If you are wondering why many in the local media seem to be ignoring the unfolding Shakespearean Tragedy that is the 2010 Edition of UNC football, consider this:
From: Bill Leslie, WRAL, Raleigh
I’m a journalist like you — and I am offended by your reckless article on UNC football. They are doing their best to clean things up. It’s the first black eye in recent history. You should cut them a little slack.
I know who you are, Bill — don’t put yourself in the same category with me. You’re a shameless homer.
Obviously, Bill Leslie is speaking from his heart: as a Carolina alumnus and fan.Â He obviously is not speaking as a journalist here, yet he cites his bona fides as one in his note to Doyel, a man whose words obviously got under his skin.
Quickly, let’s remind Mr. Leslie of the story that his station, the one that claims that it is the news leader of the area has been handling with kid gloves:
- Agent contacts with current UNC players – confirmed by the school itself
- Illegal payments – disputed, but effectively confirmed by the press and the player’s own social media statements
- Academic fraud – confirmed by the school itself
- An Assistant coach with history of NCAA violations terminated from program when the NCAA turns its attention towards him
- A former UNC player described in the national press as an agent “runner” who cost another player 3 games confirmed to be a regular at the UNC Football Center
- The one and same former-player/runner with major drug indictments confirmed by UNC to be a regular at the UNC Football Center
These allegations — and they have largely been confirmed by the working press, mind you — is the dream stuff that can garner a reporter an Emmy or Pulitzer Prize, depending on their particular form of media.Â That is, if they choose to cover the story.
Instead, we have a senior member of the leading local television station editorializing that the media should cut his alma mater some “slack” and that he is “offended” by the coverage given to this obvious scandal by the national press — because apparently he is unwilling to so!Â Are you kidding me?Â Is there a journalistic version of malpractice?Â If so, this has to be a textbook example of just that.
“News you can count on.”
Meanwhile at the News and Observer
A lot of news concerning former a UNC player who’s apparently tight as a tick with current UNC footballers was in the national news last night.Â That, and that NCAA Investigators have returned to Chapel Hill for at least the third time — indicating that something big must be afoot in their investigation.
These revelations shed further light into the dark recesses of UNC’s Football Operations and the folks who are managing the problems there, not to mention helpfully investigating themselves for the University.
You would think that the local newspaper might find a column-inch or two to mention this, perhaps even write an article that got reactions from the team’s officials.
Instead, the N&O ran a fluff piece on how NC State’s fans have — get this — State fans’ “mascot envy.”Â These are their words, mind you.Â Now granted, that’s a feature piece that the paper ran on a Wolfpack game-day, and it outlined the laudable efforts of the university to give fans something they’ve wanted forever: a live “wolf” on the sidelines.Â No one can really quibble with the article, but one could also understand how it might be pre-empted by the bigger news emanating from Chapel Hill over the last 24 hours.Â The nice article (and it was a good one) could have waited for a quieter news day.
While many N&O staffers have been working non-stop to cover the seemingly non-stop stream of damning information over at Kenan Stadium, one has to wonder exactly what the editors of the newspaper were thinking.Â Surely they could have used their Associated Press membership to gain rights to republish ESPN’s article about a UNC player who is thick as thieves with not only one but two teams troubles.
One has to wonder what in the hell is going on with the state of journalism in the Triangle.Â Not much good from too many partisans, or so it seems.