Thursday, August 5, 2010

Creative Juices are Flowing at the Chicago Sun-Times

The creative juices are really flowing in the sports department at the Chicago Sun-Times.

After Michael O'Brien delivered arguably the most poorly written sports article in recent memory, the University of Kentucky responded with the threat of legal action.

The published letter from UK legal representation apparently inspired a wealth of creative knowledge as O'Brien's article has been completely rewritten. The article is now titled "Davis no longer a hidden talent" and focuses on the improvement the 2011 star has shown in a short period of time.

The article now has a different set of quotes from recruiting analyst Joe Henricksen and there is no mention of Davis' recruitment holding a $200,000 price tag.

Rather then tucking unfounded rumors of major recruiting violations in the last couple of paragraphs, the article now tucks this in at the end:

A source says Davis will choose Kentucky. The Kentucky-based blog ''Nation of Blue'' has reported that two unnamed sources also are claiming Davis has chosen Kentucky.

Davis Sr. responded via text when asked Monday if Kentucky would be his son's choice: ''Tell them 2 have fun guessing.''

Davis visited Kentucky on Sunday and DePaul on Monday. He took a class trip to Ohio State last year but hasn't visited Syracuse, the other school on his list.

Here is the new version of the article

There are no apologies and no acknowledgements of wrong-doing.

And, in case you want to compare and contrast, here is the old version (click image to enlarge):

My Thoughts and Opinion: I'm not here to bash actual journalists. I respect hard work by anyone in this business and I have great friends ranging from national media to local media to photographers to bloggers.

I am not a journalist by any means - my degrees are actually in business management and computer information systems. I am a basketball fan who has a passion for the game and the motor to do what I love.

Now that we have established that I know who I am and what I am, let me give my opinion on this entire situation.

There are certain times in life when the only acceptable choice is to do the right thing. The author of the original article that appeared online yesterday blew it. He may not have realized he blew it until it was too late, but there is no question that he knows now.

The article was an attack on an institution, a basketball program and most importantly - a kid. Printing allegations based on rumors that a high school athlete and his/her family are on the take is irresponsible and damaging.

Removing the damaging content is not enough. Rewriting the original article is not enough (actually, the rewritten article is a waste of space). Even disciplinary action directed at the author is not enough.

The only action that can be taken to rectify this situation is to do the right thing.

The author of the article and the Chicago Sun-Times must replace this article with the truth and deliver a public apology. Sometimes it pays to just admit that a mistake was made. There are many times along the way when the "truth will set us free" and this is one of those times. Save this kid's reputation and just admit that you are human, you made a mistake and apologize.


Anonymous said...

It does not appear that the sun-times did what was fully requested in the letter. Yes, they withdrew the story, but they did not make a statement saying that they had no credible evidence for the rumors. Sounds like the University still has a legal option.

Anonymous said...

O'Brien and the Sun-Times are in a tough spot, and of their own creation. IF they print an apology AND admit (as requested) that they actually know of no credible basis for the garbage they've printed, this can be viwed as a further admission that they had, essentially, printed the offending material in reckless disregard of it's likely falsity. IF, instead, they REFUSE to publicly admit the baselessness of those claims, AND the utter absence of a reliable source is STILL established in court proceedings, that earlier refusal to "do the right thing" (and by way of a public, mea culpa) pretty much sets up the claim of malice. That is, it provides the basis for the claim that even when the writer and his paper were specifically advised of their earlier error, both deemed it more important to avoid admitting their mistake than to "do the right thing" by a high school student and his family.
Someone on their editorial board might want to recognize that while they're busy circling their wagons, time is running out.

b)it's nev by refuse to make a formal retraction and later now

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