First, let me say that the situation involving Jay Mariotti is a terrible ordeal and I hope the woman involved was not hurt. I really hope it was blown out of proportion and Mariotti really didn’t do anything. Even so, I really feel no remorse for jumping to conclusions. That’s what Mariotti does everyday. Had this happened to a famous athlete, he would have sat on his high horse and railed against the guy to no end. He would say the athlete’s a terrible human being and should be kicked out of the league. It would be evidence of a wide-ranging problem to which only he had the answer.
It’s going to be really frustrating to see how ESPN responds to this. Were it an athlete, Rachel Nichols would be in their front yard and they would hound and hound until they got some sort of answer. But, in this case it will be swept under the rug. They did acknowledge it on SportsCenter, but since it’s one of their own, they’ll probably wait until all the details are out and they have the true story before they report anymore on it. If they report on it at all. Can you imagine it? A news outlet respecting someone’s privacy? Only when it’s one of their own.
I do realize that ESPN is a business. Their main reason for existence is not to report on and broadcast sports. It’s to make money. Vilifying one of their own makes no business sense, so there’s no way they’ll do it. That’s their prerogative. What worries me is that all sports media will protect Mariotti because the media protects themselves above all other. Say something bad about the media and prepare to be dragged through the mud. Remember when Mark Cuban bad-mouthed the media? They didn’t respond to what he said or even say it was a ridiculous statement. All they did was personally attack him. So, when someone in the media screws up it brings to reality that news outlets aren’t around to keep us informed or entertain. Thier primary purpose is to make sure they look good in order to keep the money rolling in.
Even if it comes out later that Mariotti was falsely accused and is innocent, the damage is done. He will never be seen on ESPN again.
I think what really bothers me is that they know we are curious. They know what we want to know. Yet, this is the only instance that they aren’t delighted to divulge.