The demonization of Selena Roberts

amd_butch

Ten years ago this December, Sports Illustrated ran my profile of John Rocker. The story sort of put me on the map as a journalist (which is funny, because it really wasn’t all that well written), but it also earned me a ton of scorn. In the days … months … years after the piece initially ran, I received myriad calls and letters, wondering when I would step up and apologize. In some quarters, the belief was that I had taken advantage of a young man. That, while his beliefs were certainly off, he was just a bumpkin, naive to the ways of the media.

Alas, I never apologized. Never felt I should, even though the outcry was pretty damn loud.

Three years ago, Selena Roberts wrote a piece for the New York Times that called out those Duke lacrosse players accused of sexual assault. Her column was unambiguously strong, and, many believed, took the young men to task for a crime it turns out they didn’t commit. In the days … months … years after the piece initially ran, the belief was that Roberts had taken advantage of young men. That, while she certainly had a right to an opinion, she hung these guys without proof.

Alas, Selena Roberts never apologized, either. Never felt she should, even though the outcry was pretty damn loud.

Being completely forthright, I don’t think Selena handled it 100-percent righteously. The column was, in hindsight, too accusatory, and when the innocence was proven, she probably owed an “I was wrong” follow-up piece.

That being said, for my money Selena is one of America’s best writer/reporters. She was years ago, when she covered Tate George and the New Jersey Nyets for the Times, and she is now. Show me a big-time columnist who doesn’t wish he/she could take back some things that made ink, and I’ll show you a big-time columnist who doesn’t belong in the biz. Columnist go out on limbs. They take sides. The oftentimes leap before they look. Do you think, looking back, I’m happy I called for Joe Torre’s dismissal
in May, 2007? Hell, no. It was boneheaded, rash, moronic. I was wrong, but my pen (well, keyboard) never stopped me.

What truly bothers me right now are the growing legions of media sorts taking Selena to task; gleefully evoking Duke lacrosse—as if they’d never made a blunder themselves. Here in New York, Boomer and Carton of WFAN’s morning show seemed to take special pleasure in slamming away. But they’re not alone. Jason Whitlock, a columnist I greatly admire, has made Selena thrashing a sport. (Several years ago, Whitlock was embarrassed nationally after it was learned that, during a Chiefs game against the Patriots in Foxboro, he taunted fans by writing a sign reading BLEDSOE. GAY? I thought it was just a stupid, silly mistake—but one that bothered many people. We all do things we regret). Others have followed suit.

I’m not sure what the point here is, except that I hate the old Republican strategy of shifting the focus from the subject to the messenger. Yes, Selena’s Duke takes were off. But that does not, in my mind, wipe out the merits of an insanely excellent career. And it doesn’t deny her the benefit of the doubt …

33 thoughts on “The demonization of Selena Roberts”

  1. I’m sorry, but I’ve got to respectfully disagree with the parallel to Whitlock.

    There’s a world of difference between writing a sign jokingly calling someone gay at a game and publishing an article – in one of the titans of print journalism, no less – accusing a group of people of a heinous crime.

  2. Jeff, I love your writing but this sounds like one journalist letting a colleague off way too easy.

    In the most notable story of her career, she slandered men who retained the presumption of innocence; smugly refused to apologize when her reporting was mistaken; and implied that only a mistrial could have produced such a verdict.

    Then, she claimed that one cannot separate the alleged crime and the institutional culture of Duke. Frankly, that’s ridiculous and pathetic. In this country, we hold people accountable for their own behavior, not evil abstractions and dated stereotypes. Being a member of a given culture does not make any one a criminal, not even spoiled white yups at Duke.

    She chose her villains in advance and stuck to her story, facts be damned. Her credibility is a thing of the past.

  3. M.D., using “gay” as a means to slam someone isn’t a joke. Just because the frat boy mentality of many sports fans thinks it is.

    By Whitlock’s own admission he thinks Selena shouldn’t have written this (among other reasons) because she’s a “feminist”. That alone destroys any credibility he might have had on this subject.

    And spare me the righteous indignation about Duke. She wasn’t even close to being the only writer who jumped on the accusation bandwagon there. She might not have handled things exactly as I would have but she also wasn’t the only one who thought they were guilty before everything came out.

    Obviously, Whitlock has his own issues and he never apologizes for any of them.

    Funny how the moment a woman dare break that glass ceiling and write an unflattering book about a superstar sports figure everyone wants HER burned at the stake.

    ARod’s is a POS. Anything bad that comes his way, he opened the door and invited in.

  4. Jeff:

    A couple of things:

    1. You obviously know better, but from what I recall, you were attacked for the Rocker thing for the act of writing a negative piece rather than getting stuff wrong, making Rocker/Duke different beasts. Of course you didn’t need to apologize for the Rocker piece. He was the idiot, and you did your job. I think people feel differently about Duke.

    2. You came clean on your mistake with the Torre piece. You probably don’t remember, but I even wrote some juvenile “ha-ha Pearlman was wrong” piece about it on my blog, on which you commented graciously, engaging with the reasons you thought you got it wrong and revising as the facts warranted.

    3. Attacking Roberts for her choice of targets makes little sense (if you can’t go after A-Rod, who can you go after?). But questioning her credibility when she writes a book, like this one, with so much resting on anonymous sources seems to be entirely fair game. We have to trust her if the book is to hold together. Her track record on perhaps the biggest story she ever covered revealed that she can’t necessarily be trusted. Why, then, should she be given the benefit of the doubt here?

  5. Selena Roberts is a joke. Rodriguez is a joke also, but the delusions of grandeur coming from this lady is beyond laughable.

    Her book has no substance. She has zero credibility, other than her fellow SI/ESPN/NY Times cronies. Anyone with a shred of unbiased common sense dismisses her as a hack.

    At the end of the day, scoreboard for her, she’s going to cash in on this. But at what cost, her professional integrity is tainted and her as a writer isn’t taken seriously as anything more than a over zealous feminist preaching to a crowd of crickets chirping.

    Selena Roberts = yawn.

  6. Let’s see…

    I was suspended for the New England fiasco. Wrote an apology column. Since that 1998 incident, have never shied away from bringing up the incident in subsequent newspaper columns and on my own radio shows.

    I’ve written numerous “I was wrong” columns about things I’ve been wrong about.

    Do you still think the analogy between her Duke lacrosse columns and me getting into a taunting incident with fans still works?

    Your analogy to your Rocker story is equally lame.

    And as for Cyn’s mischaracterization of my opinion, I’ll restate it in full:

    Social agenda does not trump truth. Al Sharpton was wrong when he let his social agenda to stamp out racism lead him to support Tawna Brawley despite contradictory evidence.

    Selena was wrong to let her social agenda to stamp out sexism cause her to ignore the obvious truth in the Duke lacrosse case.

    I say all of this much better in a foxsports.com column.

    It’s late, I’m sleepy and I’m half looped on Stoli Dolis from Capital Grill.

    Take care, Jeff.

    Whitlock

  7. I was referring to your comments on Dan Patrick’s show as reported on Deadspin:

    http://deadspin.com/5240921/jason-whitlock-continues-to-go-after-selena-roberts

    “Whitlock characterized Roberts as a person who “does not understand men that well”

    “We’re being asked to trust someone who is hardcore feminist. [T]o me she’s almost no different than Al Sharpton.”

    Apparently Selena’s “social agenda” spreads to any time she writes about men, which she shouldn’t do because she doesn’t understand them?

  8. //Cyn, and I guess Deadspin and AJ Daulerio are now your Bible.//

    Good God, far from it. But they seemed to have reported (for lack of a better word) what you said correctly.

    MY issue is your using “feminism” as if it’s a bad thing. (Which you also do in today’s Foxsports.com column) Because she’s a feminist she has no way to report fairly or be taken seriously. That’s what you seem to be saying.

    Not really encouraging.

  9. Cyn

    They did not report what I said accurately. Show me where I used “feminism” as a bad thing in my column. And you could listen to the Dan Patrick interview for yourself.

  10. Robert in Dallas

    This was a somewhat interesting read until you just had to inject the “except that I hate the old Republican strategy of shifting the focus from the subject to the messenger” comment.

    Was that needed? Is it relevant to the rest of the post?

    Why do so many writers feel the need to include political jabs in posts on apolitical topics?

    And give me a break here. BOTH parties will play the focus-shifting game. Don’t act as if it is only Republicans. I expect that the simple truth is that you prefer Democrats, and therefore do not mind (or choose to ignore) when Democrats do it.

  11. Jason, just the fact that you mention it, in a column criticizing her, is using it in a bad way.

    What does her being a feminist have to do with how she covered either the Duke Lacrosse case or ARod? Just because she’s a feminist, doesn’t mean she can’t be impartial.

    And Dan Patrick’s own blog reported your comments the same way Deadspin did:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/danpatrick/blog/63741/index.html

    I’m better than halfway through her book right now and my problem with it isn’t that it’s tainted by a “feminist” voice, just that most of the information in it we have already read somewhere else (or is given up by anonymous sources and reads like gossip).

  12. OK, Cyn, now Dan Patrick’s blog is superior to reading my column or listening to the interview yourself.

    And I spelled out quite thoroughly in my Fox column why her feminism might play a role in tainting her views on the Duke lacrosse players.

    I asked a direct question: Show me in my column where I used “feminism” as a bad thing.

    It’s OK to make a mistake. You are not infallible.

  13. “Place your trust in the writer. And Roberts’ reaction to the exoneration of the Duke lacrosse players calls into question her credibility. By refusing to acknowledge her mistakes in the Duke case, she creates the impression that her agenda trumps the truth.

    She looks like a feminist version of Al Sharpton.”

    She doesn’t feel the need to apologize for what she wrote, so it’s because of her feminist views not her own beliefs in what she wrote or how she feels about the subject? We place our trust in the writer, but because she’s a feminist we need to keep that in mind when reading what she writes and judge accordingly?

    And I listened to the interview. I think both Deadspin and DP’s blog represented it truthfully. You didn’t come out and say “she’s a dirty feminist” but they didn’t report that you did.

    You obviously, from your own writing today, think that her being a feminist is what is driving her refusal to accept the idea that what she did with the Duke case was wrong. I disagree, strongly, and would hope most rational-thinking people would.

    And as far as the rest of your criticisms, if we’re going by her history, she’s the one who reported first that ARod was using steroids. ARod verified that her story was correct. I’m willing to consider her more current history as a good litmus test for whether what she wrote in this book is truthful.

  14. Selena did not write one column about the Duke case, she wrote multiple columns about the Duke Case. However, unlike many journalists covering the story who got it wrong from the start, she made it seem like nothing had changed from April 2006–when the lynching of these kids was in full swing–months down the road, when it was blatantly clear who the real victims were: the wrongfully accused.

    Unfortunately for the New York Times, the Duke story was not about the oppression of African American women; it was about prosecutorial misconduct, how a police department did everything in its power to send three innocent men to jail despite the fact that its only witness changed her story over 100 times and the only other available evidence proved absolute innocence by doing things like letting the false accuser pick the men out of photo lineup that only featured members of the lacrosse team. For the three who ended up getting indicted, they were just unlucky the music stopped on them.

    The woman, who attempted to run over a police officer after stealing his squad car, had sex with multiple men–according to reports, she was indeed a prostitute–and showed up to the party high on every drug imaginable, was made about to be this hard-working mother who was dancing her way through college.

    Her against the big, bad wealthy Duke lacrosse players; many actually came from middle-class, blue collar families, but why let facts get in the way of a morality play, right?

    The false accuser should have gone to jail that night, as she was originally picked up in a squad car for being passed out drunk. She would have lost her child, however, had she gone to jail again; hence the false rape report.

    Then Nifong took over from there, making 70 interviews branding the kids as hooligans on every TV station in the country, telling them to come forward.

    They DID come forward, unlike Selena wrote about. All of them cooperated fully with the Durham authorities and investigators, and even had their constitutional rights violated. They just did not give Nifong the info he wanted, because NO crime–outside of the filing of the false police report by the false accuser–occurred. None. You can’t report something that never happened.

    The lacrosse members were the only ones telling the truth all along, but Selena wrote that they were engaged in anti-snitch campaign.

    There were so many minor injustices in the case as well as the actual charges–canceling a lacrosse season because of a historic rush to judgment (the Duke basketball team had a stripper party earlier that year, and their season was not canceled, so leave that argument to rest), professors at Duke engaging in grade retaliation, calling out members of the team in class, the president throwing his own students under the bus so he could look admirable in the Times himself and to appease his liberal colleagues who often times let their social beliefs trump objective facts. It seems that $60-grand in tuition does not go too far these days, as the Duke administration had many chances to stick up for the victims, their own students, but took the PC, easy way out at every turn, fearing backlash from the likes of Roberts, who, it seems, wanted to use this case to further her political agenda that sexism is alive and real.

    Which it is; she just picked the wrong case to promote her agenda, thus losing considerable credibility as a journalist. She attached her name to a hoax, essentially a railroading of innocent men by a corrupt district attorney who was trying to save his job by pandering to minority voters.

    I encourage you to read K.C. Johnson and Stuart Taylor’s book about the case, Until Proven Innocent. It would open your eyes. A lot.

    Johnson, by the way, does a Fire Joe Morgan style critique of all of Roberts’ work on this case in his blog Durham in Wonderland:

    “March 31, 2006: “When Peer Pressure, Not a Conscience, Is Your Guide”

    Something happened March 13, when a woman, hired to dance at a private party, alleged that three lacrosse players sexually assaulted her in a bathroom for 30 minutes.

    Of course, nothing “happened” except for a false claim of rape, a possibility Roberts never appears to have entertained.

    According to reported court documents, she was raped, robbed, strangled and was the victim of a hate crime.

    Roberts was in a world of her own in describing a search warrant as a “reported court document.” (The Times was forced to run a correction several days later.) No item in the case file—“reported court document” or otherwise—ever contended that Crystal Mangum was the “victim of a hate crime.” The Times never ran a correction, and Roberts has never acknowledged her error.

    [Mangum] was also reportedly treated at a hospital for vaginal and anal injuries consistent with sexual assault and rape.

    Roberts’ description of the medical reports was false. The Times never ran a correction, and Roberts has never acknowledged her error.

    Players have been forced to give up their DNA, but to the dismay of investigators, none have come forward to reveal an eyewitness account.

    This statement was outright false (the three captains gave detailed “eyewitness accounts,” including DNA samples, which they gave voluntarily). The Times never ran a correction, and Roberts has never acknowledged her error.

    For days, Durham residents and Duke students have rallied on behalf of sexual-assault victims, banging pots and pans, hoping to stir more action out of Duke’s president, Richard H. Brodhead. The indignation has been heartening . . .

    That Roberts, like the Group of 88, considered it “heartening” to see protesters blanket the campus with “wanted” posters or carry enormous “castrate” signs speaks volumes as to her values. Roberts has never retracted or amended her praise for the potbangers.

    The season is over, but the paradox lives on in Duke’s lacrosse team, a group of privileged players of fine pedigree entangled in a night that threatens to belie their social standing as human beings.

    Attending a tasteless spring break party is enough to “belie [college students’] social standing as human beings”? Apart from Roberts’ apparent ideological comrades at schools like BYU and Liberty, it seems she has a very low opinion of thousands of college students.

    But why is it so hard to gather the facts? Why is any whisper of a detail akin to snitching? . . . Does President Brodhead dare to confront the culture behind the lacrosse team’s code of silence or would he fear being ridiculed as a snitch?

    About the only place in which a tasteless spring break party could be compared to gang activity is on the mean streets of the lily-white, upper-class Connecticut suburb in which Roberts (who preaches “diversity” for everyone else) chose to live.

    Article total: beyond the dubious analogies and the rush-to-judgment assertion that “something happened,” four errors of fact, only one of which either Roberts or the Times ever acknowledged. Each factual error either made the lacrosse players look guilty or reinforced Roberts’ assault on the players’ character.

    ——————

    April 12, 2006: “Accountability Fails to Rise to the Top at Some Colleges”

    Duke’s lacrosse members established a ‘‘Lord of the Flies’’ ethos in Durham, N.C.

    Along, apparently, with every other college student that ever attended a tasteless spring break party.

    Now [Duke officials] act, fretting over the atmosphere of degradation, over the symptoms of misogyny.

    When the Coleman Committee’s extensive report about the lacrosse players’ character found no “symptoms of misogyny,” Roberts was silent. When the women’s lacrosse team strongly rebutted the assault on their fellow students’ character, Roberts was silent. And when her then-Times colleague Harvey Araton displayed his own “symptom of misogyny” by dismissing as “gals” these 18- to 22-year-old Duke student-athletes, Roberts was, again, silent.

    ——————–

    March 25, 2007: “Closing a Case Will Not Mean Closure at Duke”

    The North Carolina attorney general’s office—which took over the Duke lacrosse case in the winter from Michael B. Nifong, one part district attorney, one part clueless Columbo—denied any decision [to drop the case] was imminent.

    Roberts never saw fit to mention that the Bar charged Nifong with engaging in “conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation” and conspiring to withhold exculpatory DNA evidence.” Instead, she described him as “one part district attorney, one part clueless Columbo.” Columbo, played by Peter Falk, “put on a good show of being dim-witted so that the criminals and even his colleagues would be more at ease around him”; he was the “deceptively bumbling” lieutenant who used his appearance as the fool to solve the crime. Was Roberts intending to remind readers that, each week on TV, Columbo deliberately used his “clueless” nature to solve the crime?

    Unnamed critics, Roberts added, wanted her to “lay off the lacrosse pipeline to Wall Street, excuse the khaki-pants crowd of SAT wonder kids.”

    Roberts frequently had suggested that boosters exercise too much power in college athletics, that they exploit athletes to massage their own egos or to advance agendas that contradict the goal of higher education. But for the lacrosse team, a different standard seemed to apply. Its 100 percent graduation rate, heavy representation on the conference academic honor roll, and many good jobs upon graduation could be construed by Roberts as a bad thing.

    To many, the alleged crime and culture are intertwined . . . but the alleged crime and the culture are mutually exclusive.

    That might have been so, but Roberts was not among that group. In her initial article on the case—the one in which she asserted that “something happened” to Mangum, and “reported court documents” contained evidence of a “hate crime,” Roberts had linked the “alleged crime” and the “culture.” Rather than reconsider her biases, once the “alleged crime” collapsed, she simply “revised” her argument.

    Apparently, no player could hold his own beer because public urination was an issue.

    That sentence comports more with bawdy locker-room discussions than with the Times’ journalistic standards. But the editors, for reasons they never revealed, cleared Roberts’ insulting (and, for that matter, obviously inaccurate) assertion.

    ——————

    March 17, 2008: Interview with The Big Lead

    Basically, I wrote that a crime didn’t have to occur for us to inspect the irrefutable evidence of misogyny and race baiting that went on that night . . . Obviously, some segments of the Duke lacrosse crowd did not enjoy the scrutiny of their world.

    Of course, Roberts’ initial article had gone well beyond that: it had unequivocally asserted that “something happened” to Mangum, and “reported court documents” indicated a “hate crime.” Why did she misrepresent her work to The Big Lead readers?

    Casting herself as the real victim in the affair, Roberts bizarrely contended that criticism of her work came from “Duke-player supporters who felt threatened when someone, whether it was me or another columnist, started poking at the culture of affluence and entitlement.”

    In fact, the criticism of Roberts’ work extended even to the leadership of her former paper.

    * Times executive editor Bill Keller: “I did think, and I told the columnists, that there was a tendency in a couple of places to moralize before the evidence was all in, and not to give adequate weight to the presumption of innocence… As a generalization, I’m not dismissive of the people who think that what appeared in the sports columns kind of contributed to a sense that the Times declared these guys guilty.”

    * Times sports editor Tom Jolly: “I very much regret my failure to recognize that we were dealing with a rogue prosecutor and that the university had compounded his bravado by overreacting to the initial reports about the case . . . The bottom line is that I’d do some things differently, and that knowledge gained by hindsight has informed our approach to other stories since then.”

    ———————

    It may be that everything Roberts has written about Alex Rodriguez is accurate. But in coming woefully short of the standards of her profession and then refusing to come clean about her record, Selena Roberts sounds a lot like her portrayal of a certain high-profile third baseman.”

    As you can see, it was not one poor column. She wrote several pieces containing numerous falsehoods proven to be dead wrong.

    Your Rocker piece was great. You had nothing to apologize for. Nothing.

    Comparing the two is simply misguided. Whitlock made a mistake–which does not compare even mildly to slandering innocent 19-year-old kids–and then wrote a follow up column the next day, admitting he was wrong. Selena now says it is about culture, but the facts tell a different story here. Go read the Johnson analysis above.

    Also, as Whitlock touched upon today:

    “Here’s what’s also indisputable: At no time in her original Duke lacrosse-bashing column did she mention anything about pornographic pictures, racial slurs or broomsticks waved at strippers. She wrote about rape, robbery, strangulation and a hate crime.”

    This is not one honest mistake by Roberts. Her Duke coverage casts a serious doubt over any thing she writes from an anonymous source ever again. I mean, she is the same person who wrote that Nifong, who WITHHELD exculpatory evidence, was one-part Clueless Colombo only ONE day before the state attorney general in NC, Roy Cooper, declared them officially INNOCENT; not just dropping the charges, he said there was never ANY evidence to link a single member of the Duke lacrosse player to the crime. It was, indeed, a hoax, and Roberts saw it as an opportunity to promote her social agenda, but disregarded the facts and ignored the real story–police corruption–along the way.

    Which would not be a big deal if she admitted her mistakes, apologized to the families and then moved on. Refusing to do so makes her seem about as credible as Jayson Blair.

    You do seem to be friends with her, and she might be a nice woman. But the so-called demonization being directed at her for her Duke columns is completely fair. At least with most reasonably objective observers, it has nothing to do with being sexist, please don’t pull that easy card–if Harvey Araton wrote the A-Rod book, there would be an equal amount of scorn, since he was in the Roberts’ chorus, amazingly criticizing the women’s lacrosse team at Duke for supporting their innocent classmates, just incredible stuff, and, if you’re looking for sexist, what he wrote about the women’s Duke LAX team is a pretty good place to start.

    The real demonization you should be focusing on is the demonization of those kids in Roberts’ guilt-presuming columns.

    Reporters who rely on unnamed sources need to be have credibility. After the Duke case, that’s something that Selena Roberts has very little of.

  15. No, Cyn, because she’s someone who apparently lets her social agenda trump the truth.

    I happen to believe that racism and sexism are very prevalent in America. I happen to believe we should stand against racism and sexism when we see it.

    But I’m against sending innocent people to jail to make my point. I’m against demonizing a group of criminally innocent kids to make my point.

    I’m actually able to have rational discussions about all of these issues.

    You seem incapable.

  16. I’m not sure where I’ve been “irrational” Jason. Just because I disagree with you? Okay, then.

    You’ve done nothing to prove that Selena Roberts writings are all based on the fact that she’s a feminist. So saying that her “social agenda” trumps the truth for her without anything to back up that claim, well THAT is a form of sexism, no?

    Just because she wrote what she did doesn’t mean she only wrote it because she’s a feminist. Why is that so difficult to grasp?

  17. Cyn, her unwillingness to admit she was wrong in the Duke lacrosse case is my proof.

    She wrote that the players refused to cooperate and provide an eyewitness account.

    That’s a flat-out lie. They cooperated without a lawyer initially, voluntarily gave up their DNA and told police exactly what they saw. They refused to confess to a rape, robbery and strangulation that did not happen. That was their anti-snitch campaign. They failed to admit what they did not do.

  18. I have no vested interest in Roberts. As a card-carrying ARod-hater, her book is, thus far, annoying to me. So that I’m taking up this argument is almost comical.

    //Cyn, her unwillingness to admit she was wrong in the Duke lacrosse case is my proof.//

    Couldn’t this just be proof that she’s an arrogant jerk? Why does it have to be based on her beliefs in female equality?

  19. Jason Whitlock writes this about Selena Roberts in his FoxSports column: “She wants Alex Rodriguez to stand as a shining example of what’s wrong with American sports, and she just might be willing to ignore flattering truths about A-Rod and publish hearsay and gossip to make her point (and this is unfair).”

    Jason, as somebody who has read and reviewed the book for my Subway Squawkers baseball blog, I completely agree with you. Incidentally, at the end of “A-Rod,” Roberts calls Alex’s stalker accusation about her “misogynistic,” which is a curous choice of words. (Is she saying that only women can stalk? Tell that to Mark David Chapman!)

    Here are a few examples of my issues with “A-Rod:”

    * Roberts’ pitch-tipping allegations are serious, but she doesn’t handle them in a serious manner. Not only are the sources of this charge anonymous, but so are the co-conspirators, and even the evidence. She doesn’t even try to prove a single game where it could have happened. And she never asks any of her Rangers on-the-record interview sources, like Buck Showalter, Tom Hicks, and Chad Curtis, what they think about the allegations. Sloppy.

    * Her interview choices are one-sided. She doesn’t talk to some of the people who would say, as Jason puts it, “flattering truths” about Alex. Childhood friend Doug Mientkiewicz recently spoke out against Roberts’ high school steroids allegation – why isn’t he in the book? Nick Green recently talked about how Alex let him live in his apartment with him and his family for two months in the summer of 2006. Why isn’t this in the book? Michael Young and David Ortiz also recently publicly defended Alex, but they’re not interviewed in the book, either. Why not?

    * It’s easy to paint A-Rod as an unclutch postseason choker, but Roberts takes it a step further. She never mentions in “A-Rod” that he was even in the playoffs before 2004, let alone that he did well with Seattle, including a .400+ average against the Yankees. She also completely leaves out the way he dominated the 2004 ALDS. Instead, the first time she mentions A-Rod’s specific performance in the postseason, she starts with, “Alex had done nothing against Boston, going 1 for 5 in game four and 0 for four in game five.” Besides the fact that the “nothing” against Boston in game four was a homer that drove in the first two of the team’s four runs, Roberts also neglects to mention him going 6 for 14 with three homers in the first three games of that series. Oops!

  20. Cyn seems hung up on Whitlock calling Roberts the “feminist Al Sharpton.” She seems to think that by characterizing Roberts’ agenda as feminist in nature, Whitlock is impugning her agenda for that selfsame reason.

    It seems more likely that Whitlock is saying that the way in which Al Sharpton distorts incidents in the “NAME OF” race relations is similar to the way in which perceives of Roberts distorting the Duke incident in the “NAME OF” feminism.

    Not saying that feminism is a reason in and of itself to refute an argument, but rather saying that distorting an argument in the name of a broad social movement (feminism, race relations, gay rights, Christianity, etc.) is what is at stake here.

    Seems like a simple misunderstanding and no reason to brand Whitlock’s argument irrelevant because he is supposedly a “sexist” from one distorted epithet in which the pejorative nature revolved around the “Al Sharpton” portion rather than the “feminist” portion.

  21. //I have anonymous sources to back up my contention.//

    Okay, admittedly, this made me laugh.

    We’ll obviously never agree on this point. I DO think you raised some good issues in your piece, I just don’t think her social agenda has anything to do with her sports writing.

  22. To suggest that her social agenda has nothing to do with her sports writing is to suggest you’ve never read a Selena Roberts column.

    My habit of eating Wendy’s triple cheeseburgers has nothing to do with me being overweight.

  23. Strange logic defending Selena Roberts. Jeff Pearlman must also think a surgeon who would remove the wrong organs during several operations is somehow, still, a good doctor.

  24. Yeah, and Hitler had a mother. Way to make what she did to the Duke players look like just another day at the office. For my money Pearlman, you’re a f#$#$’n idiot.

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