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October 29, 2007 11:04 AM   Subscribe

Last weekend, The Oregonian's Sports columnist John Canzano wrote about the two DUIIs by the son of the Oregon Ducks' coach. On Saturday, the Ducks football team beat the USC Trojans. The next day, Canzano wrote a story about the win. Before he wrote that story however, he wrote a blog post on what happened during the fourth quarter. Columnists are often held to different standards than reporters; and bloggers are often held to even different standards. It seems journalists are still learning the ropes of what standards they are held to under these different media. As a commenter JPound added to the post, "Before blogs, this unfortunate interaction would only have seen the light of day in a memoir."
posted by pwb503 (37 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
His blog post was this thread? Interesting.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:05 AM on October 29, 2007


It was, Crash, because he knew the future even as we type it.

Under the old standards of print media, this recursiveness would never have been allowed to subvert our sense of narrative!
posted by klangklangston at 11:07 AM on October 29, 2007


Maybe this is the blog post in question?
posted by Nelson at 11:08 AM on October 29, 2007


It's "Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants" in Oregon, apparently. For the rest of you who were wondering.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:13 AM on October 29, 2007


Fixed the link.
posted by cortex at 11:13 AM on October 29, 2007


I'm not sure what any of this has to do with "learning the ropes" of a new medium.
posted by aaronetc at 11:13 AM on October 29, 2007


Yes, Nelson is correct. Not sure how that happened. Hopefully an admin will correct that link.
posted by pwb503 at 11:15 AM on October 29, 2007


Before blogs, this unfortunate interaction would only have seen the light of day in a memoir.

And before memoirs, it would only have seen the light of day as a stone inscription on an obelisk.
posted by DU at 11:18 AM on October 29, 2007


I'd like to point out that I do think what happened in the press box during the game is news. I think it is interesting that it hasn't been reported as news (as far as I can tell) and is being reported on primarily by the person who has the greatest attachment to the story (and with the least freedom from bias.)

In my opinion, this is a media story both in regards to it happening in the press box during a huge game, and in regards to the fact that Canzano isn't reporting it in the paper, but rather in his blog. Not to mention that it is being "reported" (if at all) in the context of a sports story and not a media story.
posted by pwb503 at 11:28 AM on October 29, 2007


Um...

Monkeys.
posted by daq at 11:30 AM on October 29, 2007


...is being reported on primarily by the person who has the greatest attachment to the story...

The story has been reported on a New York Times sports blog and by the Baltimore Sun. It's picking up steam elsewhere.
posted by ericb at 11:38 AM on October 29, 2007


"And before memoirs, it would only have seen the light of day as a stone inscription on an obelisk."
posted by DU

In the UK, at least, a far swifter route to ass-covering but satisfyingly immediate publication would be via the same paper's gossip columns.

The canny but umbrage-taking reporter leaks it to the gossip writer - giving the first person source to legal - and the tame gossip writer prints what has happened but without implicating the reporter.

Everyone happy! (Except for the subject of the story, naturally!)
posted by Jody Tresidder at 11:48 AM on October 29, 2007


The Ducks can suck a fuck. [still bitter]
posted by HyperBlue at 11:57 AM on October 29, 2007


Oh, please, tell me Elizabeth, how exactly does one suck a fuck?
posted by rusty at 12:11 PM on October 29, 2007


Remember that time when Jake got boozed up and yelled at Roger Ebert about his bad review of Donnie Darko and then Ebert blogged it and aint-it-cool-news was all like, wtf?
posted by cortex at 12:17 PM on October 29, 2007


Hey Hyper - The travesty of officiating against Okie only made up for this, except it didn't, as we tanked the rest of '06 anyway, so where's your beef?

Can I just say that if drunken cover-ups, character assasination, and overall scuzzy behavior merely herald Oregon's arrival into the ranks of major college football, well yeeeeee haaaah! [stumbles, passes out naked clutching the evening's fourteenth can of Olympia]
posted by jalexei at 12:33 PM on October 29, 2007


I don't see what the big deal is here. Why can't a journalist write a first-person account on a blog?

(Full disclosure: I'm a journalist.)
posted by bugmuncher at 12:54 PM on October 29, 2007


I don't see what the big deal is here. Why can't a journalist write a first-person account on a blog? (Full disclosure: I'm a journalist.)
posted by bugmuncher

Of course he can, bugmuncher.

But you're not thinking about his future sources. And nor is he, frankly.

The journalist can make plausibly self-righteous noises about hating drunk drivers, and how it was the second time the woman in question dissed him and that's why he's told the story unofficially etc etc.

But he does not come off as especially trustworthy with sensitive issues of dubious news value. Maybe he's not the sort of hack who relies on off the record tips for good stories anyway. But he's pretty much guaranteed he won't get any after this.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 1:11 PM on October 29, 2007


sensitive issues of dubious news value...

"Luke Bellotti isn't just a player on your program, coach. He's your son. The first time this happened, the life lesson analogy probably could have slid by. This isn't California, where three strikes means you're out, but that might be the only positive for both Bellottis in this debacle.

The son of the coach of one of the most successful college football programs in the country has had TWO DUII's, and he's 21?

This isn't just a life lesson. It's the beginning of a very troubled life. A three-game suspension for a second DUII?

How many others, regardless of talent, would have been out the door after No. 2?

I've lost a lot of respect for Mike Bellotti. The highest-paid employee in the state should be held more accountable.

If it were any other rostered player, he would be. More questions need to be asked about these incidents to the Ducks' head coach, and not just by the media.

Not because he can't coach. Perhaps HE needs a coach -- a life coach, to help discern between a player in whatever color uniform he wears this week, and a son."*
posted by ericb at 1:48 PM on October 29, 2007


Read this and tell me Canzano is not an ass clown.

Slayings are a pretty big deal around here, so the police called the mayor at home, and she got out of bed, and drove down to the White Horse sports bar parking lot to see the awful scene for herself last February.

According to police, a woman raised a gun and fired 14 rounds at her ex-boyfriend, shooting him in the arm, forearm, chest, abdomen and back. Then, with the ammunition gone, she began hitting him on the head with the gun before she drove off in her truck. She was arrested and is awaiting trial in jail.

Everyone here knows the ugly details. Everyone here shakes their head. Everyone understands that actions, and reactions, have consequences and that nothing good comes from brushing all of the uncomfortable details out of sight, away from the collective conscience of a city.

Maybe all this helps explain how it is that this city 43 miles south of Seattle, population 4,600, went 117 years between slayings.

I bring this up today because University of Oregon football part-time kicker Luke Bellotti was arrested in February, and pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of intoxicants in a Lane County courtroom Oct. 9 as part of a settlement agreement with prosecutors. It was his second DUII conviction.

Now, understand, driving under the influence isn't the same as shooting someone 14 times. It's not even shooting once. In fact, DUII isn't a murder, but only because Bellotti was lucky enough to avoid killing someone else while he was behind the wheel, driving under the influence.

posted by phaedon at 2:01 PM on October 29, 2007


I think the "sensitive issues of dubious news value" was the story about the drunk wife and crazy nanny, not the valid story about unfair discipline by the coach.
posted by pwb503 at 2:02 PM on October 29, 2007


I think most coaches would prefer to hold FEMA-style press conferences (having their staffers ask the questions) than face the media. Just look at Mike Gundy of Oklahoma State and his recent attack on Jenni Carlson.
posted by Carol Anne at 2:27 PM on October 29, 2007


I think the "sensitive issues of dubious news value" was the story about the drunk wife and crazy nanny, not the valid story about unfair discipline by the coach.

posted by pwb503

Thanks very, very much, pwb503

That's what was meant.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 2:39 PM on October 29, 2007


I had to rely on Google to tell me who these people are, so my takeaway from this is that Mike Bellotti used to have a magnificent mustache.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 2:46 PM on October 29, 2007


Read this and tell me Canzano is not an ass clown.

Ouch. phaedon's linked clip is like D- high school journalism.
posted by peep at 2:53 PM on October 29, 2007


peep writes "Ouch. phaedon's linked clip is like D- high school journalism."

Yeah, but it's beside the point. This story is news. How Colleen Bellotti reacted - twice - became news by her own actions. Going to the press box was completely out of bounds.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:07 PM on October 29, 2007


But he does not come off as especially trustworthy with sensitive issues of dubious news value.

But that's the point of the post: he didn't write about this as a news item, he wrote about it on his blog. So I assume that readers of the print edition of the paper have no idea this story exists, while online readers likely do not differentiate between a formal story and a blog entry.

And there's the rub: online, there is little difference between a formal story by a reporter, commentary by a columnist, or a post by a blogger. If you, as a professional, wear all three hats, what sorts of guidelines should you follow as to what to write about, where, and what's appropriate? Is it incumbent upon the writer to make even more clear distinctions about which words appear in what forum? Is it incumbent upon the reader to be aware of the role in which the writer is writing?

I think it was appropriate for him to write about this on his blog--Colleen Bellotti confronted him in a very public place--his workplace, no less--in threatening and immature fashion. There are a number of ways she could have responded appropriately and productively to Canzano's reportage, particularly given her husband's clout in the region, and she chose none of those. I have little sympathy for adults who loudly and publically behave like children.
posted by LooseFilter at 3:17 PM on October 29, 2007


To paraphrase Dr. Strangelove, "You can't write about news in here! This is the press box."
posted by JackFlash at 3:25 PM on October 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


So calling this his "personal" blog when it's published on the Oregonian's website seems a bit disingenuous.
posted by doctor_negative at 5:07 PM on October 29, 2007


I think it was appropriate for him to write about this on his blog

hell, i think he should have written a column about it

she's not protecting her son, she's enabling him - and i wonder if she's a drunk herself
posted by pyramid termite at 5:26 PM on October 29, 2007


doctor_negative writes "So calling this his 'personal' blog when it's published on the Oregonian's website seems a bit disingenuous."

It doesn't have to go through an editor.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:11 PM on October 29, 2007


One wonders what would have happened if one of the other writers present would have picked it up instead?

(Also: jesus tapdancing christ at the blog comments. Why newspapers still allow pseudoanonymous, non-verified/user-tagged comments is beyond me)
posted by bhance at 6:20 PM on October 29, 2007


doctor_negative writes "So calling this his 'personal' blog when it's published on the Oregonian's website seems a bit disingenuous."

It doesn't have to go through an editor.
posted by krinklyfig


Krinklyfig,

But his blog still operates loosely under the authority of the paper's website (as doctor_negative seems to imply) doesn't it?

So it's got more heft, and more public forum visibility, than just "any voice on the web".

The original poster is absolutely right that it's become an extremely murky area.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 7:06 PM on October 29, 2007


I think it would have made an excellent editorial. This mother and son deserve thorough excoriation. Quite clearly the fuckers won't quit drinking and driving simply because it's the law; perhaps some public shaming will do the trick.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:59 PM on October 29, 2007


I was once a 3 degrees removed from a couple of these individuals and this behavior is nothing new and usually just regulated to the tanning salon gossip in Eugene. It was more of the elephant in the corner to the local press. Sad to see it escalated to this.
posted by asterisk at 11:11 PM on October 29, 2007


so if the wife had angrily, drunkenly confronted someone else in the press box (or bathroom, or whatever other place) and a reporter had gotten wind of it, or a blogger had gotten wind of it, it wouldn't be newsworthy? the fact that she did this with a reporter who then wrote about it on his blog is a red herring, and no one would be talking about the implications of the 'brave new world of web-logging' if this scene had happened in an albertson's and subsequently been reported on.

just another self-important, entitled person who has no sense of shame or personal responsibility because she's the wife of a bigshot. i say of course she should be hoist on that petard if she so chooses.
posted by Hat Maui at 11:56 PM on October 29, 2007


I'm not claiming is not newsworthy, and I don't really see any problem with this guy writing about it. It's just the claim that it's "only a blog" feels a bit false. He should defend himself on the basis of her inexcusably bad behavior and his right to document it.
posted by doctor_negative at 10:51 AM on October 30, 2007


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