Thursday, March 23, 2006

Grand Theft Blogo

In case you haven't ventured over to the M Zone today I wanted to let you know about a semi-serious issue that has come up.

If you haven't been to it, the M Zone is a wonderfully satirical site. Full of life commentary, college sports jokes and insights, and pure entertainment. Like the rest of us in the blogosphere, they spend a chunk of their free time writing, posting, and brainstorming new ways to keep those who so graciously read our ramblings entertained. And like the rest of us they do it for free, while maintaining high standards of journalistic integrity such as citing your sources.

Unfortunately, ESPN has yet again decided they are above such standards.

Yesterday on the ESPN syndicated radio show, CowherdItSomewhereElseFirst, Colin Cowherd blatantly ripped off the M Zone's hard work without so much as a mention. On March 1, 2006, following the uproar over Vince Young's supposed 6 on the Wunderlick Test, the guys at the M Zone put together a mock Wunderlick that was as insightful as it was funny. I personally cracked up and emailed the link to all my friends. However, therein lines the point. I emailed THE LINK. I did not attempt to pass their work off as my own.

Mr. Cowherd decided otherwise. During his March 22 show he read off eight (8!) of the fifteen (15) questions the M Zone had written. That's more than half of their piece. He did so without mentioning the source, or giving credit where credit is due. That is inexcusable. What is even more inexcusable was his response to the M Zone's email stating that he had used their material not only without their permission, but without credit.

This was Mr. Cowherd's response:

WE WERE SENT IT....WE HAD NO IDEA..BUT THE INCESSANT WHINING...MEANS I WON'T GIVE YOU CREDIT NOW..GET OVER IT
CC

When Peter Gammonds inadvertently left out a source on an ESPN article last year, he immediately apologized NATIONALLY and gave credit to his source on Baseball Tonight. In my business, leaving out sources and claiming the work of others as your own is cause for DISBARMENT.

Please visit the M Zone and lend your support. If you are able and willing, please email George Soloman, ESPN's Ombudsman, to voice your objections to ESPN's blatant disregard for ethical journalism using the link below: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?id=2097428 (courtesy of The M Zone [that wasn't so hard, was it?]).

If the response is "its a radio show," that's not enough. Radio personalities are media as well. And it is both our job and theirs to hold such people accountable.

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