Hell hath no fury: 20 January 2011Posted: January 20, 2011
Two installments of HHNF today. The first is astonishing, to me at least. Kim Clijsters delivers some Belgian Bombast in this live exchange with Australian reporter Todd Woodbridge. The first time I watched it, I said, “Good for her for calling the guy out.” The next few times, though, it bothered me that she chose to hold Woodbridge accountable in this manner – especially after his “the end of my television career” comment. She alleged that Woodbridge had sent a text to another person, and she divulged the contents of that text. He didn’t deny it, of course, so we may presume it’s true. But Woodbridge didn’t say this on the air (to my knowledge anyway); it was a text to someone else. Which raises the question: how did Clijsters get it? And what does that say about the original recipient of Woodbridge’s text? Woodbridge’s error wasn’t so much as what he said as it was to whom he said it. You would think that, by now, a reporter with any experience would not send electronically anything he didn’t want to see on the Internet in the future. Maybe his comments were unprofessional. But I wouldn’t call Clijster’s handling of it very professional, either.
The second involves something a reporter did say on the air. Just before last week’s Steelers-Ravens game, ESPN reporter Bob Holtzman stated that “two Steelers” had told him they (the Steelers) planned on using a trick play if they caught “the Ravens in the right defense.” He even noted the play would involve receiver Antwaan Randle El throwing a pass. This report violated an unofficial, but very valid, rule in the sports world. Part of covering a team is going to their practices, meetings, chalk talks, etc., and hearing (or overhearing) this and that about how they plan to take on the other team. And that information is usually considered to be off the record. Divulging the information, besides tilting the scales of fairness, isn’t likely to make you any friends among the coaching staff. Especially when that coach is Mike Tomlin. Pay attention to the clip at about the 1:34 mark. Tomlin is a great coach, and he handled this really well. He rattled Holtzman’s cage and let him know he knew. And he was in the right. The difference between the way he handled a reporter who broadcast inappropriate information and Clijsters, who castigated a reporter for a text the reporter sent to someone else, is pretty interesting.
Well, I’ll be barllskdj.