NewCliche21

What "responsibility" does the media have to ask the tough questions?

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So I didn't get to watch the Bruce "press conference", but I was absolutely incensed that being two games out of the playoffs is somehow a good thing.  It seemed like the media was throwing softball questions with such a rare opportunity, and it really bothered me.

 

Disclosure:  I've been lucky enough to cover three games for ES and meet a ton of media members I've read/watched/listened to for years, and they are all really good people who care about the team (believe it or not, good stories sell better than bad ones).

I'm wondering if there's any sort of responsibility or obligation or at least a "Come on, man" when getting these twice-in-an-offseason opportunities to convey what the fanbase (i.e. their readers/viewers/listeners) are saying roaring loudly an unanimously.

I wanted to flesh out this thread more but screaming babies (no, not me) and having to actually do MY job aren't allowing me to do so, but I wanted to get ES's take on it.  I won't be back on until this afternoon, but I'm interested in what you guys think.

Also, my understanding of the Q&no real A is from what I've seen in some twitter posts and articles, so if I'm wrong, then please do what my wife does and let me know incessantly.

Edited by NewCliche21
Forgot words
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I do believe it is the responsibility of the reporters that cover this team to ask the tough questions that the fans want/need answered.  The problem being if they do Bruce will just stop doing pressers completely.  They should still ask though, he needs to face the backlash to what he helped create.

Edited by wunderhill
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I think they did a pretty good job of asking tough questions, Bruce just hit them with  “I’m not going to get into that” and steered off topic in response.

 

Not sure who it was, but the reporter who brought up #FireBruceAllen even added in “this is not your first time dealing with such a campaign” or something of that nature.  It was golden.  

 

Unfortunately for us, Bruce has only taken a page from Belichick in regards to secrecy with the media, but has yet to read up on how to actually win.

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 I think it would go a long way if they were to say "the fans want to know".  Dont let him get away with not addressing the question. Maybe they (reporters) could even reach out to STH and compile a list of questions that fans want answered.

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Personally I don't think anybody who sits down to a press conference says what they really want to or should say.

Could we get killer Mike to be at a press conference with Bruce Allen.."yoo why you ****in up so bad"?... Just straight to the point

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I get that the questions were largely beach balls. But at the end of the day Bruce was going to give the same fluff answers he gave. The situation starts and ends with ownership and we have seen that cronyism is prioritized above operating a functional football franchise. I'm resigned to the fact that we are stuck with this if we stay with this team....take it or leave it.

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I agree that reporters should be as aggressive as possible with Teflon Don.  I think the NY media is much tougher on their sport franchises.  Also Philly media can be tough too.  I see a lot of old timers like Chic Hearn are retired or gone and so you have a new generation of younger reporters who are still feeling their way like JP Finlay for example.  The only real critic most often is Brian Mitchell.  At the end of the season I liked watching him go off during the post game show.  The retired Super Bowl players of course get upset at the lousy product on the field now for the Skins.

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See, i dont think Bruce meant they’re happy about being 2 games out of the playoffs. But to me, yes, the team WAS in the playoff hunt right until week 16. That’s a positive for me, knowing that they weren’t THAT far off from being one of the wildcard teams. What does that mean for NEXT YEARS team? I dont know. I think 4-12, most likely. But if they win that game against the Texans, if they find a way to get down the field against the titans, if Alex doesn’t get injured, who knows what happens the rest of THIS season. 

 

And i agree i think the questions from the media were good. Bruce just wasn’t answering most of the tough ones. 

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I think it was the pool that was there.  Had the columnists that dont give a crap about access been there, you might've seen a different tone.  The beat guys are almost too close to the situation to be as tough as they need to be at a time like this.

 

An actual local press conference open to all comers woulda had some folks in attendance Bruce was afraid of.

Edited by justice98
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They don’t technically owe anyone anything, but I figured most of them would be pissed off enough with the state of the team to not hold back for their own personal reasons and feelings. 

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I think it is perfectly fine to ask any question, just understand that they are not obligated to answer. I think this is where many reporters get it wrong when it comes to sports. 

Sometimes you just have to plant the seed. Ask the tough question you may get an answer you might not but you put it out there and they now have to think about it. The next time that question is asked they might be more willing to answer. 

Example :

Reporter: Hey Brucey why under your guidance have we been a perennial bucket of suck ?

BA : Uh we are 7-9

Reporter: Yeah buddy that's not really an answer more like confirmation that we are indeed a bucket of suck, but sleep on it mmmmmkay

 

 

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None of the antagonist columnists are ever around when you need 'em, like Loverro or Sally Jenkins. Hell, Jason Reid woulda come in handy yesterday. Grill that sucker.

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The media has gone soft over the years. One of the consequences of the overall decline of journalism in this country.

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I think that Tony Wylie has a role in it too, the whole "No means no" guy who's in charge of PR.

But yeah, people asked questions, why not follow up with it?  I like what @wunderhill said about the phrasing, "the fans want to know." I think that throwing stats out there would be good, too.  "Bruce, the fans want to know what, exactly, the team will do to win Super Bowls, not hope for playoff spots.  This has been a major reason that attendance is down X%."

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What's the point?

 

Bruce knows everyone thinks he's a POS. Having a reporter allude to it with a cleverly-concealed question won't enlighten him further in that regard.

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2 hours ago, BurgundyBooger said:

What's the point?

 

Bruce knows everyone thinks he's a POS. Having a reporter allude to it with a cleverly-concealed question won't enlighten him further in that regard.

 

Because then it gets way more coverage.  While this market knows he's awful, it being picked up nationally is a huge story.  Way more people read PFT, ESPN, even NFL Network than just our little circle of beat reporters.  If Dan is getting laughed at from all corners and it's splashed on the headlines, that makes a huge difference.

 

Also, Bruce caved when he brought on GMSM.  It's not like he has no history of succumbing to public pressure.

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I thought the reporters were a bunch of pansies yesterday, up until near the end when one brave soul asked about the "FireBruce" campaign. 

 

Sure, he's always going to give a non-answer, but call him on it and press him harder. These guys love to talk so tough when they're on radio shows, then when they actually get a chance to talk to the guy, they clam up (for the most part). 

 

I know Jason Reid isn't a popular guy, but I absolutely loved how he hammered Allen in 2014. Apparently that's one of the reasons Allen stopped doing pressers, as he was so embarrassed and humiliated to have been held to the fire like that and called on his non-stop BS. If he stops doing them again because someone grills him, who cares? These guys have the chance that tons of fans wish they had. They don't have to make it some kind of pile-on insult fest, of course, but there's a way to ask him those questions in a professional way. 

 

I mean, the one reporter asks him how he should be judged on his tenure here based on his record, and he responds, "We're 7-9," never once taking responsibility for the overall horrendous record of his ten years here. And those reporters just accepted that and didn't follow up once? S-A-W-F-T. 

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heads-sand.jpg

 

Stop the hypocrisy, the politically correct, tacit understandings and implicit agreements. When a dude like Allen is peeing on your shoes and doesn't even bother telling you it's raining confront him relentlessly with his flaws and wrongdoings using pure facts and logic.

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 To me it was cognitive dissonance.  A belief system he has devised over the past few years in an attempt to hide his inadequacy.  So no matter what is thrown at him, and some of the questions were pretty direct, he sticks with phrases such as "we are close"  but due to bad luck, bad, unexpected injuries....... Only two games out, one game out.  We have a good team.  

 

With those types of lines he remains impervious to anything coming in.  He is a great politician.  He does not answer direct questions.  He has to adhere to his belief system because his perceived value to the organization is tied to it.  

 

He has Dan believing him so of course he shovels it to the media and fans.  

 

 I had to laugh out loud on the line that went somewhat like  "we have great fans that just want to win".  Is there any damn NFL fan anywhere that does not want to win?  

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I would have loved a question to Allen asking him if Snyder knows of the deep animosity Redskins fans hold for the Redskins owner.

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The only question i want asked of every coach on the staff is Why do you think we have been the most injured team in the league the past 2  years ? Just plain old bad luck ?

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I was saying this in the other thread...

 

I don’t really care if they do or don’t ask tough questions, but these guys talk a big talk when they’re on their show or in their column. 

 

When they get to sit down with the people they’ve railed against for months, they act star struck. 

 

Ohshucks mr Allen, thanks for sitting down with me!

- says the guy that’s been ****ing for months that Allen doesn’t do any press conferences

 

theyre phony cowards. They need to be called out for it. 

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To answer your question, maybe the press are afraid to lose their credentials. And be honest, do you really think Snyder or Allen would give a direct straight-forward answer? 

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Football is a unique industry.  What other time in your life do you dress in costume and scream or yell wildly, and act like a fanatic? 

 

It all creates a very unique dynamic from a reporting perspective, as there is a lot pressure on them from us fanatics.  But what other business gets as much scrutiny, let alone in an industry many would characterize as "a game". Heck every major newpapers for a century has a "sports" section.  The teams could use full time press secretary. 

 

Bruce sends out Jay Gruden.  Mind boggling.

 

I think the gold standard in 'tough sports reporting' is set by the canadian hockey media, notably Toronto and Montreal.

Edited by RandyHolt

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It's the responsibility of any reporter to ask pertinent questions and cover pertinent topics, regardless of their beat. That means asking your interviewees tough questions because you're no one's PR official.

 

That most certainly includes sports reporters. Communities spend billions of dollars supporting teams and leagues by purchasing team/sponsor's merchandise or giving up valuable land and tax money to build a team's facilities. In a more abstract (but not less important) light, sports organizations are symbols and rallying points for communities of all sizes. I've often said the 'Skins are one of the few things Washingtonians actually have to claim as their own since most everything of note in the D.C. area is  labeled "federal" or "national," even its symphony orchestra (which is supposed to be the pride and joy of a city).

 

And as I alluded to earlier, we can't pretend sports are on their own island. They are just as interconnected with politics, finance, identity, and labor as anything else. We're seeing that play out now as the 'Skins look for their next stadium.  

 

There are tremendous financial and emotional stakes tied up in a city's ball teams and that must be taken with the utmost seriousness. For someone to shirk that responsibility not only makes them a company stooge but betrays a real and valid trust a community has in one of the few things that's supposed to bring them joy and unity (even if it's only for a few hours a week for four-five months).

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