Corrupt ESPN Censors @MikeReiss For Criticizing Patriots Hitjob

If you had any smidgen of doubt that ESPN is involved in a high-level effort to smear the New England Patriots, this should clear things up for you.

Mike Reiss, as a solid and principled a reporter as there is, had his worked censored by ESPN yesterday (sorry, they say they applied a “tighter edit”) because Reiss dared to inject a bit of common sense and sanity into the ridiculous NFL-sanctioned hitjob that the network published Tuesday morning.

This is how Reiss’ article originally appeared:

espn-reiss

And after ESPN’s censor, I mean “edit” this is how it appeared:

espn-reiss-after

Original points four and seven were completely removed from the article.

Mike Reiss has a conscience, does his job incredibly well, and is truly objective in his reporting, (the notion that he is the “fifth Kraft son” is beyond moronic) and has already been subjected to having his work diluted by the addition of anything Patriots-related, no matter how silly, from the ESPN information stream to his blog.

The network already tried to attach Reiss’ byline to a blurb that painted Tom Brady’s statement last week as an apology to the NFL for deflategate.

With all of this going on, it makes me wonder whether we’ll be seeing Reiss move on at some point in the not-to-distant future (pure speculation by me) and take his considerable audience with him.

Which would be a shame. ESPN would’ve driven off the man who essentially created the art of blogging the NFL beat, and who brought methods and post styles that have been imitated all across ESPN, not just in the NFL beat, but on others as well.

What’s worse is that ESPN is openly showing that it will not tolerate any criticism from within itself (there is no more ombudsman at the network) and is willing to do the bidding of the NFL.

Chris Mortensen’s tweet never received a “tighter edit.” Nor did that Tuesday Outside The Lines report, despite plenty of areas where it could’ve been.

I’ve heard rumblings this summer that Tedy Bruschi has been furious at ESPN, and his noticeable absence from the airwaves during the Federal Court case was no coincidence. Either he refused to come on the air and spout the company lines, or they didn’t want to put him on because they knew he’d be critical of the league. Even when Bruschi returned last week, Bob Ley kept openly questioning Bruschi’s ability to be objective when talking about Tom Brady and the Patriots.

Yes, ESPN was worried about objectivity.

On a similar vein, I even wonder about the future of Adam Schefter on ESPN, after Roger Goodell, Troy Vincent and the NFL have repeatedly lied about Schefter’s continued and unwavering reports that the NFL is behind the suspensions of John Jastremski and Jim McNally.

Earlier this year, Schefter called into an Outside the Lines show and blew up an on-air story by Kelly Naqi who was attempting to report the storyline that the Patriots tried to introduce an illegal kicking ball in the game. Schefter broke in to report that an NFL employee had actually stolen a football from the game with the intention of selling it and replaced it with another football which was the one that was attempted to be put into the game. Funny how that story has completely gone away, huh?

Advertisements

Reiss: “I have lost control over the tone and direction of the Patriots blog on ESPNBoston.com”

If you’ve visited the ESPNBoston Patriots blog recently, you’ve probably noticed some changes. In addition to the material from Mike Reiss and Field Yates, now, every single time the Patriots are discussed on any ESPN platform, there is an entry on the blog for it.

Reiss addressed the changes in his chat today, and I was surprised by the tone from the mild-mannered Reiss:

max (my cube)
Mike,I don’t see the “Patriots blog” section on the ESPN Boston homepage anymore. Has it been removed for some reason?
Mike [via mobile]
Can you get rid of all the extra links that have been popping up on the blog lately? I don’t need a link to a clip of any ESPN show that mentions the Patriots. Most of it is overlap with information you have already posted.
Mike
 (12:26 PM)
Max and Mike, I see quite a few comments similar to yours in this chat. I think over the last four years, we’ve established a community that is straight-forward and honest, so I’m going to shoot you straight here: I have lost control over the tone and direction of the Patriots blog on ESPNBoston.com. Since I started a Patriots blog back in 2003-2004, back at the MetroWest Daily News and then at the Boston Globe, I’ve always had control, for the most part, of the tone and direction of the blog. Over the last three days, that has changed as ESPN has introduced its NFL Nation project. Based on the personal investment I’ve put into it, there are a lot of emotions that come with that, and still a lot of questions ahead as to how things will unfold going forward as it relates to the tone and direction of the blog. I’m going to stay positive at this point, knowing that any time there is change there is some level of patience involved.

As a BSMW member put it: That’s the Mike Reiss equivalent of coming into the office and shooting the place up. He’s furious.

For what its worth, I agree with Mike. He’s established a proven formula for success in this market. He’s got a right to be upset that these changes are being forced upon him and his own work is being diluted in the process. Add this to the recent change to Facebook comments, which really angered a lot of regulars, and we’re seeing some real blowback at ESPN here.

Bruschi On Why Gronk Was In On P.A.T.

In his chat today.

Tedy
  (12:10 PM)

Jason, you always leave your starters in on the P.A.T., even on the field-goal block team. When I was playing defense and we were blowing out an opponent, you were told, “You’re out of the game now, Tedy, but you’re still on the field goal block team.” It’s just the way it is in football. The forearm injury to Gronkowski is unfortunate. The projected time for him to miss is 4-to-6 weeks, per some reports. From my experience, it can be significantly less. Mike Vrabel broke his forearm one year. After surgery, they put in one plate and 11 screws. Vrabel missed two games. I know Gronkowski is tough, but Mike Vrabel’s toughness was legendary. So it all depends on the player. I would doubt that Gronkowski is out the full six weeks.

850 AM To Switch To ESPN Radio on October 5th

In a long-rumored (Chad Finn reported it earlier this summer, it had been rumored well before then) move, Entercom Boston announced this afternoon that programming on 850 AM will switch to all ESPN radio beginning on October 5th. The station will carry the full lineup of ESPN Radio programming.

Also announced was a tighter integration with ESPNBoston.com, the audio stream for WEEI 93.7 FM will be available through ESPNBoston.com and ESPNBoston’s video player will power WEEI’s video player with content from ESPN.

The full release:

Tuesday, Sept. 18

Entercom and ESPN Radio Join Forces to

Launch “ESPN on WEEI” 850 AM

WEEI to provide the best in local and national sports talk and play-by-play

ESPN 850BOSTON, MA – Entercom Boston and ESPN Radio today announced that starting on Friday, October 5, WEEI will split its AM/FM simulcast and begin broadcasting ESPN Radio on 850 AM. “ESPN on WEEI” will air ESPN’s entire national lineup, including the entire upcoming Major League Baseball postseason schedule, the NBA, and college football and college basketball. ESPN Radio on 850 AM will debut with Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic, of “Mike and Mike in the Morning,” broadcasting live from Foxboro’s Gillette Stadium beginning at 6 a.m. ET on October 5.

WEEI’s legendary local lineup of “Dennis and Callahan,” “Mut and Merloni,” “The Big Show with Glenn Ordway and Michal Holley,” and “Planet Mikey with Mike Adams” will now be broadcast solely on the 93.7 FM frequency. In addition, 93.7 FM will be the exclusive home of Red Sox baseball, Celtics basketball, Patriots’ Monday and Friday, NFL football and the NFL playoffs.

As part of this expanded partnership, listeners will be able to access 93.7 WEEI’s live audio stream through the popular ESPNBoston.com website. At the same time, ESPNBoston.com’s video channel will now power WEEI.com’s video player with the most up-to-date ESPN video content.

“Since 1991, WEEI has been the gold standard in sports radio. This strategic alliance with ESPN allows WEEI to deliver to the most passionate sports fans in America the very best in local sports talk and play-by-play on WEEI FM and the very best in national sports talk and play-by-play with ESPN on WEEI AM,” said Jeff Brown, Entercom Vice President and Market Manager. “WEEI 850 AM is a proven sports brand. Joining forces with ESPN provides advertisers an additional touch point to connect with a highly valuable and sought after consumer.”

“We’re pleased to team with Boston’s preeminent sports radio outlet and one of the nation’s best radio broadcasting companies in Entercom to bring the number one national network into New England,” said Traug Keller, ESPN Senior Vice President, Production Business Divisions. “This move coupled with the existing presence of ESPNBoston.com provides Boston’s passionate fans the best of ESPN’s national and local coverage and analysis.”

“We are excited to be expanding our partnership with ESPN in such a meaningful way,” said Entercom President and CEO David Field. “Combining Boston’s leading sports station, WEEI-FM, and the new ESPN on WEEI 850 AM, together with our ability to cross promote content through our existing mobile and digital platforms, gives passionate Boston sports fans the very best in local and national sports content.”

Beginning Friday, October 5, the new ESPN on WEEI 850 AM ESPN lineup will be:

  • 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. “Mike & Mike in the Morning”
  • 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. “The Herd with Colin Cowherd”
  • 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. “The Scott Van Pelt Show”
  • 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. “ESPN Today”
  • 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. “Hill and Schlereth” / ESPN Play-by-Play
  • 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. “SportsCenter Tonight”
  • 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. “SportsCenter All Night”

Mike Reiss Rants on Negativity, Legacies and Anger

Mike Reiss is as even-keeled a guy as you’ll find in the business. He stepped out of that demeanor in his ESPNBoston chat today, and delivered a welcome rant on a few of the topics that have bothered me, and plenty of others recently:

Dave (Elmira)

Mike, Another All Pro season of reporting. Thanks for the great work. Less of a question than a rant; ” Gronk disrespected himself,” “Brady’s legacy is tarnished.” A bunch of questions and statements without answer. I understand that it’s part of the entertainment value of the game, but what’s this got to do with football? I think I understand BB’s position better: That’s in the past. We are preparing for the next thing.

Mike (12:30 PM)
Dave, thanks for the compliment and now I rant…

Mike (12:31 PM)
The pictures of Gronkowski and Light at the post-Super Bowl party didn’t bother me at all. This is a 22-year-old kid who gave his all to this team this year. People blow off steam in different ways and he’s entitled to do whatever he wants (within the law) as far as I’m concerned. I’m more angered that some low-life would take video of it and distribute it. I find that despicable. …

Mike (12:32 PM)
…As for the legacy talk, my take is simple: Talk to me when their careers are over. We always seem to want to write the ending to stories while they are going on. Why? Why can’t we enjoy the journey and then talk legacy? …

Mike (12:34 PM)
I have been having some internal philosophical debates in my head about what media is these days. What are we trying to accomplish? When I got into this business, I thought we were supposed to tell people what they needed to know. Now I think we’re trending in a dangerous area where we report based on what will get clicks. It bothers me…

Mike (12:36 PM)
… I’m not perfect, but when I see a company soliciting publicity for dropping a boatload of Butterfingers in Boston and thanking Wes Welker for his drop — and then some report on it to give that company exactly what they want (publicity) — it makes me shake my head. What are we doing here?

Mike (12:36 PM)
Rant over.

Erik G (Los Angeles)
Love it when you get feisty, Mike. So while we’re at it, tell us your thoughts on the post game words by Brandon Jacobs…

Mike (12:36 PM)
Pathetic.

A little later, he added:

cp (reno,nv)
flip side what do you make of Brady’s wifes comments?

Mike (12:39 PM)
CP, I think she has to know better than to say that. She was wrong. At the same time, I was more angered that someone would incite her in that manner, but I guess I have to accept that’s where we are in society today. I just want to know what is in that person’s heart. What would possess them to taunt her? Who does these things? Maybe I’ve been living under a rock over the last 10 years, but when did everyone seem to get so angry?

Well said, Mike.

Hats off to you for sounding off on some of these things that seem to have gotten so prevalent and really take away from the enjoyment of sports.

In addition, I’ve really never been a big fan of Rick Reilly, but his column here is dead-on as well: It’s only a game.

2011 Approval Ratings – Gordon Edes

Today, we’re going to have a look at ESPNBoston baseball writer Gordon Edes.

Edes joined ESPNBoston in November of 2009, after spending just over a year with Yahoo! Sports. Prior to that, he had covered the Red Sox for 12 years (1996-2008) with the Boston Globe.

Edes went to high school in Massachusetts, and had his first article published in the Fitchburg, Mass. Sentinel when he was 14. During his career he has covered all four major sports (though mostly focusing on baseball) for newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the National Sports Daily and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. He returned home in 1996 to join the Globe.

While at the Globe, Edes was involved in the infamous Carl Everett confrontation, which resulted in the outfielder stating that he would not speak with the Globe, Edes, or his “Curly Haired Boyfriend.”

{democracy:113}

2011 Approval Ratings – Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald covers the Bruins for ESPN Boston.

A native of Rhode Island, McDonald spent 18 years at the Providence Journal, where he was best known on the Red Sox beat, but also covered the Bruins, Patriots, Pawtucket Red Sox and Providence Bruins during his time there.

He joined ESPN Boston in February of 2010 as a Red Sox and Bruins reporter, and while his time right now is focused on the Bruins, when the season ends we’ll see more of him on the Red Sox side of things.

He’s been heard on WEEI occasionally, especially during this Bruins playoff run, but he generally seems to keep a pretty low profile on the on-air side of things.

{democracy:104}