Shouldn't Sunday Times Be Rehiring Kimmage?

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May 3, 2010
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My point is this - that ESPN journalist held up his hands and said 'mea culpa'.

CN has offered no such mea culpa. Benson tried to claim that 'it was all before his time' and so he couldn't possibly apologise for that, and anyway CN has never done anything wrong under his watch. An attitude that reflects his arrogance and acute lack of self-awareness. The silence from other CN staff has been deafening.

Benson's idea of tough questions is trolling Hog on Twitter, and smugly mocking easy targets like McQuaid and Verbruggen. Infantile at best, and more akin to a teenager thinking he is daring for writing **** on the walls of a toilet.

As for the power of omerta. Those who didn't want to be part of omerta like Bassons left the sport. If they were so outraged by doping but constrained by omerta they could have left. You always have exit, voice or loyalty. Every step of the way they chose loyalty to omerta and to doping. They chose to lie for the dopers.
 
Sep 13, 2012
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Mrs Murphy - your reply suggests you have quite an axe to grind with CN that possibly goes beyond them failing to apologize for writing soft articles through the Lance years :rolleyes:

Kudos to the ESPN journalist for his admission - it is obviously something that he feels he needs to do to remove guilt/sense of wrongdoing etc. But many journalists of that era will not carry such feelings as, like Lance, they felt at the time no guilt or wrongdoing that they were knowingly or unknowingly perpetuating a myth. They too were sucked in and happy to jump on the deception treadmill and blindly write about whatever gave them all a salary each month (often a bigger salary with Lance stories - he became the ultimate story as he crossed over to mainstream celebrity)

Which leads back to Omerta - whilst you mention riders of the past who walked away (from doping), it is idealistic to think that exit, voice or loyalty were options of equal measure.

Imagine you have spent most of your teens and early twenty's climbing the ranks of cycling to the point where it becomes your career, your life. For most it takes 8-10years of hard work and total dedication to the sport before they sign their first pro-contract.

To achieve the dream of being a professional most sacrifice their education and any useful work experience that would benefit them for a career outside of cycling. With few qualifications and little in the way of experience, quality jobs in the real world for first and second year professional cyclists are about as rare as sincere apologies from Texan Tour de France winners.

Once they become a pro and the pressures of doping manifest, they are faced with the rather disproportionate option of either "exit/voice out" and going on to work in an office/fast food joint or "loyalty" and traveling the world doing what they love (i.e. getting paid to ride their bike)

It's no surprise then that so many riders when confronted with the "dope or dole (unemployment)" choice tend to follow their employers/team mates directives and 'join the programme'.

Only a handful such as Bassons etc were brave enough to walk away, but possibly because they had strong educational qualifications/family money to fall back on (Bassons was a structural engineer or something whilst Kimmage had dabbled in journalism)

In fact, similar dilemma's often apply to journalists or indeed any profession - the pressures of hierarchy to toe the line coupled with the need to sustain an income nearly always overrule personal integrity.

Of course, all of this does not justify what cycling has experienced to date but I believe the pressure on young riders to dope nowadays is nowhere near as strong today as what it was during the Lance years - thankfully controls are stricter and most riders/teams are of a different mindset.
 
Jul 27, 2009
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Mrs John Murphy said:
See that. It is a journalist who is big enough to recognise that he was wrong.

Has CN apologized for its coverage? No. Have Westemeyer, Wieslo, Friebe, Benson etc apologized for the things that they have written? No.

Like Armstrong they can not bring themselves to admit their failures, or their role in facilitating doping in cycling. They themselves refuse to admit that they are upholding omerta by refusing to raise questions.

These are people who either knew that they were repeating lies, or they were too stupid to see what was going on. Their conduct shows either their complete lack of a moral compass, or that they are so stupid that they should not be let out unsupervised.

Their refusal to say mea culpa, shows their complete lack of integrity and that they are still the same omertists that they ever were.

<snip>I don't know details of this one</snip> ...

While riders are sacked and suspended, while team doctors are punished, while administrators voted out, while DSs end up in court, the media sails on re-writing history, maintaining omerta, completely unaccountable for their actions. Unwilling to confront the things that they have done and their role in perpetuating the lies upon which Armstrong and others have built their careers, aiding and abetting dopers.

The nicest thing I think that can be said is that they have never found a job yet for which they were not under-qualified or lacking in the appropriate skills, intellect, integrity or moral values.
Absolutely spot on.
 
May 3, 2010
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Froomador said:
Mrs Murphy - your reply suggests you have quite an axe to grind with CN that possibly goes beyond them failing to apologize for writing soft articles through the Lance years :rolleyes:

Kudos to the ESPN journalist for his admission - it is obviously something that he feels he needs to do to remove guilt/sense of wrongdoing etc. But many journalists of that era will not carry such feelings as, like Lance, they felt at the time no guilt or wrongdoing that they were knowingly or unknowingly perpetuating a myth. They too were sucked in and happy to jump on the deception treadmill and blindly write about whatever gave them all a salary each month (often a bigger salary with Lance stories - he became the ultimate story as he crossed over to mainstream celebrity)

Which leads back to Omerta - whilst you mention riders of the past who walked away (from doping), it is idealistic to think that exit, voice or loyalty were options of equal measure.

Imagine you have spent most of your teens and early twenty's climbing the ranks of cycling to the point where it becomes your career, your life. For most it takes 8-10years of hard work and total dedication to the sport before they sign their first pro-contract.

To achieve the dream of being a professional most sacrifice their education and any useful work experience that would benefit them for a career outside of cycling. With few qualifications and little in the way of experience, quality jobs in the real world for first and second year professional cyclists are about as rare as sincere apologies from Texan Tour de France winners.

Once they become a pro and the pressures of doping manifest, they are faced with the rather disproportionate option of either "exit/voice out" and going on to work in an office/fast food joint or "loyalty" and traveling the world doing what they love (i.e. getting paid to ride their bike)

It's no surprise then that so many riders when confronted with the "dope or dole (unemployment)" choice tend to follow their employers/team mates directives and 'join the programme'.

Only a handful such as Bassons etc were brave enough to walk away, but possibly because they had strong educational qualifications/family money to fall back on (Bassons was a structural engineer or something whilst Kimmage had dabbled in journalism)

In fact, similar dilemma's often apply to journalists or indeed any profession - the pressures of hierarchy to toe the line coupled with the need to sustain an income nearly always overrule personal integrity.

Of course, all of this does not justify what cycling has experienced to date but I believe the pressure on young riders to dope nowadays is nowhere near as strong today as what it was during the Lance years - thankfully controls are stricter and most riders/teams are of a different mindset.
I have an axe to grind with soft journalism and people who fail to take responsibility for their previous actions.

I have an axe to grind with people who re-write their own histories in order to minimise their complicity.

I find it odd that people will lambast riders, management, the cycling authorities, and yet the media is given a free pass.

How many times did we see stories in the mainstream press attacking critics of Armstrong, how many times was the 'most tested athlete', 'never tested positive' line repeated by the media. They were the ones who enabled the Armstrong myth to develop (and now the Sky myth). They were the ones who refused to grant any space to Armstrong's critics, they were the ones who failed to listen to Armstrong's critics and instead dismissed them not on the grounds of their arguments but how they perceived their motives.

Benson promised after the reasoned decision that CN would be critical of teams now? What do we see? A collection of puff pieces, churnalism, and the same old press releases masquerading as journalism. McQuaid is allowed to repeat his 'no doping since 2006 line' without any challenge.

I can slightly more forgive the more mainstream journalists - in the sense that most of them had little or no knowledge or interest in cycling except for 3 weeks in July. However, those working for CN and the cycling press in general would have been much more deeply rooted in cycling and would have to have known that Armstrong's performances were suspect - and yet to a man they went along with the lie. If they knew it was a lie and they repeated it then they are truly without a moral compass or any integrity. If they did not know, or did not want to know, then they are either very naive or acting with the blinkers of a fan rather than as journalists.

As for the riders - riders have a choice - it may not be a zero sum game, but there is still a choice - Ricco could dope, or he could go and work in a coffee shop, Kohl could dope or go back to working in a bike shop, etc. You don't have to dope - you might be a lot better off financially in the short term by doping which may well skew the choices people make.

I think you'd need to come back in 5 years and see if the attitude of the peloton has truly changed and if the controls are working. I think that the attitude of Sky, Frodo, Wiggins, etc towards doping along with their results shows that there is a long way to go before we will be able to watch a race and not wonder 'did he have a refill last night' as an attack takes place.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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Mrs John Murphy said:
I have an axe to grind with soft journalism and people who fail to take responsibility for their previous actions.

I have an axe to grind with people who re-write their own histories in order to minimise their complicity.

I find it odd that people will lambast riders, management, the cycling authorities, and yet the media is given a free pass.

How many times did we see stories in the mainstream press attacking critics of Armstrong, how many times was the 'most tested athlete', 'never tested positive' line repeated by the media. They were the ones who enabled the Armstrong myth to develop (and now the Sky myth). They were the ones who refused to grant any space to Armstrong's critics, they were the ones who failed to listen to Armstrong's critics and instead dismissed them not on the grounds of their arguments but how they perceived their motives.

Benson promised after the reasoned decision that CN would be critical of teams now? What do we see? A collection of puff pieces, churnalism, and the same old press releases masquerading as journalism. McQuaid is allowed to repeat his 'no doping since 2006 line' without any challenge.

I can slightly more forgive the more mainstream journalists - in the sense that most of them had little or no knowledge or interest in cycling except for 3 weeks in July. However, those working for CN and the cycling press in general would have been much more deeply rooted in cycling and would have to have known that Armstrong's performances were suspect - and yet to a man they went along with the lie. If they knew it was a lie and they repeated it then they are truly without a moral compass or any integrity. If they did not know, or did not want to know, then they are either very naive or acting with the blinkers of a fan rather than as journalists.
I'm completely on your bandwagon wrt to the role the press c/should play, but are not playing.

Press has the potential to trigger change. (press > pressure :cool:)
The passive soft journalism we see now is completely frustrating change.
Guys like Kimmage should be the norm.
 
May 26, 2010
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I completely agree with MrsJohn Murphy's take on the journalists and in particular CN and other hacks who have benifitted greatly from those sponsors who perpuated and helped to sell the Armstrong myth.

Here is Kathy LeMond's recent personal experience which tells you what the hacks have been responsible for influencing the thoughts of general public.

Sports Illustrated: So you just had a journalist from your local paper, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, walk up to the door today.

Kathy LeMond: The reporter said, 'For 10 years, I thought Greg was crazy.' There's a whole generation that thinks Greg is a whiner. I'm sorry, Greg's statement is the truest statement of all time. It is the greatest fraud. LeMond said of Armstrong's Tour victories after surviving cancer: "If Lance's story is true, it's the greatest comeback in the history of sports. If it's not, it's the greatest fraud."
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/more/news/20130118/lance-armstrong-admission-kathy-lemond-reaction/#ixzz2IQA4AopT
 
May 3, 2010
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I had an interesting conversation with a tabloid journalist about the media and Armstrong.

He pointed out that one of the big problems is how incestuous and inward looking the media is. He pointed out that for the most part the only people that journalists talk to are - i) officials and people involved in the subject they are covering and ii) other journalists.

Benson and CN exemplify this problem. They very rarely interact with people outside of the 'cycling bubble' about cycling - and when they do it is with the reluctance of someone being sent into a leper colony on a handshaking tour. If you are ever unlucky enough to be forced to read Benson or Weislo's twitter feeds it reads like one monumental circle jerk between riders and journalists.

It is little wonder that the riders have such a tin ear to the world outside the peloton when it comes the cycling media is so insular.
 
Jan 20, 2013
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The test of journalism is not a matter of how they deal with US Postal or Rabobank after the fact but how they deal with the current and yet undisclosed pratices of today's teams.

There is little point in admitting a too soft approach towards Lance & co. while not confronting the supposedly cleaner stars of today who are closely affiliated with doping doctors.

I have little or no interest to hear about Leinders in 2022, detailing what he did in 2012. That is why I like Kimmage, Walsh and other journos like that. They do deserve a job, perhaps now more than ever.
 
Jul 26, 2012
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What earthly reason would a Murdoch-owned organisation have to rehire someone who is controversially critical of another highly PR-sensitive, Murdoch-influenced operation?

This is the real world. Why would scruples come into it?
 
May 26, 2010
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zebedee said:
What earthly reason would a Murdoch-owned organisation have to rehire someone who is controversially critical of another highly PR-sensitive, Murdoch-influenced operation?

This is the real world. Why would scruples come into it?
i guess Brailsford would agree.
 
Oct 30, 2011
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Fully agree with MJM's line here.

A lot of journalists were either thoroughly dishonest or thoroughly incompetent. If they realised what was going on and didn't report it, they should apologise on the grounds that they have seriously failed ethically as journalists (and perhaps resign, though this is the real world so probably not). If they did not realise what was going on, and hence could not report it, then they ought to apologise for being terrible journalists, resign and find some trade in which their skills are most applicable. Sadly, however, there are relatively few industries in which failing to see the bloody obvious is valued.

So, assorted cycling journalists, are you liars or idiots?
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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Mrs John Murphy said:
I had an interesting conversation with a tabloid journalist about the media and Armstrong.

He pointed out that one of the big problems is how incestuous and inward looking the media is. He pointed out that for the most part the only people that journalists talk to are - i) officials and people involved in the subject they are covering and ii) other journalists.

Benson and CN exemplify this problem. They very rarely interact with people outside of the 'cycling bubble' about cycling - and when they do it is with the reluctance of someone being sent into a leper colony on a handshaking tour. If you are ever unlucky enough to be forced to read Benson or Weislo's twitter feeds it reads like one monumental circle jerk between riders and journalists.

It is little wonder that the riders have such a tin ear to the world outside the peloton when it comes the cycling media is so insular.
That is the same in every aspect of journalism with only one exception, investigative journalism - which is rarely done any more.

Of course journalists talk to other journalists.
 
May 3, 2010
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Dr. Maserati said:
That is the same in every aspect of journalism with only one exception, investigative journalism - which is rarely done any more.

Of course journalists talk to other journalists.
And that is the inherent problem with the media in general. Which is why old media is dying a slow and deserved death.

His point was that the circle of journalists that other journalists talk to is for the most part very small. Their relationship with the outside world is very limited and that this in turn shapes their coverage and lack of incision.

Caruut said:
Fully agree with MJM's line here.

A lot of journalists were either thoroughly dishonest or thoroughly incompetent. If they realised what was going on and didn't report it, they should apologise on the grounds that they have seriously failed ethically as journalists (and perhaps resign, though this is the real world so probably not). If they did not realise what was going on, and hence could not report it, then they ought to apologise for being terrible journalists, resign and find some trade in which their skills are most applicable. Sadly, however, there are relatively few industries in which failing to see the bloody obvious is valued.

So, assorted cycling journalists, are you liars or idiots?
If a politician or administrator failed the way the media failed, the media would be beating down their door demanding that they resign. However, not one single cycling journalist will quit over this or take responsibility. So not only are the journalists liars or idiots they are also hypocrites.
 
Jul 26, 2012
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The advantages to the Sunday Times in rehiring Kimmage may be considerably outweighed by the downside potential of a journalist asking awkward questions of another Murdoch organisation, is the way they might see it. I don't think it's anything more complicated that that. He is a prickly sort of chap by all accounts and they may not regard him as a team player. I'm venturing the thought.

Talk of journalists needing to apologise or resign, or papers needing to have more noble moral motives seems unrealistic to me. And the reason 'old media' are inexorably withering away has nothing to do with a lack of ethics either in my view, more to do with new media offering more convenience and other benefits. Papers are gradually evolving into online enterprises besides. No doubt journalism will continue to influence public attitudes to sport doping, for good or bad.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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Mrs John Murphy said:
And that is the inherent problem with the media in general. Which is why old media is dying a slow and deserved death.

His point was that the circle of journalists that other journalists talk to is for the most part very small. Their relationship with the outside world is very limited and that this in turn shapes their coverage and lack of incision.



If a politician or administrator failed the way the media failed, the media would be beating down their door demanding that they resign. However, not one single cycling journalist will quit over this or take responsibility. So not only are the journalists liars or idiots they are also hypocrites.
Of course it is.
I am surprised that this is somehow new to you?

To add to that the sport is actually very small - go to any Pro race and you quickly see the same faces. Journalists share cars, meals, accommodation and then there are the late night meetings.
On top of that they may often be sharing hotels with riders or officials.

To the blue - a lot of the main apologists are still in denial, or blaming LA for lying to them, they won't change.
But others did come out with mea cuplas and apologized.
 
May 3, 2010
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I am not sure what the point of your comment was. I was relating a discussion I had with mainstream journalist who was aware enough of the nature of journalism to reflect on it and the problems within the journalism when dealing with an issue like Armstrong, or any other similar problems.

It serves to corroborate one of the many criticisms of the media, which is in itself interesting and worth sharing.
 
Intrigued by the comments on here. Paul Kimmage is held up by quite a number of posters as setting the bar for inquisitive journos.

Kimmage spent lot's of time with Garmin and JV, yet has never really questioned their performance's or called them out. Strange then that many of the same posters who praise Kimmage also believe Garmin are doping. Surely that means Kimmage does not meet the standards being demanded by some posters either as he was clearly not doing his job right when he was unable to expose Garmin.

So in fact there are no cycling journo's out there doing their job. What other journo's in other sports are better than Kimmage or Walsh at asking the pertinent questions? I don't know of any but can be happily corrected. So in fact there are no sports journos anywhere doing their job correctly. Wow. What about political journo's, who would be considered a Kimmage type journo in that realm?

I would also like to point out that there is a difference between a reporter and an investigative journo.
 
May 26, 2010
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pmcg76 said:
Intrigued by the comments on here. Paul Kimmage is held up by quite a number of posters as setting the bar for inquisitive journos.

Kimmage spent lot's of time with Garmin and JV, yet has never really questioned their performance's or called them out. Strange then that many of the same posters who praise Kimmage also believe Garmin are doping. Surely that means Kimmage does not meet the standards being demanded by some posters either as he was clearly not doing his job right when he was unable to expose Garmin.

So in fact there are no cycling journo's out there doing their job. What other journo's in other sports are better than Kimmage or Walsh at asking the pertinent questions? I don't know of any but can be happily corrected. So in fact there are no sports journos anywhere doing their job correctly. Wow. What about political journo's, who would be considered a Kimmage type journo in that realm?

I would also like to point out that there is a difference between a reporter and an investigative journo.
Kimmage has gotten it wrong before. Bernard Kohl's TdF mountain top finish. Kimmage reckoned he did it clean, that judgement was made watching Kohl race and finish looking totally wasted.

He could be wrong about Garmin.

Kimmage covers a wide variety of sports. He does not spend his working time only following cycling at a level that he might be able see the different nuances that might lead him to believe one thing or another.

Kimmage and Walsh are not investigative Journos. They are sports journalists. The term journalism means something important to them. To others it means copy and paste.

Bernstein and Woodward.
 
Jul 15, 2010
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When the story becomes big enough, it justifies real investigative journalists getting on the case and we quickly see how inept the writers involved in cycling are. As has been stated the cycling writers are part of the "family", and basically just pass on what they are told. They like being part of the scene and going to races and yuking it up with the riders - they aint rocking any boats.

Real jounalists are not interested in their postiion in the "in crowd" and so they dig in places that they have been told not to and we see that the information is not that hard to get if you have some balls.

Kimmage sat somewhere in the middle. In the "not worth the chair" press conference it is easy to see Armstrong make the play - This guy is not in the family - and it is also easy to see what a bunch of muppets everyone else is. Liephiemer and Hincapie sitting like stunned mullets and who is up the back looking like he has his knob caught in his fly - Phil Liggett. The video is a disgrace to cycling and says everything about what is bad with the sport.

There are plenty of people who love cycling writing about it - we just need more seekers of truth. The difference between journalism and just writing.
 
fatsprintking said:
Real jounalists are not interested in their postiion in the "in crowd" and so they dig in places that they have been told not to and we see that the information is not that hard to get if you have some balls.
The problem is that there isn't often some scandal to report - they're generally once a career stories. The vast majority of the sports pages is just reporting the actual sport. So regardless of how crusading a journalist may want to be, most of the time he has to do the bog standard reporting, otherwise there's nothing to put in the paper. 90% of any job is producing the mundane.

David Walsh understands this and most weeks he is reporting on the actual playing of sport (mostly rugby). Kimmage on the other hand seems to think this is beneath him and thinks the paper exists as a platform for his views. By his own admission he wasn't producing usable copy.

That's why one is the paper's Chief Sports Writer and the other got laid off.
 
Oct 30, 2011
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Mrs John Murphy said:
If a politician or administrator failed the way the media failed, the media would be beating down their door demanding that they resign. However, not one single cycling journalist will quit over this or take responsibility. So not only are the journalists liars or idiots they are also hypocrites.
Unless that administrator is a cycling administrator. Haven't seen much beating down of their doors. The UCI should also face the "liar or idiot?" question in my view. Either you have no control over your sport (so apologise and resign) or you let it go on knowingly (so apologise and resign). I seriously wish more people in positions of power or responsibility were just asked that question more often when stuff goes wrong.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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Parker said:
The problem is that there isn't often some scandal to report - they're generally once a career stories. The vast majority of the sports pages is just reporting the actual sport. So regardless of how crusading a journalist may want to be, most of the time he has to do the bog standard reporting, otherwise there's nothing to put in the paper. 90% of any job is producing the mundane.

David Walsh understands this and most weeks he is reporting on the actual playing of sport (mostly rugby). Kimmage on the other hand seems to think this is beneath him and thinks the paper exists as a platform for his views. By his own admission he wasn't producing usable copy.

That's why one is the paper's Chief Sports Writer and the other got laid off.
Nice attempt at re-writing history.
Most years Kimmage did not write about cycling, he was off interviewing people.
His editors were the ones who wanted him to return and cover the Tours, he preferred to go and report on golf.
 
Jul 15, 2010
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Parker said:
The problem is that there isn't often some scandal to report - they're generally once a career stories. The vast majority of the sports pages is just reporting the actual sport. So regardless of how crusading a journalist may want to be, most of the time he has to do the bog standard reporting, otherwise there's nothing to put in the paper. 90% of any job is producing the mundane.

David Walsh understands this and most weeks he is reporting on the actual playing of sport (mostly rugby). Kimmage on the other hand seems to think this is beneath him and thinks the paper exists as a platform for his views. By his own admission he wasn't producing usable copy.

That's why one is the paper's Chief Sports Writer and the other got laid off.
Unfortunatelly there are constantly scandals to report. Cycling is one sport and look at what it has thrown up over the last 15 years. Has a year gone by where there was not a scandal.

Corruption at the highest level is a story in just about every sport, but there are few that chase it. It is much easier to write romatically about what a great game player x had than to actually do some digging for the stories behind the obvious.

It is not for the lack of scandals - it is that most people take the easier of the options that is presented to them.
 
Jul 28, 2009
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As usual MJM hones in on CN and Benson in particular without much regard for the facts. While MJM is entirely correct to lambast cycling journalism for their collective failure quite why MJM targets CN while simultaneously nestling in the bosom of said organisation is mystifying. Petulantly attacking CNs rather innocuous performance while ignoring the execrable efforts of other cycling media is hard to fathom from a logical perspective.

Of course MJM has nothing to lose and can rant on and post threads about peoples head shape with absolutely no factual basis whatsoever and then climb on a high horse and criticise people for not doing something they are not employed to do. MJM has no idea what may or may have been peoples natural inclination or whether they were happy to lose their livelihood while MJM risked nothing.

I don’t recall any particularly pro-LA line from CN over the years and this contrasts quite markedly with many other cycling media who were active LA supporters and bashed his critics, whose obsequious reporting of LA was quite sickening. Surely these are far more worthy targets for the MJM ire.

Anyway the ‘notorious’ Clinic grew and prospered under the CN umbrella and I can’t imagine that made them popular in certain quarters. As far as I am concerned that is sufficient for me to excuse their ‘sins’ of omission.
 

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