Monday, February 18, 2008

Is Mike Rothstein a Moron?

Is Mike Rothstein of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette a total moron? Or is he just an anti-Notre Dame buffoon? Until recently I generally dismissed Mike as a harmless lightweight who could occasionally turn up a useful nugget of information since he is able to attend portions of Notre Dame football practices as well as press conferences. Even a blind squirrel will sometimes find a nut.

But I'm fed up with his act now. Lately he has taken to "blogging" about Charlie Weis' connection/involvement in the New England Patriots "spygate" scandal. The thing is, there is no Charlie Weis connection or involvement with that story. Mike is just making things up and publishing his random, baseless, speculations on the Journal Gazette's website - in a tone that hints of a hope that evidence implicating Coach Weis will turn up at some point in the future.

Today, Mike breathlessly (and carelessly) posted to his Irish Insights blog a piece headlined "Did ND (and others) Commit NCAA Violations?" The post was premised on a Yahoo story that described a common (and commonly known) practice of college coaches speaking at high school fundraisers. The premise of the Yahoo story was that this is (in the authors' view) an unwise practice and that the NCAA rules in this area are confusing or need clarification. Coach Weis was featured in the story, but numerous coaches from other school are mentioned. Also mentioned are Coaches Davie and Willingham when they were head coaches at Notre Dame. The story addresses both sides of the issue in some detail, and explains the 1991 NCAA ruling that the schools rely on in approving the practice. It's a sensationalist piece generally, but the Yahoo story is at least thorough and balanced. But Mike loves a good headline - "Did ND Commit NCAA Violations?"

About an hour after his original post, Mike posted to "Irish Insights" an "update." The "update" points out that the entire speaking event which was the subject of the possible ND violations had been reviewed and cleared not only by the Notre Dame compliance staff beforehand, but by the compliance staff of the Big East conference. Mike's clarification?

Notre Dame clearly believes they followed the rules and, to use a Charlie Weis term, did their due diligence in making sure Weis and the school were compliant. So if this shows anything, it displays that the NCAA needs to be more clear about this rule, since there seems to be confusion about it at multiple institutions.
In other words, despite what Yahoo or Mike Rothstein thinks, it's pretty clear that no violation occurred at all, and that if one did occur, it wasn't because Charlie Weis is a loose cannon careening around on the deck of the S.S. Notre Dame without regard for NCAA rules. The institution that is most confused here is the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. And of course, Mike's "update" isn't headlined "Notre Dame Cleared of NCAA Violation Charge." Rather, it is very boringly tagged "Update on ND/Yahoo! Story." Not quite as eye-catching.

Here is the comment I wrote to Mike to let him know what I think about his sloppy posting:

Mike,

Maybe you ought to do some research into this "due diligence" concept, and learn to do a little of it before plastering stories on the internet about Notre Dame NCAA violations that never happened.

It's not fair to headline a story about "ND NCAA Violations" and then retract it an hour later while grumbling about how confusing the rules are. There's no doubt the NCAA rules are a confusing mess - which is why you need to do some homework and make your phone calls before you write the story.

I hope others will let Mike, or his bosses, know how we feel about the deteriorating quality of the product at the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is easy enough to remedy: Make sure that you and your fellow ND bloggers take a moment to remind your readers that this clown keeps his job when people visit his story pages. Linking to them in your blogs only guarantees more people will visit. When lots of people visit, more half-hearted "stories" are only going to be encouraged by his editors. Newspapers are getting clobbered in today's media wars. Visits to a paper's web page (or blogs linked to said paper) are used to justify charging advertisement fees. No visits, no companies paying for ad space, no more stupid "insight" from Rothstein.

Anonymous said...

Man, you bloggers kill me. You're almost as bad as the losers that hang out on internet message forums and bulletin boards all day...

First off, I'm pretty sure Rothstein could give a flying crap what some armchair expert is writing from the confines of his free e-blogger website...

He'll still be sitting up in the press box with a free seat to the Fighting Irish every Saturday. He'll still be getting a paycheck to cover this team for a living while you continue to clean offices, work the fry window or sell shoes (whatever it is you do when you're not pretending to be a real journalist on e-blogger...)

Secondly, here's a suggestion that all bloggers could use a dose of: stop spewing so much hate and venom towards the "real" media covering this team. All it does is make you look like jealous and immature losers.

If you want to work for a paper or cover the team professionally, then just go do it. Go to school for journalism, or take the time to make a career plan and follow it.
If you're too stupid to do that (hence why you are relegated to this little corner of the cyber-universe for your journalism fix) then accept the fact that you aren't a real writer and move on....

I've seen more negative, hate-filled garbage thrown at guys like Mike Rothstein, Eric Hansen and Brian Hamilton on these blogs, it would make your average outsider wonder if these reporters didn't personally come to your house and kick your dog or something.

Give the hate-speak a rest for a while. People don't come here to read about Mike Rothstein and how he must hate Notre Dame... especially from some tool box that probably couldn't do any better if he was in Rothstein's shoes.

The guy does this for a living. He gets paid to cover the Irish. I know this is probably a really hard concept to grasp for IrishFan66733411, but try to follow me for a second...

The guy doesn't hate Notre Dame. He is a completely objective writer that gets paid to write about his perception of the team. If anybody is looking at these issues through tinted goggles, it would be you guys. The Notre Dame "blogosphere" that is nothing more than a bunch of rabid fans with e-blogger accounts.

As for the last comment and the suggestion that everybody stop visiting these sites and and stop linking to them, that is an even bigger joke than this blog entry. First of all, 99% of the Irish fan base will ALWAYS go to places like South Bend Tribune or Journal Gazette for their news on the team. you know why? Because they are the real media!! Stop thinking that these worthless blogs are real media. You're not. You never will be. And people will never give up their "official" news sources and rely on places like Irish band of Brothers, Irish Envy, Domer Domain or Blue Gay Sky for their sports news. It's never going to happen.

In summary: Accept the fact that you are a nobody and stop bitching and complaining about other writers and then trying to pass it off as "content". Nobody wants to read your temper tantrum targeted at other paid media members.

OC Domer said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks so much for dropping by OC Domer and spending your valuable time reading and writing responses to my article which, according to you, was written by a "nobody" and a "loser" (or an almost loser) who isn't "real media" or a "real writer." A few points.

1. If nobody wants to read what I have to say, then why are you here reading my blog and spewing your venom at me? If only losers visit message boards or write blogs, what do we call those who visit message boards and blogs in order to write comments calling those losers names?

2. No, I'm not a paid member of the "real" media. I'm just an ardent Notre Dame alumnus and fan armed with a keyboard and an opinion. The reason I am not a member of the "real" media like Mr. Rothstein is that I couldn't afford the pay cut I would have to take in order to be a writer for the FWJG or the SBT.

3. What is so egregious about Rothstein's work is that he is supposedly a member of the "real media." He is a paid professional with a press pass and a seat in the press box. As such, he should be providing material of a higher caliber than that produced by bloggers who write as a hobby. Mike has access to officials at the University, and as a paid professional he should be held to the standard of his profession. But he isn't. If he was just a poster at NDNation.com or UHND.com it would be no big deal. But he holds himself out as a professional journalist, not a gossip columnist.

Thanks again for stopping by OC Domer. I hope you'll check back in with us regularly!

Anonymous said...

Dear long-winded anonymous:

That was quite the Vagina Monologue you posted here. What a tantrum. Does your boss at the Le Fagg men's clothing outlet know your wasting company time surfing the Net and writing 50 page dissertations about your hatred of blogs - on some dude's freakin' blog? Smart = not you.

SubwayDomer26 said...

I'm thinking that this long winded assmunch is Tim Prister. Just a guess. Either way, nice rebuttal OC.

I wish I could have wrote something so offensive, that a guy who blasts blogs and message boards would just so happen to fall onto your site and take all that time and blast me!

Dammit

Ted Eberle said...

OC Domer and SubwayDomer26, you deserve medals for your posts. Thank you.

Face Mask said...

Tell it like it is OC.Great Blog.

Jack said...

I like Blue & Gold, which is like the Sunday Visitor, but only dedicated to ND Football & covering their other sports, as well. I think they try to cover sports at N D objectively.
They are profesionaly dedicated to covering only ND. As a journalist Mike is not a moron. The questons were raised by others, & he investigated the info, much like Bill O'Rielly would??? He is not a PINHEAD!! (THATS ME)

Sir John said...

Interesting that this attack on OC Domer is from "anonymous", afraid to put your name where your mouth is? OC, Facemask, Subway and myself put a lot of time and thought into our sites or Blogs. None of us are "paid" and take time out of a work day and away from family to give our thoughts and opinions on a topic.

Rothstein is a journalistic hack who should go back to singing on American Idol, but was kicked off of that too. I didn't know "Freedom of Speach" was limited only to those who had journalism classes.

WeisGipper said...

I'm getting real sick of all these anonymous posters hiding behind that tag line. If you are a true fan, or want to make your point clear, why don't you get the testicular fortitude to put your name on here.

Anyway, OCDomer, I thought that was spot on!

Anonymous said...

I'll always get my news from the real media. The blogosphere has no rules, no oversight and, most of the time, no truth or value whatsoever. Plus, I like people who can spell, work hard to develop solid questions, interesting features and other news that wouldn't be news unless we heard it first through those journalists. Blogs are for those who couldn't come close to hanging with real writers, their schedule, hours, desire or passion. Newspapers are getting slammed by online "media" because most people are too stupid to realize that the gargabe being passed off as news, is some waterhead whacking away at his keyboard when he's supposed to be working his real job from his tiny cubicle. So thanks, bloggers, you're the reason truth and the process of uncovering truth will die off soon.

Hong said...

Fantastic!