Sunday, May 03, 2009

Whitlock on Roberts

I am not a fan of Alex Rodriguez, to put it mildly. But I agree completely with Jason Whitlock's column:

When since-disgraced district attorney Mike Nifong whipped up a media posse to rain justice on the drunken, male college students, Roberts jumped on the fastest, most influential horse, using her New York Times column to convict the players and the culture of privilege that created them.

Proven inaccurate, Roberts never wrote a retraction for the columns that contributed to the public lynching of Reade Seligmann, Colin Finnerty and David Evans . . .

At no point did ESPN’s TV anchors or radio broadcasters mention that Roberts was the same person who led the media charge against the Duke lacrosse players. I listened to Roberts’ interview on Dan Patrick’s radio show. Patrick never asked her about Duke lacrosse or why we should trust her reporting . . .

The allegations in Roberts’ book [on Rodriguez] might very well be true. But I’m not going to trust her, not without some on-the-record reporting, not after what she wrote about the Duke lacrosse players.


Bill Anderson said...

Whitlock is too modest. One thing I don't forget is that he believed the lacrosse case to be a fraud, and he made that statement early on.

I'm sure that Jason Whitlock received all sorts of insults for the position he took, but something also tells me that he is not going to let a nasty email ruin his day. The guy always has been a straight shooter and a great sports columnist, and once again he writes a winner.

Anonymous said...

Is Roberts a Communist?

Anonymous said...

Serena Roberts tends to let her personal prejudices get in the way of factual reporting. Then, when she is called out on it she either cries discrimination (the victim card) or she totally ignores the facts (i guess based on the presumption that if one ignores something long enough it ceases to exist). Either way, her credibility as a reporter is suspect.
Like KC, I am no fan of Alex Rodriguez - and I am sure that his steroid use predates the occasion that he said that he used it and that probably (until very recently) he was juiced. However, what I think is just that - thoughts. Thoughts do not substitute for facts - and I have neither the resources, the inclination, nor the time to pursue the acumulation of said facts to prove or disprove what I think. Therefore, what I think in the case of Alex Rodriguez's use of enhancements is of no concern. Roberts, however, uses her position as an SI reporter to present her thoughts as the truth, just as she did in the lacrosse case. Reporters of that ilk need to be called out and repsonsible news organizations need to come down hard on those reporters, like Roberts, who substitute opinions and suppositions for facts.

Anonymous said...

I continue to be amazed at the growing number of those who seem to have a need to attack others simply because of who they are. I am wondering whether there is any current, peer-reviewed research on the causes of the psychological need of those who see themselves as less than adequate to attack those they see as more adequate or privileged in various ways (wealth, power, adulation, etc.?

There seems to be quite an "industry" growing at places like Duke University (the " I feel underprivileged, unappreciated and I'm mad as hell about it" departments from which the group of 88 emerged) and elsewhere, like the NYT where often coils Selena Roberts. These poor wretches that populate some of our nation's well known institutions do not seem to be psychologically capable of making it through the day without "pot banging" , banner-waving and/or sourceless article and book writing to attack those they feel (not know, but feel) are misusing society to gain the status deserved by the attackers. It seems that in a number of these cases, the equation is simply this: "I am not as important or as wealthy as I want to be, so it MUST be someone else's fault".

There has to be, somewhere out there, an untainted, apoliticaly correct academician who has examined this topic and can help us understand why these people have this gut-wrenching psychological need attack those they perceive as "better".

If any of Professor Johnson's readers know of such research, please leave a reference.

Debrah said...

Apparently, Whitlock covers issues all over the spectrum.

From sports to politics to cultural topics.

I remember reading his name in the N&O in years past; however, his bio only mentions that he used to work for the Charlotte Observer.

He certainly doesn't not follow tribal rules when he writes.

And that's a good thing.

Yvonne said...


Apparently, Whitlock covers issues all over the spectrum.You should get out more, Debbie. Whitlock has written about DukeLAX several times, especially early on.

skwilli said...

Absolutely correct, KC. Roberts can't be trusted. She is an example of the "new" reporters. It's all about HER. ARod is almost certainly guilty of many things, long-term steroid usage among them, but it isn't BECAUSE of Robert's reporting. Her earth-shattering screed is going to turn out to be just as sloppily written, thought out and weak on sources as everything else she has written to date.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for raising this, KC. The elite media simply take her word as Gospel truth, never pointing out that there are gaping holes in her story,and ignoring her checkered history.

A review of her "reporting" on Rodriguez since 2005 reveals a reporter with a serious chip on her shoulder regarding Rodriguez. Each column attacks him in more personal terms. For eample, she wrote a column attacking him as a property owner in December 2007 that was misleading and disingenuous, to put it kindly; another column in 2004 attacked him as "[h]ypersensitive to his manicured image and unaccountable salary." Hardly a cloumn goes by without her making a smart aleck remark about Rodriguez' contract. Ms. Roberts can't stand the guy and uses her position to inflict injury. She must have thought she struck gold when his 2003 steroid report leaked, and believed she had the story to finally tear him down. This was the same trajectory her columns on the lacrosse team took -- all she need was Nifong making insane and false statements that supported her view that wealthy and successful men are just God-awful people, and she was off to the races.

It is conceivable that what she says is true, but it is more conceivable that she wanted a hit piece on Rodriguez, and either made up the sources or grossly exaggerated what they said, and turned a blind eye to any counter-evidence. From public reports, her sources are either anonymous or simply passing along idle gossip (the high school coach and teammates have already scoffed at and dismissed the sensatioanl allegations; no Yankee recalls the spectacular allegations in the clubhouse. Yet no one in the pres seems interested in finding out the truth. Sound familiar?

In any case, take nothing of what she says at face value in the absence of direct evidence.


Anonymous said...

Selena Roberts is the Kim Curtis of sports reporting.

One Spook said...

Jason Whitlock has been a reasoned and fair commentator on the lacrosse hoax almost from the beginning.

Although links to many of his early writings are no longer active, a report he wrote ”here” in May 2006 demonstrates his very reasonable examination of the events then known in the lacrosse hoax that few, if any, in the media understood, let alone reported.

This ”Bio” about Whitlock is quite good, asserting that "Whitlock was one of the first writers to strongly question district attorney Mike Nifong’s handling of the Duke Lacrosse investigation."

But what Whitlock's current commentary that KC links really reveals to me is that a dishonest unprofessional gossip monger like Selena Roberts continues to have a podium at The Times, and the same scurrilous, unsubstantiated narrative that she used in reporting the Duke hoax is accepted by her editors and used again.

And yet, apart from Whitlock, Roberts' fabrications and her mendacity go unchallenged by anyone in the media.

And that is Whitlock's message to the media and a message that applies not only to the media, but also to the academy, university administration, police, and the justice system.

A scant few in those fields have spoken out, and that to me is the most troubling aspect of this entire, horrific event.

One Spook

Subway Squawkers said...

KC, thanks again for talking to me at about A-Rod. While the MSM has yet to ask Selena Roberts about the Duke case, many, many Yankee fan bloggers and readers have been talking about what she wrote back then.

You're so right about how everything she says needs to be independently verified. I wish the MSM would put some effort into that, instead of just blindly taking her word for it.

Take care,

Lisa Swan
Subway Squawkers

Anonymous said...

Is Rodriguez a Communist?

Anonymous said...

Is Selena Robertsa Communist?

That I cannot answer though I do know she is not a competent columnist.