“You’re not a columnist. You’re a reporter who writes long…”

If there’s a reason I’m pissed today, it wasn’t because I’ve got dental insurance, supplemental dental insurance and flex spending and STILL dropped $1,500 at the dentist for the Missus and I (and she’s nowhere near done, but nicely stoned on codeine upstairs). It’s because ofthis Bill Simmons magnum opus. In the middle of this thing, Simmons pulls out a reader comment where the guy accused him of irresponsible journalism for something Simmons wrote in a column regarding QB Phillip Rivers and the F-bomb. The writer chastised Simmons for not doing his homework on Rivers and how Rivers is religious and opposes F-bomb style tirades. Simmons’ response:

“Irresponsible journalism? Who said I was a journalist?”

Uh… I’m sure ESPN isn’t paying you becauseyou went to Holy Cross. They’re not forking over the cash because youcan tell the same #%#ing story about being seen on TV as a kid at the Boston Garden over and over again like you’re my drunk uncle at a family gathering. Or ponying up to keep you in your lavish L.A. lifestyle because the world was desperate for“The Ewing Theory.”

You’ve got amaster’s degree in print journalismfrom Boston University. You’ve written for the Boston Herald and Digital City Boston. You’re a contributor to ESPN the Magazine, you anchor ESPN.com’s Page 2 andyou’ve even written a couple books. You’re one of the most recognizable faces on the largest sports conglomerate in modern times. In short, you report and you write. Sounds like journalism to me…

You don’t get to play the cool hipster “I’m not a journalist” Hunter-S.-Thompson-in-a-douchebag-suit card when it suits you or because you got caught short on facts and someone called you out on it. You can’t plead nolo-con-journalism one day and then use your press pass to get into Hollywood events, interview sports celebs, dominate the ESPN Web site andtake a half-court shot at the Staples Center.

You’re either a journalist or you’re not, but if you’re not, cough up the ESPN gig and the perks that come with it. Real journalists are losing real jobs and would beat your ass to death for a shot to be ESPN’s chosen snide guy.

It’s your call, but pick a line and drive.

2 thoughts on ““You’re not a columnist. You’re a reporter who writes long…”

  1. spocko says:

    Doc.
    I’ve been saying this about the talk radio hosts who can say all sorts of crap and then they say, “Hey, I’m not a journalist.” They don’t have to tell the truth, don’t have to run corrections, can defame people all day long and if called on it? “It’s a JOKE!” or “Lighten up, it’s not like I’m a journalist”
    But these people get all the protections of journalism with none of the responsibilities.
    That is what galls me.
    They have more interviews with “news makers” that some journalists ever will because the “newsmakers” know that they won’t get asked hard questions.
    I’ve say before that I have tremendous respect for good writers and real journalists.
    Defending the profession against all enemies both external and internal is a good thing. Thank you for your passion.
    Oh and sorry about the dental bill. On the plus side I’ll bet they gave you a lot of free floss, so you got that going for you…

  2. Mart says:

    If it makes you feel better, he was Zero out of Four in his playoff picks. Granted it was a wierd weekend, but 0-4 takes some work. Even for a fucking sports journalist.

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