It has been brought to my attention that one of Jay Glazer’s recent Twitter posts might have been in response to the harsh words Richard Sandomir of the New York Times and I have had for him.
This is what Jay wrote: I’m reporting NFL is suspending ATL OL Quinn Ojinnaka season opener w out pay for arrest last year. Yes, he’s one of falc’s we train.
It is entirely possible—and probable—that Jay Glazer has no idea who I am, and could care less about a simple blog posting. He probably added the bolded “Yes, he’s one of the falc’s we train” merely to dot his Is. If so, I can semi-respect that.
But, once again (and to respond to several posts here), I can’t respect the way he goes about his business. I just cannot. As journalists, we’re all flawed, and we all have moments of weakness. In my own career, I’ve taken large doses of criticism over the way I handled the whole John Rocker mess. Some believe I set the man up. Others think I should have let his comments go. I disagree with both takes, obviously, but I understand them.
The problem I have with Jay Glazer’s approach to journalism is that it brings down not merely a single man’s professionalism, but the entire (struggling) industry. Without Glazer’s help, we’re already considered the slugs of humanity; right there alongside bail bondsmen and drug dealers. Nobody trusts our integrity, even when we have integrity. People say we’re biased; we’re hacks; we’re intruders, sticking our noses where they don’t belong. People say we’re in it for the celebrity; so we can appear on TV, scream a little, then find ourselves recognized in airports.
I, for one, have never been recognized in an airport. Don’t want to. The goal here is to tell the stories, not be the stories.
But Jay Glazer can’t do that. He can’t be impartial, he can’t be fair, he can’t be unbiased—because he is paid by the players and teams he covers. I’ll say that once, I’ll say that 1,000 times. Hell, I’ll say it in bold caps: HOW IN THE WORLD CAN FOX HIRE AN NFL ANALYST TO PROVIDE FAIR AND ACCURATE REPORTING WHEN HE IS PAID BY THE TEAMS AND PLAYERS HE’S SUPPOSED TO COVER!? It’s an impossibility, and if Glazer isn’t enough of a journalist to see that (and I don’t state this as a slap to Glazer. I’m guessing he doesn’t view himself as a journalist, per se, but as an entertainer), then the heads at Fox should be. They are experienced men and women who have, largely, been doing this for a long time. They know the important rules of the trade, No. 1 of which is: Be unbiased, and don’t be paid by the subjects.
I know … I know—I’m a grumpy, out-of-touch old schooler. But I firmly believe there’s right and wrong in journalism—and this is thoroughly wrong.
With that, I’m done. No personal disrespect to Jay Glazer, who’s probably a nice guy. But I hate the way he does business. Hate it. (That said, I’d love to hear his defense of his practices. Then again, maybe I wouldn’t. Because there actually is no defense. None.)
** Again, I’d like to note that—despite the apparent beliefs of many—this has zero to do with jealousy or envy. Believe it or not, not all of us print guys aspire to be on TV, barking about one issue or another. Some of us still cherish the craft of writing more than the eternal search for Grade-D celebrity.