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October 22, 2012

lateralsymmetry says: The story of the Seattle Times running an ad for a gubernatorial candidate (ostensibly to raise recognition of their own advertising power) is garnering them a lot of criticism. My question: how does running an ad for a candidate differ from writing an endorsement? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

» SFB says: Newspapers are set up with separators between the various departments, including news, editorial and advertising. The goal is that they’re not supposed to have influence on what they do for one another, especially financially. The Seattle Times making an endorsement in their editorial pages shouldn’t have an effect on their coverage, and political ads shouldn’t have an effect on the news coverage or the editorial page. The Seattle Times, on the other hand, ran political ads for a candidate and cause the management supported in an effort to promote the value of political advertising in print. This was a bad idea — mainly because it set a terrible precedent. (And also, there’s this thing called the Ad Council which does this kind of thing already.) If someone bought the ad for Rob McKenna in the Times, it would’ve cost them nearly $80,000. To put it simply: The editorial section doesn’t have a financial interest in sharing their views. The ad department, however, does. And they basically overstepped their bounds, putting the news and editorial departments in a very tough spot. How can the paper report objectively on the election now that they’ve run a full-page ad supporting the Republican candidate? The editorial page is hidden away  from this kind of influence for a reason. The Seattle Times threw the separation between departments out the window by running this ad. And, as a large metropolitan daily, they deserve the criticism they’re getting. — Ernie @ SFB

16:29 // 1 year ago
February 24, 2012

On Ryan Braun and “integrity” … on both sides of the coin

lateralsymmetry says: What this really highlights is the importance of evidence handling. Here’s a great article by former lawyer-current baseball writer Craig Calcaterra regarding it: hardballtalk.nbcsports….

» SFB says: It’s a pretty interesting story that has appeal outside of sports because of the implications of its legal ramifications, and what it says about integrity on the other side of the coin. Calcaterra’s piece does a great job on touching that: ”That reason is not, contrary to popular grunting, to make it harder for decent prosecutors or authorities to do their jobs. It’s to ensure the integrity of the system. And, in this case, the integrity of the sample.” Athletes in these cases often get the brunt of the media smear; there’s something to be said about the people investigating the case. — Ernie @ SFB

11:59 // 2 years ago