The Conners Report

Find posts by keyword
Find posts by date

Print
Email
|

Don't shoot the messenger

by LConners

KMOV.com

Posted on September 12, 2007 at 12:49 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 3:00 PM

As soon as the Rick Ankiel story broke about his connection to H-G-H (Human Growth Hormone) ... some .. let me correct that .. many ... were quick to condemn the "news media" for the story.

The news about Ankiel broke less than 24 hours after he had his best game ever as a baseball Cardinal. The Cardinal fans were still celebrating Ankiel as a hero .. a savior .. as the team is fighting for post season play.

WISE MEN TALK BECAUSE THEY HAVE

SOMETHING TO SAY ... FOOLS, BECAUSE

THEY HAVE TO SAY SOMETHING.

(PLATO)

Plato's quote is a guide for these blogs. I leave it to the reader to decide which applies.

+++++++++++++++++++

Don't kill the messenger. That's a phrase attributed to Sophocles in his 442 B.C. play "Antigone" ... and also to Shakespeare in "Henry IV" (1598) and "Antony & Cleopatra" (1606).

The basic premise is .. just because the messenger brings you bad news .. don't shoot the messenger.

As soon as the Rick Ankiel story broke about his connection to H-G-H (Human Growth Hormone) ... some .. let me correct that .. many ... were quick to condemn the "news media" for the story.

The news about Ankiel broke less than 24 hours after he had his best game ever as a baseball Cardinal. The Cardinal fans were still celebrating Ankiel as a hero .. a savior .. as the team is fighting for post season play.

There's no surprise that most ... if not all of those blaming the "news media" for the bad news about Ankiel .. are Cardinal fans.

The original story in the New York Daily News made several points: Ankiel has not been charged with any crime ... that he is not part of a federal investigation into a pharmacy that shipped illegal drugs ... that Ankiel received his shipment of HGH in 2004 before it was banned in 2005 by Major League Baseball ... that there's no evidence he's used it since 2004. That's a lot of different ways of saying that he's not guilty of anything ... but with recent interest (including Congressional investigations) ... the New York Daily News found that Ankiel's connection deserved coverage.

I agree with that decision, and I agree that we should pursue local efforts to dig deeper, follow the story and get reaction from all sources.

As usual, there is another side to this kind of issue. Regarding journalistic concerns: for those who believe the "news media" is just out to get Ankiel ... what would be said if the "news media" knew this information and kept it silent?

Then, there's the Cardinal fan reaction issue: what if the allegations were against a prime player on the Cubs? How quick would Cardinal fans who are criticizing coverage of Ankiel .. hungrily devour every word, fact and even rumor about the Cubs player? (Consider Cardinal fan reaction to Barry Bonds?)

So for those of you .. blaming the "news media" for even doing stories on Ankiel ... keep in mind that ... fair, balanced news coverage ... does not play favorites.

During my 40 plus years in news ... I've had to do stories about friends caught in bad, even illegal situations. There's only one way I could do those stories .. stick with the facts and cover them as I would anyone else.

Would you want me to do it any other way?

Print
Email
|