Sunday, February 27, 2011 Over the Line and Out of Bounds

For those who are unfamiliar, is a popular website that categorizes itself as "Sports News without Access, Favor, or Discretion." Unfortunately for the world of sports journalism, they truly stand by the "without discretion" part. Never willing to back down from a story, Deadspin has quickly redefined the line for what is acceptable in today's at-your-fingertips media world. It was the source credited for breaking the Brett Favre-Jenn Sturger "sexting" scandal, even posting the sexually explicit images sent from Favre's cell phone. Before that story, the question was "just how far is Deadspin willing to go?". Now the answer is clear- too far.

For many journalists, ethics are a cornerstone of the business, a column that holds the whole edifice upright. For Deadspin editor-in-chief A.J. Daulerio, well, that doesn't seem to be the case. The argument could be made, on the other hand, in favor of Daulerio. And it surely will be. One could argue that if Deadspin is so wildly popular, it is clearly delivering information that the people want. And if Deadspin has access to information that people want so desperately, why shouldn't it deliver? Why shouldn't it publish what our society is obviously craving?

Websites like have defined the line regarding celebrity gossip, but left the sports world relatively untouched. Deadspin has filled that void. People love to get inside looks into the lives of the people they idolize and the people that hold the eye of our society. In sports, the passion and emotion involved compound that. And there's truly nothing wrong with that, until you take it a step too far. How far is too far?

The pictures of Josh Hamilton relapsing at a bar? Questionable.

The Rex Ryan foot fetish story? Debatable.

The nude pictures of multiple professional athletes? Over the line and out of bounds.

Athletes and celebrities make mistakes. They say the wrong thing, they misstep in public, and they'll even send pictures of themselves for proof. That doesn't mean it has to be published to the masses. It's someone's livelihood Deadspin is destroying, someone's career they are derailing, all over things that were meant to be kept private. I understand that with fame comes the fascination of the public to know every detail about one's personal life, but when it comes to stories that involve such enormous implications, it would be best to let private matters remain that way.

1 comment:

  1. is the brett favre story not news? People are interested in athletes personal lives. I personally believe that deadspin does a fantastic job of making athletes like Favre seem like regular people. How many times can you read articles on ESPN and all other sporting outlets that are praising Favre for his amazing career and not mentioning that the guy is human. We need people like that to not only knock Favre down a peg, but knock those reporters down a peg that worship a guy and wont do any real sports journalism, but instead praise him when he really isnt doing anything that great any more.