Mike Tomlin Reporter Controversy Reveals Dangerous ESPN Trend
The recent Mike Tomlin reporter controversy, in which he publicly accused Bob Holtzman of sharing private play information, is the second questionable incident involving football analysts in the last week, highlighting a dangerous and disturbing trend.
ESPN refers to itself as the “Worldwide Leader in Sports,” and it’s hard to argue with the assertion. But it’s also becoming clear that the tenets of professional journalism are no longer part of the ESPN process. the network has traded integrity for the opportunity to be pals with the professional athletes it covers, and two football contributors have stepped way over the line in the last week alone.
The Mike Tomlin reporter controversy is an interesting one. Holtzman, according to the new York Daily News, reportedly told the Baltimore Ravens that some Steelers players had indicated a trick play was in the works during last week’s playoff match-up, prompting Pittsburgh coach Tomlin to call him out during a recent press conference. and just last week, Tom Jackson admitted that he selected the Patriots in Sunday’s showdown with new York partly to motivate the underdog Jets.
Jackson’s misstep, in particular, is egregious. His job is to remain objective and simply analyze the game. By putting it out there that he was trying to directly communicate with the Jets, Jackson is all but admitting he has no credibility as a professional journalist.
Not that anyone thought he did to begin with.
But the Mike Tomlin reporter controversy and the Tom Jackson slip-up only highlight the fact that ESPN doesn’t even try to give the illusion of balanced reporting anymore. the network that gives 24-hour Brett Favre and LeBron James coverage no longer has any intention of providing fair, balanced analysis. the network is too focused on making superstars happy to notice that it’s making a mockery of the very profession its existence is founded on.
Tom Jackson is one mistake. the Mike Tomlin reporter incident is two. That’s a pattern.
And that’s a problem.
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