Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Lousy journalism 101

Some days my chosen profession makes me want to change my name to something no one can pronounce unless they live in Helsinki. Better to live a lie, after all, than with the shame of being even peripherally associated with ...

Oh, I don't know. How about the two-watt bulbs on Good Morning America?

As with most non-motorsports types they only know one name these days -- Tony Stewart -- and so when the video came down from the post-race shenanigans at Charlotte last weekend, it was Stewart and Stewart alone on whom they focused. In so doing, they did in fact what the teevees are so often accused of doing in fiction: They skewed the story completely and inexcusably out of round.

By choosing to focus on Stewart backing into Brad Keselowski ("See? There's that dangerously unbalanced Stewart temper again!" might as well have been the subtext), they totally misreported what actually happened. Lost in their presentation, and its borderline libelous implications, was that Stewart wasn't at the center of all the mayhem. He was in fact an innocent bystander.

The rea l issue was between Keselowski and Denny Hamlin and Keselowski and Matt Kenseth. Keselowski wronged both, ramming Kenseth after the race was over and Kenseth had shut his car down. They ended up banging into Stewart, who just sitting there minding his own business.

So Stewart did what anyone would do: He backed into Keselowski to show his displeasure.

After which Hamlin had to be restrained from going after Keselowski, and Kenseth all but tackled Keselowski between a couple of haulers.

If you were watching GMA, however, you didn't hear much about any of that. It was all about the guy who was least involved, if in fact he was actually involved at all.

Stewart's been vocal in the past about the way the media goes about its business, and how little regard he has for it. This time that lack of regard is well warranted.

Here's hoping it's also handsomely rewarded -- with someone from ABC signing the check.


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