Monday, April 09, 2007
As we've already found out on this site....The ESPN Ombudswoman seems to be very straightforward and honest. Very noble qualities for use at a very non-noble entity.
Well Mrs. Schreiber has responded to the barrage of emails on the Colin Cowherd/Big Lead incident, and I can't say I'm not disappointed. I know it's not her job to rake ESPN through the coals, but I think everyone can agree that that move was blatant and petty. Here's the article and the actions that were taken.....
A few quotes and highlights......
1. "The official response from ESPN's communication department was: "Our airwaves should not be used for this purpose. We apologize." It is the kind of bland public statement that does little to assuage the anger and distrust of ESPN's audience over an episode like this. I could not tell from that statement how seriously ESPN regarded the offense, so I contacted Traug Keller, senior vice president, ESPN Radio, to get a clearer idea of ESPN's reaction."- The Ombudswoman
2. Keller responded immediately to my request for an on-the-record statement. "We talked to Colin Cowherd, and we talked to all our radio talent, making it clear that you cannot do this," Keller said Friday. "Our airwaves are a trust, and not to be used to hurt anyone's business. Such attacks are off limits. Zero tolerance. I can't say it any stronger."
3. Keller said that he had not formulated a policy about such attacks on Internet sites until now because he had never imagined the possibility of them.
4. Now that ESPN Radio has such a policy, I presume such attacks will be treated as an offense that warrants suspension.
Really? You're okay with that response??? Because I'm not. ESPN has random suspensions all the time, but there is no clear pattern for anything. I would never say this is better/worse than a sexual harassment case, but they are both pretty despicable.
With that said.....I think we should all just move past this, and onto kicking ESPN's ass in reporting, humor, and unbiased content....but I'm a little disappointed. Not really the Ombudswoman's fault, but I think I would have taken it further than the ESPN Radio's VP who's really just trying to save face.
You can't be happy with that result, but if TBL can move on, so can we. I hope Cowherd is happy we listened for one day, but it's pretty unlikely that will happen again. I'm not kidding when I say that was some of the worst radio I've ever heard. People who disagree with him get hung up on and he contradicts himself for 3 hours....great job ESPN....good luck with those ratings.
P.S.- Everyone who sent in Photoshops....I appreciate it. Most were too...ummm graphic....to post on the site. So I will give you the "clean" winner, but everyone will get a Free Harold! T-shirt for their time. Just email me your contact info....and I'm proud to be a part of this Sports Blogosphere community and everyone who "displayed" their displeasure with Shrutebag. Cheers.
As the winner Brian from Talking NFL describes it....."Borges, Cowherd. Cowherd, Borges. Or should I say; Douchebag, Schrutebag. Schrutebag, Douchebag." Bravo B.