Iain McIntyre tries to explain why so many stories printed in the run up to the draft turned out to be so much crap. Among other explanations – like the unsurprising revelation that general managers lie – we get this:
[T]he [Ryan Malone trade] story got ahead of the facts. That happens frequently in the Age of the Blogger, who has chewed down the standards of journalism the way the pine beetle has decimated B.C. forests.
I was one of only a few hockey bloggers when I first started with this hobby and I can say without any equivocation that the standards of hockey journalism had been decimated long before anybody considered us to be part of a new age. Bloggers haven’t really changed anything. Irresponsible hockey journalism is not my fault.
While bloggers did cover the draft, it is the mainstream media that has helped the league hype the weekend far beyond the actual news value. Bloggers like Jamie Fitzpatrick are the ones bringing that hype down to earth.
Bloggers don’t break news (as the so called hockey journalists are quick to point out), hockey writers do. Mainstream guys like Bruce Garrioch tell us Malkin is going to be traded to Los Angeles for Mike Cammalleri. Blogger gals like Alanah at Canucks and Beyond point out the stupidity of the story.
Meanwhile do “journalists” with access pursue actual stories when they have the opportunity? Michael Landsberg interviewed Gary Bettman just before the draft. Did he ask about the lawsuit between the league and the Rangers? Did he demand an explanation for Boots Del Biaggio? Did he wonder about the new salary cap and the possible impact on revenue challenged teams?
Of course not. He asked Gary what he said to the drafted players right after they are selected. He asked Gary why fans thought he did not like Canada. He wanted to know whether Gary believed Kevin Lowe and Brian Burke would ever get along again.
Michael Landsberg didn’t want to toss up softballs to Bettman, but after all it is the age of the blogger. Everybody knows its people like me who have ruined hockey journalism for everybody. Get rid of the blogosphere and journalisitic standards would be so high Bettman would be afraid to appear with Landsberg.
Postscript: According to Bettman, fans despise him because we don’t know him and because – irony alert – the media is filled with inaccurate statements about him. Poor Gary.
Postscript II: I think Bettman would be well advised to stay out of the spotlight as much as possible. If he really feels that he has to be front and centre for events like the draft, he should quit with the lame jokes when the fans boo him. Why let us know he has rabbit ears?