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ESPN Pulls Out of Frontline Concussion Investigation (Deadspin)
For a while now, ESPN’s big alibi, the thing Bristol would trot out any time someone questioned the company’s journalistic bona fides, was its joint investigation into NFL head injuries with PBS’ Frontline. Now that’s done with. ESPN said in a statement: “Because ESPN is neither producing nor exercising editorial control over the Frontline documentaries, there will be no co-branding involving ESPN on the documentaries or their marketing materials. The use of ESPN’s marks could incorrectly imply that we have editorial control. As we have in the past, we will continue to cover the concussion story through our own reporting.” PBS / Frontline “…[We] regret ESPN’s decision to end a collaboration that has spanned the last 15 months and is based on the work of ESPN reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru, as well as Frontline’s own original journalism. Over that time, we’ve enjoyed a productive partnership with ESPN’s investigative program, Outside the Lines, jointly publishing and co-branding several ground-breaking articles on our respective websites and on their broadcast. We’ve been in sync on the goals of our reporting: to present the deepest accounting so far of the league’s handling of questions around the long-term impact of concussions. This editorial partnership was similar to our many other collaborations with news organizations over the years.” TVNewser The partnership resulted in a number of long-form articles about the NFL’s response to concussions, as well as a number of reports on Outside the Lines, ESPN’s acclaimed newsmagazine. NYT The NFL was not supportive of the documentary. Greg Aiello, a spokesman for the league, said it declined to make commissioner Roger Goodell and other executives available for it. The league allowed the doctors who advise it on concussions to decide themselves if they wanted to take part. The Atlantic Wire ESPN has previously faced criticism over its coverage of the impact of concussions and head injuries on NFL players. Because the network makes a lot of money from broadcasting NFL games, there is concern of an acute conflict of interest going on between the editorial and business sides of the Connecticut-based company.
Posts Tagged ‘Koch brothers’
The eXiled’s Mark Ames published a lengthy takedown over the weekend of the billionaire Koch brothers’ (who are also the primary financial backers of the Tea Party movement) efforts to create a true-believer libertarian media empire. Ames repeatedly slams the Koch-funded, LA-based magazine Reason, the libertarian think tank Cato Institute, as well as The Atlantic’s Meghan McArdle, who’s husband Peter Suderman works at Reason. But the main focus of Ames’ wrath is former Cato Institute fellow and recent Economist writer Will Wilkinson, who has spent his entire media career under the Koch umbrella, and the last two years since the economic collapse denying the existence of a growing American income inequality between the rich and poor.
Ames describes him thusly:
The biography of Will Wilkinson, like that of just about every member of the libertarian nomenklatura, is so caricatured, so totally devoid of surprises and curve-balls, that you almost have to admire how tightly controlled the Libertarian Assembly Line is–the only equivalent that comes to mind is the Soviet Union’s Communist Party vetting machine: from Young Pioneer to Komsomol to Communist Party member, they constantly vetted, tested and promoted the most useful shills, along with the elite’s children, to create a power-elite class that lasted 80 years, at the expense of the rest of the suffering country. As an example of just how robotic and predictable the libertarian nomenklatura is, and how similar they are to their old Commie counterparts, guess what thinker changed Will Wilkinson’s life? Actually, don’t try guessing: Ayn Rand, that’s the answer every time, just as Lenin was the answer every time in the Soviet Union.
Wilkinson isn’t exactly a consequential target in and of himself, but the piece is interesting in its analysis of the Koch brothers’ efforts to create a loyal corps of libertarian true believer journos.
As one commenter on The eXiled’s site put it, “If only I read Ayn Rand instead of Hunter Thompson, maybe I could have been a propagandist for the power elite too. Seems it pays better than well read malcontent.”