Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My New Years Resolution: Be Nicer to Journalists.

Aaron writes in the comment section at Cheesehead TV:

Its funny DDD - you like to write about how fans have no clue and are deluding themselves when it comes to criticizing play calling and coaches in general (which is partly true and partly absurd) and yet you have no problem continually ripping on Silverstein and Bedard for things they write and how they write them. Well…aren’t you deluding yourself as well telling professional writers how to craft stories for their newspapers? Can’t have it both ways my friend…

As to the first part. I am not opposed to any and all criticism of armchair coaching, but I do think fans should be more restrained in general. I have set out a painstakingly detailed set of guidelines that I use. I'd be very interested to find out what about these guidelines Aaron finds "absurd."

But to the bigger point: is criticising a "news" article the same thing as criticising a playcall? I just don't see it.

I don't hold the position that people shouldn't criticise anything. That's a strawman argument. If you go to a restaurant and order a steak and it comes out burnt to a crisp, you have every right to be critical.

I want a steak to be juicy and delicious. I want a news story to be well-substantiated and neutral. Most of my criticism of Silverstein and Bedard relates to their half-assed dedication to these ideals: from cherry-picking anecdotes, to extrapolating universal truths from a sample-set of four, to inserting wild conjecture into a "news" article.

I don't think you need any special training or experience to point this stuff out.