Over at Indiana University’s National Sports Journalism Center, Eric Deggans examines the downfall of Jay Mariotti and bizarre behavior of Jason Whitlock with an eye toward the sports media’s “catty” takedowns.
For the The St. Petersburg Times TV and media critic, ‘it is small surprise that some of the highest-profile members of the Fourth Estate have now begun to get chewed up in the same buzzsaw once reserved for those making millions on the field.”
And later, “Still, it feels like a theme here. Opinionators whose brash, bold words entertain, amuse and anger, brought low when they go too far, sliced and diced by the very media which pushed them to prominence in the first place.”
The thesis is that this progression was inevitable. And Deggans is right. There are, after all, only so many stories of Athletes Behaving Badly. Filling up the 24-hour news cycle is impossible… unless you eventually start targeting the people behind the “news.” Enter the gratuitous shots at ESPN anchors you can find across the ‘net, Deadspin’s Media Meltdowns category, and, inevitably, the existence of SportsNewser.
This all makes us miss Sports Night. Life was so much simpler then.