Bob Costas joins ranks of ignorant MSM

by Bill Ferris on March 14, 2008 · 4 comments

in Mainstream Media

Add Bob Costas to the list of mainstream media who feel that all bloggers work from their parents basements. In an illogically constructed rant oozing with ignorance Costas lashes out against those who enjoy debating sports.

Costas questioned why fans would take part in an poll. He questions why anyone would care about what the common fan with a computer thinks.

”Today, I saw on ESPN a poll about which Western Conference teams would not make the playoffs,” Costas said. “Well, 46 percent said the Denver Nuggets, which has zero percent influence on anything. No reasonable person who cares about the NBA should care about that. Who has the time or the inclination to do this, even if you’re sitting on your computer? Why would you weigh in on it?”

It’s kind of a strange stance for someone who makes millions of dollars because of people’s interest in sports. Or is it that fans should sit quietly by and accept whatever broadcasters and reporters tell them while not forming and voicing their own opinions? It kind of looks that way:

”I understand with newspapers struggling and hoping to hold on to, or possibly expand their audiences, I understand why they do what they do,” Costas said. ‘But it’s one thing if somebody just sets up a blog from their mother’s basement in Albuquerque and they are who they are, and they’re a pathetic get-a-life loser, but now that pathetic get-a-life loser can piggyback onto someone who actually has some level of professional accountability and they can be comment No. 17 on Dan Le Batard’s column or Bernie Miklasz’ column in St. Louis. That, in most cases, grants a forum to somebody who has no particular insight or responsibility. Most of it is a combination of ignorance or invective.”

Aside from the general ignorance of what constitutes a blog or a blogger (leaving a comment on a newspaper article or course constitutes neither), it’s more vitriol for fans – or Costas’s primary audience.

Costas doesn’t understand that the forum is proportional the quality of the content. Only the good stuff gets a big audience. And by good stuff I mean the stuff that bubbles to the top either in uniqueness, quality of writing, humor, etc.

Why is it okay for Costas to get a forum while no one else does? I’d guess that his answer would have something to do with earning it over the years. Someone at some point had to think he was good enough to put on the air. The problem is that was a singular decision. It’s something that the vast majority of fans didn’t get a chance to weigh in on. Costas was thrust upon us.

The next step of the argument would be that if he wasn’t well liked he wouldn’t still have a job. But we see all the time instances of broadcast professionals who are awful, and widely held in low regard, continue to work.

With blogging it is a much more democratic process. If you’re not good at something, chances are you won’t get read. So that forum gets “earned” albeit in a different and arguably better way.

There is one point where I do agree with Costas:

“confuses simple mean-spiritedness and stupidity with edginess. Just because I can call someone a name doesn’t mean I’m insightful or tough and edgy.

That’s one aspect I’m not a fan of and generally don’t participate in. Of course in the next sentence he refers to those same people as “idiots” and if you remember he also called bloggers “pathetic get-a-life losers” so feast on that irony for a moment.

And to clarify, I have no problem with Costas the broadcaster. I generally like things he’s involved with so there is no personal bias here. It’s just disappointed that Costas views himself as judge and jury for what is and isn’t acceptable.
Sports bloggers weave a tangled web – 03/14/2008 –
Hat tip Inside the Book.