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Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Programming NoteI apologize for the lack of posts today. Some work stuff has me sidetracked for a bit, but that should clear soon and there will be posting this afternoon.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 1:24pm
Uh oh, Craig, I think we’re starting to cross that line, where there’s blow back from the blow back—now everyone is attacking Selena Roberts . . .
I agree with the overall premise - that her past “work” should not give her mainstream credibility in her opinion over A-Rod, except two things - 1) she’s a writer, so in MSM’s eyes she has “credibility,” especially over a steroid-taking, morally deficient ogre like A-Roid (or so they tell me), and 2) because of that, it’s a true literary piece, not one designed to stir the A-Rod pot.
Obviously, you’ve pointed out those two principles are exactly the opposite of Selena Robert’s position/motive - the “smell” test tells me she has malicious motives in writing this book, and to trust her “sources”/thoughts over A-Rod’s/other’s “sources”/thoughts is ludicrous . . .
But, man, such venom against her. Just because she refuses to acknowledge she was wrong about the Duke thing, doesn’t mean that she’s wrong about the “culture” she was talking about - namely, if you’ve been a varsity/college athlete/frat guy (as I have) in sports that promote that American macho-violence thing (i.e. football, lacrosse, etc., as I have), you would know that “culture” she is referring to does exist. It doesn’t mean what happened at the Duke party was criminal (hell, I wasn’t there, I don’t know what happened - but it seems like it was wild). But to turn a blind eye to her overall point, that there is a culture that *treads the line* of criminal / violent / abusive, is to be turning a blind eye. I don’t agree with her motives, nor do I trust her opinion (especially after reading that Billy B. piece - shees, what a MSM anti-saber hack), but she’s not *all* wrong or *all* bad . . .
Posted 05/05 at 02:25 PM
Craig Calcaterra said...
No one is “all wrong” or “all bad,” bigcat. Of course, Roberts has never allowed that for A-Rod in her writings about him thus far, so I don’t think she’s first in line for benefit of the doubt on this yet.
As for Duke and jock culture: I totally get where you’re coming from. The problem with Roberts, however, is that she wanted it both ways. She wanted to be able to make the arguable legitimate points about that culture but only did so in such a way as to tie it inextricably to the non-rape case, with the hopes that the Dukies’ infamy would give her own points some sort of boost. She never provided the necessary disclaimers between the facts on the ground and her overall cultural critique, and only when the prosecution came crashing down did she retreat to that “I’m only talking about the culture” position to begin with.
And she did more than just rake cultural muck. She got facts wrong (see the link to the Durhamwonderland post in the NBC thing). She has never retracted, let alone apoloigize.
And with the A-Rod book she risks treading the same ground, doesn’t she? I mean, there is a culture of cheating and performance enhancement in baseball. There are guys who think their crap don’t stink. A-Rod may very well be one of those guys too. But her M.O. and her tone and the way in which she fails to document, well, anything the way in which any non-fiction author should do truly calls her work into question.
Posted 05/05 at 02:39 PM
I agree with all of that. I just have a damn Con Law exam coming up, and I am in an argumentative mood, and trying to play Selena’s advocate.
That’s why I was saying that this entire issue is a bastion of the MSM/blogging cultural war. I really believe that. And that Beane piece proved to me that she is about the story at all costs, and even when there isn’t one (i.e. Duke crime) she will create one for readership. That’s the old way the “facts” were written about.
The problem is, even if this is only 2-3 years after she started writing the book, I think the mainstream has started to lean towards believing blindly in the credibility of newspaper writers/MSM without questioning it. So hence the flak she is getting . . .
Posted 05/05 at 04:48 PM