buzz bissinger on blogs
i realize that i'm really late to this story - as well as pretty much every other story that has taken place over the past four weeks - but two weeks ago buzz bissinger, the author of the superb friday night lights, and will leitch, a dedicated cardinal fan and the editor-in-chief of deadspin one of the quirkiest, funniest and most popular sports sites on the net, squared off on costas now.
if you watch the clip* you'll notice that bissinger prefaces the conversation by defaming leitch for defaming athletes and then proceeds to eviscerate, with costas' help, sports blogs for posting pictures of athletes making arses of themselves, providing a forum for commenters to ridicule espn hosts and refusing inside access to press boxes and clubhouses, which are, apparently, the only place that sports writers can ascertain "facts" about athletes and athletic events.**
i think this clip is fascinating not only because of bissinger's ad hominem attacks as well as he and costas' apparent agreement to irrationally conflate blogs such as deadspin with more traditional sports reporting. i am also fascinated by both bissinger's implicit claim that "objectivity" in sports journalism is both possible only with a press pass and buzz's apparent ignorance of, or indifference towards, the fact that many mainstream sports journalists are now utilizing the blogosphere as well.
one more thing: in all of the analysis of this conflict that i've read thus far, no one has pointed out the fact that, for all his high minded arguments and significant writing ability, bissinger is not above writing a puff piece such as three nights in august which was commissioned by his subject and failed to contribute anything about la russa's managerial "genius" that could not be gleaned from one chapter of george will's men at work.
in sum, bissinger appears simply to be a profane, cranky old man bent on fighting irrelevance by shaking his fists at the inevitable. i should also add that although he comes off as a smart-ass know-it-all at times in this clip, i thought leitch fought his way out of this ambush quite well.
* which is not work safe, by any means. for the record: watching a clip in which bob costas utilizes the term "f*ck face," while strangely rewarding, will almost certainly draw the ire of your boss.
** which, in my opinion, many of us, including myself, take waaay to seriously than we should.