Ben on the site last year for a chat. He's as bad as they come in terms of trolling for clicks.
 
Volin's anecdote about Belichick razzing him the day after he asked a question he should have known Bill wouldn't answer made that all more than worth it.
 
 
Super Nomario said:
To be fair, if you're Volin, and an NFL owner comes to you with this, you pretty much have to print it, don't you? I don't really begrudge him, and I suspect that it is an accurate reflection of how many in the game feel about the Patriots. He probably goes a bit farther than he needs to, but I'm more frustrated that this is the perception than that Volin wrote about it. Does any reporter keep that under his hat?
 
PedroKsBambino said:
 
No, I think you have to ask what the story is, dig for evidence of it, and do something with the info.
What you suggest above is exactly the approach he is criticizing Rolling Stone for in the exchange with Taibbi.  It's simply not the case that 'because someone told you, say it'.
 
Digging is obviously important. But I think we shouldn't forget that the notion that owners believe this is, in itself, something worth knowing whether it's true or not. As such, disagree with Volin's take, fine, but it is a story and I think it's misguided to say otherwise.
 
Put it this way: Who of us don't want to know more about wtf the owners think?
 

 
Monbo Jumbo said:
We live in the Kurt Vonnegut novels I read as a 12 yr old.
 
 

Tony C said:
Of course not. Journalism 101: dig further to either get some substantive support or, if not such substance can be found, to find out why someone would say something so self-evidently contrary to common sense. I have no idea where you get the idea he "has" to print it. If reporters printed everything spin doctors told them....media would be even worse than it is.
 
 
That is the irony, and shows that BV actually does know the rules of journalism...is just choosing not to carry them out. And, just to reiterate the point, the Rolling Stone/UVA story shows precisely why this is not good journalistic practice. 
 

 

This can not be over-emphasized enough.
 
And that's not even addressing the issue that you read them at age 12 back in the day...
 
 
crystalline said:
This makes me angry.

Regardless of what you think of Taibbi's politics he is a serious person, who tries to think hard about issues, has done investigative work, and has authored thoughtful books. Personally I think he has done an impressive job of carving out a journalistic career in today's enivornment, where print media is going extinct, broadcast media glorifies dumb talking heads who can generate clicks over thoughtfulness, and the future is the Internet -- a diverse free for all where profitability is difficult to produce.

Volin is, in contrast to Taibbi, an insipid newt, angling for a well paying job with ESPN where he can entertain with fake outrage. Volin putting down Taibbi is like Joe McCarthy attacking George Marshall or Robert Oppenheimer -- it's fairly presumptuous for a guy like Volin to put down the hard work and experience of a guy like Taibbi.

Tl,dr: God Volin is an idiot.
 
 
edit: less-polarizing example
 
Myt1 said:
Well, he didn't, right?  He didn't do that at all. 
 
It's downright silly and unserious for anyone associated with Rolling Stone to call any reporting on the issue of deflated footballs "a new low," when his employer's home office is at the center of the earth.  Haven't checked Taibbi's tweets around the time that Rolling Stone was setting itself on fire: anything similar there?
 
"A new low."  Christ, it's closer to an old high than a new low.  And I think Volin's an idiot.
 
RS has not covered itself in glory of late, but Taibbi's relentless work on the financial collapse was pretty fucking awesome at a time when the "real journalists" were playing hookie. As such, I think Taibbi has a real gripe at anyone trying to indict him on the basis of where he's based.
 
 
dcmissle said:
It's fascinating journalistically.

Within months of Hitler becoming Chancellor, Germans began turning each other in to the Gestapo. To demonstrate they were right minded Germans to be sure, but also to advance agendas and settle scores. It got so bad, Hitler complained in 1933 of the nation's " mean spirited" temperament.

This episode is the journalistic version of that. Every Boston based reporter, it seems, has to prove his or her bona fides fides by assuming a 15-year reign of corruption under BB.

It's not just Volin. Sadly this extends to many others including Bob Ryan and Jackie Mac, who one would think have no agendas to advance.
 
It's a testament to the times that people seek to bolster credibility through having a position that makes one look reasonable vis-a-vis latent subjectavity rather than through use, like, work--interviews, leather on concrete, evidence, asking quesitons of smart people, etc. PoMo media.
 

notfar

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Ben Volin just printed some rumors someone told him without investigating at all, which is exactly what Rolling Stone did. He is such a stupid fuck.
 

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AB in DC said:
In other words, he gets paid to say what his clients want him to say.
 
I think this is a good point that requires no further elaboration.
 
We really don't need every member of the board crying that lawyers are schills and journalists are trying to be heard in the cacophony of the modern age of the internet that hasn't shaken out yet, do we?
 
Please don't make us try to mod such, yes?
 
Please? If y'all want, maybe start a "Let's all emote!" thread in P&G or something?
 

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bowiac said:
I don't quite get this. Would Taibbi's criticism have more merit if he wasn't working for Rolling Stone?
Someone who worked somewhere else could possibly be forgiven for the hyperbole.

If he were freelance? If he were working for the London Review of Books?
 
Taibbi isn't doing any reporting of his own; that's when your brand-affiliation matters, as you ask people to trust your sources and the completeness of your reporting. And I agree, someone from Rolling Stone doesn't necessarily have the best leg to stand on right now if they're asking the public to trust them. But that's not what Taibbi is doing here. Taibbi's criticism stands on its own merits.
 
Put another way, I don't see what Rolling Stone has to do it with.
Well, is what Rolling Stone did lower than what Volin did? The answer is yes, by several orders of magnitude.

So we haven't discovered a new low. Taibbi's both wrong and remarkably silly.

And there is nothing particularly new about what Volin did; it's run of the mill reporting by innuendo that is actually one of the less egregious offenses of ethics associated with just this story.

So he's wrong on both prongs. Again, anyone would be objectively wrong, but it's particularly stupid to buy stock in an exaggeration quarry when your employer buys windex by the gallon.
 

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There is no Rev said:
 
RS has not covered itself in glory of late, but Taibbi's relentless work on the financial collapse was pretty fucking awesome at a time when the "real journalists" were playing hookie. As such, I think Taibbi has a real gripe at anyone trying to indict him on the basis of where he's based.
Taibbi's excellent in a lot of ways. I personally think a lot of The Great Derangement is pretty slimy, but it's not my field, and I don't know enough of the background to push too far on that.

My point is that Taibbi's in a particularly bad position to be claiming that a journalist somewhere else is using Nigel Tufnel's amp.
 

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I'm willing to concede the point that Taibbi is wrong about Volin's story being "a new low". That said, is it your contention Taibbi is unable (or at least ill-advised) to comment on other reporters ethics unless and until he resigns from Rolling Stone?

Just curious.
 

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notfar said:
Ben Volin just printed some rumors someone told him without investigating at all, which is exactly what Rolling Stone did. He is such a stupid fuck.
Yeah. This probably isn't the best grounds on which to play the false equivalence game.
 

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bankshot1 said:
Why can't Taibbi criticize Volin's journalistic approach? As far as i know he had nothing to do with the UVA rape piece.
Use the quote function and tell me where I said he couldn't.
 

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JayMags71 said:
I'm willing to concede the point that Taibbi is wrong about Volin's story being "a new low". That said, is it your contention Taibbi is unable (or at least ill-advised) to comment on other reporters ethics unless and until he resigns from Rolling Stone?

Just curious.
My contention is that Taibbi was wrong and that he was wrong in a particularly silly way. There's plenty to criticize in Volin's reporting, and he's fair game for anyone, including Taibbi.
 

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But: "Sports journalist does run of the mill shitty reporting" wouldn't have gotten retweeted as much.
 

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I think the following post can be fairly characterized as you having an issue with Taibbi criticizing Volin's journalistic approach.
And that Taibbi's employment by RS precludes him voicing criticisms of other journalist's.approaches.
Myt1 said:
Someone who worked somewhere else could possibly be forgiven for the hyperbole.


Well, is what Rolling Stone did lower than what Volin did? The answer is yes, by several orders of magnitude.

So we haven't discovered a new low. Taibbi's both wrong and remarkably silly.

And there is nothing particularly new about what Volin did; it's run of the mill reporting by innuendo that is actually one of the less egregious offenses of ethics associated with just this story.

So he's wrong on both prongs. Again, anyone would be objectively wrong, but it's particularly stupid to buy stock in an exaggeration quarry when your employer buys windex by the gallon.
 
 

crystalline

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There is no Rev said:
 
I think this is a good point that requires no further elaboration.
 
We really don't need every member of the board crying that lawyers are schills and journalists are trying to be heard in the cacophony of the modern age of the internet that hasn't shaken out yet, do we?
 
Please don't make us try to mod such, yes?
 
Please? If y'all want, maybe start a "Let's all emote!" thread in P&G or something?
I think there's still a decent thread to be had on lawyers hired to do investigations. Because before Wells was hired, and I remember especially before Mueller was hired, many lawyers were saying that showing bias towards who was paying them would be risking their careers. And since we know that is not true, I'd be interested to hear what people think that means going forward for lawyers hired for investigations. Can they be trusted to be truly independent in some cases? What factors control that?

Re: media trying to be heard- I'd also like people to limit the number of posts that presume sports reporters are journalists held to some standard of truth. We get a lot of "But how could Volin/Mort/CHB/Tomase have such low journalistic standards? Their employers should investigate them for failing to convey the truth!" People are usually good, this outburst about Volin notwithstanding, about showing restraint in replying to those.
 

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Myt1 said:
You should maybe read it a couple more times, then.
No need I read it twice.
 
You seem emphatic that as RS fucked up a story, one of their writers tread carefully before criticizing other writers for poor/sloppy/lazy journalistic approaches. As Taibbi had nothing to do with the discredited UVA story I don't think the logic holds. 
 

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Third time might be the charm.  Because I haven't written what you believe me to be so emphatic about.
 

Myt1

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Sure:
Myt1 said:
Someone who worked somewhere else could possibly be forgiven for the hyperbole.


Well, is what Rolling Stone did lower than what Volin did? The answer is yes, by several orders of magnitude.

So we haven't discovered a new low. Taibbi's both wrong and remarkably silly.

And there is nothing particularly new about what Volin did; it's run of the mill reporting by innuendo that is actually one of the less egregious offenses of ethics associated with just this story.

So he's wrong on both prongs. Again, anyone would be objectively wrong, but it's particularly stupid to buy stock in an exaggeration quarry when your employer buys windex by the gallon.
 
 
Myt1 said:
Taibbi's excellent in a lot of ways. I personally think a lot of The Great Derangement is pretty slimy, but it's not my field, and I don't know enough of the background to push too far on that.

My point is that Taibbi's in a particularly bad position to be claiming that a journalist somewhere else is using Nigel Tufnel's amp.
 
 
Myt1 said:
My contention is that Taibbi was wrong and that he was wrong in a particularly silly way. There's plenty to criticize in Volin's reporting, and he's fair game for anyone, including Taibbi.
 
 
Myt1 said:
But: "Sports journalist does run of the mill shitty reporting" wouldn't have gotten retweeted as much.
 

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Basically, if, during a May 1987 game, Wade Boggs were to say that Don Mattingly just committed the worst error ever, it would be pretty dumb, notwithstanding the fact that Wade Boggs happened not to play first base.
 

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Myt1 said:
Use the quote function and tell me where I said he couldn't.
I'm using the quote function to tell everyone (not just you) that this discussion blows even more then people asking if Brady should sue for defamation again and again.

Shut up about Rolling Stones issues in relation to Volins quote or simply start a new thread that everyone can ignore.
 

AB in DC

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There is no Rev said:
 
I think this is a good point that requires no further elaboration.
 
We really don't need every member of the board crying that lawyers are schills and journalists are trying to be heard in the cacophony of the modern age of the internet that hasn't shaken out yet, do we?
 
Please don't make us try to mod such, yes?
 
Please? If y'all want, maybe start a "Let's all emote!" thread in P&G or something?
 
Though I would certainly vote for a separate "Stupid s--t from the sports media on DFG" thread just to get rid all of the anti-Volin venting.
 

Byrdbrain

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
8,288
Volin is going on EEI in a few.
 
Edit:I also have a hard time figuring out what the problem people are having with Myt. He isn't saying Taibi can't criticize Volin he is simply saying the particular criticism that this is "a new low" is clearly hyperbolic and inaccurate when Taibi's own employer clearly has been much lower. Volin's issue is garden variety Twitter era bad journalism.
 

PBDWake

Member
SoSH Member
May 1, 2008
3,475
Peabody, MA
Apparently it's just not realistic to believe that we've seen everything the NFL and Wells have, and we don't know the politics that's going on, to screw the Patriots and Brady, but Goodell and Pash just need to be involved to protect BB because... It would be bad to brand your champion a cheater?