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A Plea For Integrity In Cycling Journalism in 2010

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Jul 4, 2009
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red_flanders said:
I certainly believe that, and it's a telling statement.

However, it does nothing to explain why you use the "article" to attack the french Anti-doping officials and Police.

You wrote a decidedly pro-Armstrong "article" attacking those who are investigating him. You work for a company he owns.

Trash. An ad buy disguised as content, placed in a paper that can't even sell subscriptions--a paper who spams my driveway after repeated attempts to get them to stop. Quite literally, garbage.

DO NOT use my user ID to make false postings.

Originally Posted by L29205 View Post
...I would much rather take all your spleen than a libel suit.

Please correct. If you have a problem with the Boston Triathlete Examiner that is fine don't add words to my posts.
 

Rex Hunter

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L29205 said:
DO NOT use my user ID to make false postings.

Originally Posted by L29205 View Post
...I would much rather take all your spleen than a libel suit.

Please correct. If you have a problem with the Boston Triathlete Examiner that is fine don't add words to my posts.

Happens to me all the time, bud. The mods don't give a crap. Try not to rise to it because the mods will then ban you for trolling.
 
L29205 said:
DO NOT use my user ID to make false postings.

Originally Posted by L29205 View Post
...I would much rather take all your spleen than a libel suit.

Please correct. If you have a problem with the Boston Triathlete Examiner that is fine don't add words to my posts.

I'm quite sorry for clipping your name into that. I meant to respond to "Boston Herald Examiner" but clipped the quote from a response not the original post.

I don't know what you mean by "false postings", but I can assure you my clipping your name into that was an accident. My post has been edited to correct the mistake. Thanks for letting me know, and apologies again.
 
Jul 4, 2009
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Rex Hunter said:
Happens to me all the time, bud. The mods don't give a crap. Try not to rise to it because the mods will then ban you for trolling.

I am not too concerned about been banned for trolling. I have been a consistent poster on many a different thread across most of the major thread groups for the last several months. I am simply guessing it was an unintentional mistake by Red that I don't want to be quoted on. If it doesn't get cleared up I will bring it up to Alpe or Susan and they can clean it up.

Thank you for your concern.
 
Jul 4, 2009
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red_flanders said:
No need for mods, simply an accident of responding to a response which included the original content.

Rectified by the simple request.

Your persecution here notwithstanding.

Thanks I thought it was a simple misunderstanding. I hope you don't take too much offense. We have too much in common in our posting to think other than it being a simple editing issue.

No grudges held on my side thank you for the prompt response.
 
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Anonymous

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Lance is apparently also wishing for integrity in the cycling media as part of the two-pronged attack with Bruyneel. In the first salvo from the interview with Nieuwsblad, he complains that the Spanish media printed a bunch of untruths for and by Contador. Coincidentally, he brought up the topic of Alberto saying he paid for his own Time Trial wheels, and suggests that someone call Trek (obviously a neutral party) to verify. Bruyneel in a question and answer with El Mundo chose that as the first question. He claimed that he had no idea where Alberto got that idea, as all team members, especially the leaders, had the same materials.

This is fun. During the Tour and after, they ignored the Spanish press (Bruyneel said he didn't check it at all during the whole race). Now that their message is everywhere in English they're out saying that Contador and the Spanish press made everything up.

http://www.nieuwsblad.be/sportwereld/article/detail.aspx?articleid=G8O2KA8D4

http://www.elmundo.es/encuentros/invitados/2009/12/3976/

Contador should have a credit card statement and other documentation to prove he paid for the TT wheels himself. He has a chance to prove who is really doing the lying, one way or another. But I wish the French police would hurry up. Happy New Year, everyone. And please let the actual racing start soon.

A bit of what Lance said, via Google Translate
When I subsequently the Spanish media during the Tour had to face, I fell from one surprise to another. We talked little about the atmosphere in the team, but they apparently do. If you read some Spanish sports daily Marca newspaper as distributed: so many dirty things, unbelievable. Complete bull****, pieces of mucus, fat lies. They said we were behind him during the Tour. Yeah. Recently he declared that he had no time trial wheels like me during the tour. Yeah. (Evil) First, this is not true. Secondly, it is easy to prove. You only have to grab the phone and calling into bicycle manufacturer Trek. Come on. I understand that the Spanish media after their heroic stand, but it was so untrue what was printed. Come on, at the end of the day as a journalist, you ****ing do proclaim the truth. ' "
 
Hello everyone. While I have not read every comment about my article, I have taken a lot of the comments to heart and given great thought to how I expressed certain sections of the article. It has taken a few days for me to sort through all the emotions people expressed, including my own, but in the end I decided that people were right about one thing: more attention needed to be given to the evidence in the case against Armstrong. I have re-posted the article, along with (not-so) little follow-up article on why the debate is important. In the end, as one person pointed out, the French officials are just doing their job. I certainly don't want them to stop their efforts. Perhaps I was too lighthearted in my treatment of the issue in the original article. What I meant as playful wording was taken literally by many. In my new editorial about the article, I have given more credence to the Anti-Lance camp and tried to provide some of the information that some found most lacking in the original article. I would like to encourage you all to lodge your own opinions on the matter in the comment section. Please refrain from using profanity or other offensive language, however, as I am obligated to remove "offensive" and "hateful" comments from the site.

Also, a lot of attention has been given to my connection with LiveStrong, perhaps more attention than was given to the content of the original article. I'm not going to argue with the things that people have said about me personally. I have done my best to be forthright about the connection, but my contract with Demand Media does not keep me from expressing personal opinions about Lance Armstrong in other sources: flattering or otherwise. While I will not deny my connection with LiveStrong, I would like to ask folks to keep their criticism focused on the issues.The real issue in this debate is whether or not enough is being done to stop doping in cycling. Can we agree on that? Let's bring the attention back to doping and what can be done to stop it. I hope that this new article gives myself and everyone here the chance to be part of the solution to doping, not part of the problem. The anti-doping and anti-Armstrong campaign has already made itself too easy to discredit with accusations that everyone with an opinion has something to be gained by tearing down Lance.

Again, I want to thank everyone for the traffic, and most of all for being vigilant. I'll see you in the comments.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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Claire, when you write stuff like this:

Finally, thanks for all the traffic. I'm laughing my way all the way to the bank.

I will never read any article written by you and give you more traffic.
 
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Boston Triathlon Examiner said:
Hello everyone. While I have not read every comment about my article, I have taken a lot of the comments to heart and given great thought to how I expressed certain sections of the article. It has taken a few days for me to sort through all the emotions people expressed, including my own, but in the end I decided that people were right about one thing: more attention needed to be given to the evidence in the case against Armstrong. I have re-posted the article, along with (not-so) little follow-up article on why the debate is important. In the end, as one person pointed out, the French officials are just doing their job. I certainly don't want them to stop their efforts. Perhaps I was too lighthearted in my treatment of the issue in the original article. What I meant as playful wording was taken literally by many. In my new editorial about the article, I have given more credence to the Anti-Lance camp and tried to provide some of the information that some found most lacking in the original article. I would like to encourage you all to lodge your own opinions on the matter in the comment section. Please refrain from using profanity or other offensive language, however, as I am obligated to remove "offensive" and "hateful" comments from the site.

Also, a lot of attention has been given to my connection with LiveStrong, perhaps more attention than was given to the content of the original article. I'm not going to argue with the things that people have said about me personally. I have done my best to be forthright about the connection, but my contract with Demand Media does not keep me from expressing personal opinions about Lance Armstrong in other sources: flattering or otherwise. While I will not deny my connection with LiveStrong, I would like to ask folks to keep their criticism focused on the issues.The real issue in this debate is whether or not enough is being done to stop doping in cycling. Can we agree on that? Let's bring the attention back to doping and what can be done to stop it. I hope that this new article gives myself and everyone here the chance to be part of the solution to doping, not part of the problem. The anti-doping and anti-Armstrong campaign has already made itself too easy to discredit with accusations that everyone with an opinion has something to be gained by tearing down Lance.

Again, I want to thank everyone for the traffic, and most of all for being vigilant. I'll see you in the comments.

http://www.examiner.com/x-19794-Bos...2d30-The-polarizing-effect-of-Lance-Armstrong

Editorial Note on the above article: It is "couldn't care less" not "could care less."

All in all a pretty fair editorial actually. You captured the conflict very well, and I appreciate the evenhandedness.

But then we get back to this: http://www.examiner.com/x-19794-Bos...ance-Armstrong-and-teammates-for-doping-again

And specifically this:
"In 2009 Lance Armstrong came back to France with a new team and new tactics, but French anti-doping officials are up to their old tricks. The French police have been sniffing around Astana's trash like a suspicious bloodhound, desperate to find evidence for a doping case that will stick."

Can you not see this as editorial commentary and not reporting of facts? The French are not desperate at all, they are doing their job, and doing it correctly. If their search of medical refuse was legal (and it was), then there are no "tricks" involved. They are merely doing what they are paid to do.

Then this gem:
"If French anti-doping officials were to finally catch Armstrong after a decade of following his every move, it would be like if Wiley Coyote finally caught the Road Runner. As much as you want the coyote to catch the bird, it's hard not to cheer for the artful dodger road runner."

All I can say is:
fail.jpg
 
Thoughtforfood said:
http://www.examiner.com/x-19794-Bos...2d30-The-polarizing-effect-of-Lance-Armstrong

Editorial Note on the above article: It is "couldn't care less" not "could care less."

All in all a pretty fair editorial actually. You captured the conflict very well, and I appreciate the evenhandedness.

But then we get back to this: http://www.examiner.com/x-19794-Bos...ance-Armstrong-and-teammates-for-doping-again

And specifically this:

Can you not see this as editorial commentary and not reporting of facts? The French are not desperate at all, they are doing their job, and doing it correctly. If their search of medical refuse was legal (and it was), then there are no "tricks" involved. They are merely doing what they are paid to do.

Then this gem:

All I can say is:
fail.jpg

I love the picture! :D

Thank you for picking out specific examples. These are exactly the sorts of things that I meant to write lightheartedly, and not to pass judgment on the officials. At the time (not now), something struck me as comical about the French authorities going through the Tour trash. Not that I thought that it was frivolous, but it just struck me as something that would happen on a cartoon. The original writing was meant to evoke this picture of the poor French officials up against this huge PR monolith that is Lance Armstrong. The job of anti-doping officials is very important, but there is something a bit ironic about the indignity of going through trash and collecting urine to achieve this higher purpose. The road runner thing was more on the cartoon character theme. I actually sat there and thought and thought for a very long time for a better metaphor where the French weren't the "bad guy," but I couldn't come up with one. In the end, I didn't think that anyone would read much into it. Obviously, it wasn't taken how I expected, and my own semantics were to blame for this whole controversy. Unfortunately, at the Examiner we don't have the luxury of editors to tell us when our writing doesn't come off as brilliant as we thought (thanks for the editorial tip, by the way!). I was tempted to go through and do some heavy edits to the original article before re-posting it to clear up the ambiguity in my wording, but in the end that would have taken away from what we were arguing about to begin with, right?

In the end, when you're a writer some things come out the way you expect them to, and some things fly right over people's heads. Unfortunately the "Lance" article was a case of the latter. When emotions run high (especially around the holidays when everyone's patience wears thin), it can be hard to keep an objective eye in the face of criticism. Live and learn, but I appreciate those who take the time to consider my newer editorial on the topic. I hope it stands as a positive example as "Integrity in Cycling Journalism."
 
Boston Triathlon Examiner said:
I love the picture! :D

Thank you for picking out specific examples. These are exactly the sorts of things that I meant to write lightheartedly, and not to pass judgment on the officials. At the time (not now), something struck me as comical about the French authorities going through the Tour trash. Not that I thought that it was frivolous, but it just struck me as something that would happen on a cartoon. The original writing was meant to evoke this picture of the poor French officials up against this huge PR monolith that is Lance Armstrong. The job of anti-doping officials is very important, but there is something a bit ironic about the indignity of going through trash and collecting urine to achieve this higher purpose. The road runner thing was more on the cartoon character theme. I actually sat there and thought and thought for a very long time for a better metaphor where the French weren't the "bad guy," but I couldn't come up with one. In the end, I didn't think that anyone would read much into it. Obviously, it wasn't taken how I expected, and my own semantics were to blame for this whole controversy. Unfortunately, at the Examiner we don't have the luxury of editors to tell us when our writing doesn't come off as brilliant as we thought (thanks for the editorial tip, by the way!). I was tempted to go through and do some heavy edits to the original article before re-posting it to clear up the ambiguity in my wording, but in the end that would have taken away from what we were arguing about to begin with, right?

In the end, when you're a writer some things come out the way you expect them to, and some things fly right over people's heads. Unfortunately the "Lance" article was a case of the latter. When emotions run high (especially around the holidays when everyone's patience wears thin), it can be hard to keep an objective eye in the face of criticism. Live and learn, but I appreciate those who take the time to consider my newer editorial on the topic. I hope it stands as a positive example as "Integrity in Cycling Journalism."

I think your editorial is good Claire; but I also agree with TFF that you should not use the loaded language that he highlighted in your "more objective" piece.

A few things that I would like to point out in your editorial - you stated that "There are people who have made it their entire career to collect evidence that Armstrong has used performance-enhancing drugs," then immediately went on to name David Walsh and Paul Kimmage. You are making an implication about those two individuals with that paragraph structure whether you mean to or not. Surely you know that those 2 are very highly regarded sports writers in Europe that write for extremely prestigous newspapers?

Next, Frankie Andreu was never "busted himself for doping." Actually he admitted to using EPO during the '99 Tour in 2006 after never having never failed a drug test. Andreu also never "became a whistleblower", rather he was subpoenaed to testify in the legal case between SCA Promotions and Tailwind Sports and testified there that Armstrong used PED's.

This sentance does a poor job of expressing what happenned with the testing of Armstrong's '99 TDF samples: ""There is no doubt in my mind [Lance Armstrong] took EPO during the '99 Tour," Ashenden told NY Velocity. At the time, however, no conclusive test existed for EPO."
You neglect to mention that those samples were tested retroactively with the very test for EPO that is in use now by WADA, as a matter of fact they were tested to test the new test! It is only because that testing was not official and conducted according to UCI guildlines that Armstrong was not sanctioned.

But all in all I mean only to be constructively critical; I do think it is a well balanced editorial.
 
Bike Centric: Thank you for the criticism. This is exactly what I was hoping people might bring up in the comments section. I can't go back and re-edit every single sentence people take issue with, but the facts you bring up should be shared. And while I recognize that the aim should be completely objective and accurate representations, if I were to explain every detail that people pick out, the article would be 30 pages long. No one wants to read what I think for 30 pages! I have done my best to summarize the specific allegations of doping and give them context in the briefest way possible to provide background for what is the point of the story: in this fight, no one wins. I do not mean to suggest that Walsh and Kimmage are not respected journalists!!! I mean to say that there is enough information out there to build a career on. Posting criticism like yours in the comments section of the article draws attention to your (valid) points on the page where it is most likely to be seen by all those who read the article.

I want to stress that I APPRECIATE the criticism. Still, with the firestorm of comments, it would be impossible and impractical to reflect every single semantic twist that people suggest.
 
Boston Triathlon Examiner said:
Bike Centric: Thank you for the criticism. This is exactly what I was hoping people might bring up in the comments section. I can't go back and re-edit every single sentence people take issue with, but the facts you bring up should be shared. And while I recognize that the aim should be completely objective and accurate representations, if I were to explain every detail that people pick out, the article would be 30 pages long. No one wants to read what I think for 30 pages! I have done my best to summarize the specific allegations of doping and give them context in the briefest way possible to provide background for what is the point of the story: in this fight, no one wins. I do not mean to suggest that Walsh and Kimmage are not respected journalists!!! I mean to say that there is enough information out there to build a career on. Posting criticism like yours in the comments section of the article draws attention to your (valid) points on the page where it is most likely to be seen by all those who read the article.

I want to stress that I APPRECIATE the criticism. Still, with the firestorm of comments, it would be impossible and impractical to reflect every single semantic twist that people suggest.

I don't expect you to make changes (I'm not your boss or 3rd grade teacher after all); merely think about incorporating those suggestions in future work.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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theswordsman said:

weak, boring poorly informed article.

i’am stunned by the low quality the nyt allowed.

the author chose such an ambitious title "Armstrong Rode Above Doping Problems", but she totally failed to back it up with proper research and mention all the pertinent doping controversies that haunted Armstrong throughout the first year of his return and have undermined his credibility:

(i) failing the uci’s 6 month testing monitoring rule for returning riders before the tour of oz
(ii) hyping up and failing cooperation with catlin’s ad program.
(iii) shower gate when only armstrongs personal plea/letter to afld saved his 2009 tour entry.
(iv) two instances of testing delays by almost an hour during the 2009 tour
(v) suspicious blood and urine values cited by two danish scientists
(vi) she only mention: the last investigation by the French police finding syringes.

show me a rider in the peloton who had more doping controversies and who would deserve an article headlined "so and so Rode Above Doping Problems" ?

shame on you JULIET MACUR.
 
Aug 13, 2009
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python said:
weak, boring poorly informed article.

i’am stunned by the low quality the nyt allowed.

the author chose such an ambitious title "Armstrong Rode Above Doping Problems", but she totally failed to back it up with proper research and mention all the pertinent doping controversies that haunted Armstrong throughout the first year of his return and have undermined his credibility:

(i) failing the uci’s 6 month testing monitoring rule for returning riders before the tour of oz
(ii) hyping up and failing cooperation with catlin’s ad program.
(iii) shower gate when only armstrongs personal plea/letter to afld saved his 2009 tour entry.
(iv) two instances of testing delays by almost an hour during the 2009 tour
(v) suspicious blood and urine values cited by two danish scientists
(vi) she only mention: the last investigation by the French police finding syringes.

show me a rider in the peloton who had more doping controversies and who would deserve an article headlined "so and so Rode Above Doping Problems" ?

shame on you JULIET MACUR.

Good list. A few more

-Putting test numbers up on Livestrong.com....only to change the most suspect numbers when they were questioned

-Taking numbers down when they show signs of doping and are questioned by experts
 
May 25, 2009
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I think Julie Macur is one of the good ones...

I don't think Juliet Macur deserves to be "shamed"... I believe she is one of the "good ones". Why? She is the only mainstream journalist to take LA to task over the Walsh "you are a cancer" press conference at the Tour Of California. At the Press conference where Lance and Macur got into it like few journo's besides Walsh ever do.

After LA makes a snide remark about Macur's article and how she ostensibly left out very important things in her Catlin/lance article to which she took offense and said aloud "I tried calling you but you wouldn't take my call." He then said he was busy on a ride to which juliet responded, "That must be one realllly loooong ride because I called you for a comment and 16 hours passed before I heard back from anyone." She followed up her qusetion with if CAtlin was the most comprehensive, how will DAmsgaard compare/be better. He couldn't answer and was uncharacteristically not smooth.

http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/cycling/columns/story?columnist=ford_bonnie_d&id=3904480

She also broke news of LA cancelling his personal testing program with Don Caitlin.

Further, she broke the news that Frankie Andreau, confessed (to her personally) to using EPO in the TDF. I believe but am not certain that she also broke the anonymous rider (we know to be Jonathan Vaughters) also used EPO in the same article she broke Andreau's confession.

As we all know there is plenty of evidence of doping and EPO use in the peloton and why no other journalists seem to bother to look is sad but I think if you look back an Macur's record you will find she is better than most.

Nik
 
Aug 13, 2009
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oldschoolnik said:
I don't think Juliet Macur deserves to be "shamed"... I believe she is one of the "good ones". Why? She is the only mainstream journalist to take LA to task over the Walsh "you are a cancer" press conference at the Tour Of California. At the Press conference where Lance and Macur got into it like few journo's besides Walsh ever do.

After LA makes a snide remark about Macur's article and how she ostensibly left out very important things in her Catlin/lance article to which she took offense and said aloud "I tried calling you but you wouldn't take my call." He then said he was busy on a ride to which juliet responded, "That must be one realllly loooong ride because I called you for a comment and 16 hours passed before I heard back from anyone." She followed up her qusetion with if CAtlin was the most comprehensive, how will DAmsgaard compare/be better. He couldn't answer and was uncharacteristically not smooth.

http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/cycling/columns/story?columnist=ford_bonnie_d&id=3904480

She also broke news of LA cancelling his personal testing program with Don Caitlin.

Further, she broke the news that Frankie Andreau, confessed (to her personally) to using EPO in the TDF. I believe but am not certain that she also broke the anonymous rider (we know to be Jonathan Vaughters) also used EPO in the same article she broke Andreau's confession.

As we all know there is plenty of evidence of doping and EPO use in the peloton and why no other journalists seem to bother to look is sad but I think if you look back an Macur's record you will find she is better than most.

Nik

I agree, Juliet is normally a very good writer....which makes this article all the more surprising.
 
May 25, 2009
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After last year's TDF...

She started to write pieces that looked like she might have gone over to the dark side - I emailed her to tell her so (we don't know each other at all). To my surprise, she emailed me back and since then I have carefully read her columns looking for signs of selling out. I am convinced she is still objective. She may not be as critical , or have as much info as some on these boards but she is still quite good IMHO.
 
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Anonymous

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Who do you think Versus wants viewers to focus on for the Tour de France?

The war of words between Armstrong and Contador saturated the cycling media after the Tour de France, and primarily saw Armstrong countering sniper attacks by the Spaniard

http://www.versus.com/nw/article/view/84907/?UserDef=true&catID=3365&tf=joe_parkin.tpl


What has Contador said about Lance since this in July?

"Well, my relationship with Lance is zero. My relationship with him is zero. I think that independently of what his character is, he is still a great champion. He has won seven Tours and played a big part in this one, too. But it's different to speak at a personal level. I have never really admired him that much, or will ever, but of course as a cyclist, he is a great champion."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/cycling/8172975.stm

http://www.reuters.com/news/video?videoChannel=1004&videoId=108718
 
Oct 29, 2009
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Versus said:
The war of words between Armstrong and Contador saturated the cycling media after the Tour de France, and primarily saw Armstrong countering sniper attacks by the Spaniard

Yeah, moron commentary like this deserves to be highlighted twice, laughed at twice, and crowned "Stupidest Comment of 2010" twice. January 4, we have a winner!

Shocking. By all standards.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
When I posted A Plea For Integrity, I was pretty much just really frustrated. I'm unemployed, and have time to read a ton of articles. I'm pretty new to this forum, and didn't know what kind of response it would receive - I just wanted to put the idea out there in the world.

But it seems that a lot of others feel the same way we do. When I posted a link to an Examiner piece that was messed up for a lot of reasons, people responded and the article was pulled and revised. I got upset here by the "Bruyneel Sets The Record Straight" or something like that, and the title seems to have changed, at least.

Maybe writers and publications just need feedback that we do care, and that seeing this same stuff over and over again - bad translations, sensationalist headlines, clearly biased reporting, absence of any sort of fact-checking - really bothers us.

Would someone other than me like to set up a new thread for the year that will be the go-to place for complaints like this one? If any of us comes across something horrible, we can post a link and a snippet, and see if others agree and want to send the writer tweets or e-mails or whatever? We'd have to show some restraint - people write things I disagree with, that isn't bad journalism, for instance.

Maybe we can help make things a bit better, and maybe writers will care more about their jobs. Maybe we could, there or in a separate thread, acknowledge when some piece is well written, thoroughly researched, and written from an objective viewpoint on an interesting topic? Cheers. John