ombudsman: one that investigates, reports on, and helps settle complaints
It's no secret we've been criticial of the Poynter Institute as ESPN Ombudsman. Poynter is a respected entity, but their tenure as ESPN Ombudsman has been shocking. Article after article has appeared as if it has come straight from the mouths of ESPN's Public Relations department instead of an ombudsman. Take their defense of the Longhorn Network or their mind-boggling role in #FreeBruce. Their "investigating" has consisted of giving ESPN's side of the story while dismissing complaints. Meanwhile, legitimate criticisms of ESPN continue to go unanswered from their own ombudsman. Only this article about ESPN's stumbles in covering the breaking Penn State story really hits the mark.
September 2nd, 2011 Poynter said about Bruce Feldman, "He suggested that his conflicts, created by writing the book, are tiny compared to those of Craig James, the ESPN announcer named in Leach's lawsuit. If the allegations in the lawsuit are accurate -- that James hired a PR firm to smear Leach -- then ESPN has an even bigger problem that we'll certainly be writing about."
That was 147 days ago! What else does Poynter need? An ESPN analyst is running for United States Senate and there is e-mail documentation from months ago that confirms the "allegations" Poynter speaks of and yet they continue to remain silent. As that day counter continues to rise, the legitimacy and impact of Poynter's role as ESPN Ombudsman becomes an even bigger letdown. Poynter took six weeks between posts on their ESPN blog from December-January, so we know time wasn't a factor.
And as ESPN's ombudsman release more articles like this stunning piece on Tim Tebow yesterday, the disappointment rises exponentially.
Yesterday, Poynter came out with a lengthy article dissecting the one thing ESPN has taken the most criticism for in the last three months - Tebowmania. And perhaps to nobody's surprise, the Poynter Institute found nothing wrong with ESPN's obsession over Tim Tebow. Let's dive in and see Poynter becoming a champion to the cause of ESPN and Tebowmania and why it's just as baffling as Tebowmania itself...