The following was sent to me last night and I thought it made some interesting, relevant points.
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Thanks to everyone who has been sending their memories of Alan Greenberg, I’ll post those later on today.
That’s Just Ronnie being Ronnie
In the wake of yet another plagiarism scandal at The Boston Globe, the reaction from Ron Borges’ colleagues has been almost unanimously critical of the incident. With the incredibly non-notable exception of the venerable Butch Stearns that is. Who’s better than Ron with the Ctrl-V everybody? This incident will go down in Borges’ legacy and even his colleagues in the media know that he has nobody to blame but himself.
Of course, in the analysis and reaction covering the airwaves and pages, both locally and nationally, there are bound to be some folks who just don’t get it. Boston area fans were treated to a number of such folks on the local radio programs. Though most every host and guest ultimately chided Borges for his indiscretion, a faction emerged with a theme that placed the fans and new media in the middle of it all. The message essentially boils down to this:
Ron was wrong for what he did, but he never would have been caught had these fans and bloggers not hated him so much for his coverage of the Patriots.
This stuff happens with a lot of other writers and nobody would care or make a big deal out if it if someone from a smaller outlet or someone less antagonistic had committed a similar offense.
It’s easy to say that this incident was uncovered based on a hatred of the man who covers the Patriots. The truth of the matter, as outlined by the folks who broke the story, is that it was first noted by a fan of the Seattle Seahawks on a national message board and blossomed from there. I’m guessing that they don’t have feelings one way or the other about Ron Borges out in Seattle.
Speaking for me personally, as a fan and not a blogger, I’m certainly not going to quibble with the concept of folks enjoying Borges getting what they deem to be his just desserts. He’ll be forever tainted because of this incident and there are legions of fans who surely won’t be shedding too many tears over that fact. However, the above sentiment, which was espoused by Glenn Ordway, Michael Felger and several others isn’t entirely true.
For starters, none of them seem to recall the incident involving Ken Powers several years ago. What started as a query by some message board posters and bloggers ended up turning into a full scale investigation with significant evidence being uncovered. Powers ended up losing his job. This would seem to fly in the face of the thought that nobody would try to discredit a lesser writer. Besides the other members of the Patriots beat, few people even knew who Ken Powers was before that incident.
We should allow these media members to hold on to this message though. I’ll play along and say that we’re all picking on Ron Borges and just waiting for him to screw up because he’s so easy to dislike. That’s not an absurd position for them to take. But Borges is a “star” in the local media market. He works for the region’s largest daily newspaper, a once-proud institution that inexplicably still manages to carry weight with people from other media markets, despite its rotten recent performance as a business and as a news outlet. The Globe’s success aside, there’s certainly no reason to think Borges and other writers at the Globe shouldn’t be under heavier scrutiny than other writers, is there?
Let’s take this message one step further. Let’s assume (despite the Powers example and others) that people would ignore this if it happened to be done by an individual at a smaller outlet. Does this argument sound familiar to anyone? Isn’t this the same argument many of us fans use when these same members of the media jump all over Manny Ramirez for his indiscretions?
They wouldn’t spend 3 days talking about Lou Merloni taking a leak in the Green Monster.
And we’re right. They probably wouldn’t. They certainly don’t spend much time talking about Trot Nixon tossing the ball into the stands with less than 3 outs or similar incidents of foolishness, laziness or ineptitude from Manny’s teammates. Their stock answer is always the same.
We expect more out of Manny. For the amount of money he makes and being one of the superstars in this game, he’s going to get the most attention.
I fully realize that I’m encapsulating a number of individuals’ comments into a more generic sentiment, but it’s an accurate portrayal of the situation those of us that have been here for a while are all too familiar with. And for today only, I’m willing to give them that logic and let them expect more out of Manny because of his stature, paycheck and past performance.
So why can’t we expect more of Ron Borges? I should apologize for suggesting that Borges is in any way as accomplished in his profession as Manny Ramirez is in his, but as outlined above, Ron does work for The Boston Globe. He has a vote for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He has been around a long time and has a high profile in NFL and boxing circles. So why can’t fans and bloggers “pick on” Ron Borges for his indiscretions? Why should he be held to the same standard as the guy at some weekly paper if Manny isn’t held to the same standard as others in his industry? How are the double standards for the media’s treatment of players any different than the fans treatment of Ron Borges?
It’s an easy shot to take at those crazy internet people that they’re all sitting around waiting to pick on Borges or others they can’t stand. But the fact remains that this particular incident is one of plagiarism. This isn’t people sending angry emails because Borges didn’t like the Patriots draft pick. This is a devastating career incident for a man many people do happen to dislike, but the fans and evil bloggers didn’t create this incident. Ron Borges did. Or maybe his intern.