The following is from REBOOT reader and occasional contributor Luke Seubert.
Bringing Balance to Mary Kay Cabot Bashing
First of all, let me state clearly for the record that, yes, Mary Kay Cabot throws softballs and rewrites a lot of press releases and press conference drivel. Unlike a lot of MKC critics, however, I do not blame her for this. Most journalists working for mainstream media write drivel these days. So what else is new?
Let’s take a short walk in MKC’s sensible shoes, shall we? Mary Kay’s profession is sports reporting on the Cleveland Browns. This is how she pays the bills. This isn’t a hobby for her, like it is for so very many Cleveland sports bloggers, even though these hobbyists often provide much better football analysis and insight than she does. She works for a paycheck, she works for a boss, and she works for an institution, a bureaucracy, and yes – a dinosaur. And she wants to keep on paying those bills. How best should she do this?
Look at what happened to her colleague at the Plain Dealer, Tony Grossi. Tony let loose an accidental private Twitter comment into the public Twitter-verse, one which was absolutely true and correct, and eloquent as well, but one which was insulting for its veracity. Despite Grossi’s immediate apology, and later several private, kowtowing and humilating apologies, the Plain Dealer did NOT stand up for Tony. Instead, the bootlicking cowards at the PD threw Grossi under the bus for a trivial mistake that offended a wealthy and powerful family with lots of Cleveland connections.
Now, after watching that fiasco, what do you think Mary Kay was thinking? She knows for a fact that her employer does not and never will have her back. If they didn’t back up Tony, they sure as hell aren’t going to back up the likes of her. And so, since MKC wants to eat and pay the rent and likes her job well enough, she is sure to write a lot of tame mush which pleases both her employers and the Browns.
And her employer, the Plain Dealer, like most newspapers in America, has steadily for decades now dumbed down its content to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Mary Kay writes crap because the Plain Dealer is in the business of selling crap. Her editors order her to write crap. Crap pleases the Browns, it pleases the PD, and it pleases the numbskull knuckledraggers who read the PD. So Mary Kay writes crap. Big wup.
Ironically, where would the Cleveland Browns bloggers be without this crap? For you see, when Browns bloggers need to fill their own column inches, when they need to write some filler crap of their own, what do they do? They bash MKC and the PD. They write crap about crap. HA HA. HA HA HA HA HA! That’s so droll. Crap about crap.
Even more ironically, these same bloggers rely on the PD for basic sports coverage – that tedious, mind-numbing rewriting of press releases and transcriptions of press conferences and asking of inane, repetitious questions – for much of their Browns news and basic facts. If the PD and its assorted ilk disappeared tomorrow, Browns bloggers would be in a very, very deep hole because a major source of their news about the Browns, news and facts which they analyze to develop thoughtful and worthwhile blog posts, would be gone. They would have to tune in to the likes of the Kiley & Booms show for their Browns news. Ugh. I kid you not kids – this could be the reality of things within a decade.
So folks, let’s bring some balance to MKC bashing. Does Mary Kay write crap? Yes. Is it her fault she writes crap? No. She is a mere cog in the machine, a machine which demands and produces drivel. This is how she earns her living, and she enjoys her job well enough. Don’t blame her for all the ills of modern journalism and the contemporary media market.
And for you bloggers out there who so love to get all snarky on MKC, the PD, and the other mainstream media outlets; try making every single one of your posts superlative and crap free. Never again fill up space on a slow, writer-blocked day with a deadline screaming in your face by writing your own crap about crap.
And show a little gratitude for the tedious and boring grunt work that these reporters do actually do. Be grateful that MKC and her colleagues had a 100% attendance record at Pat Shurmer press conferences these past two years, so that none of you would have to take time off from your real jobs to be there and write down every pearl of wit and wisdom from the Shurminator. Yes, be very grateful.
I have a lot of thoughts regarding this post, but I figured I would let the REBOOT readers have their say. Have your take in the COMMENTS at the bottom of the page.
First, this is a strong effort from Luke – a reader I have previously asked to contribute to the site. In terms of creating a healthy dialogue, Luke has staked a position that runs counter to the current topic and really, to the very essence of what some blogs try to accomplish.
More later. Thanks, Luke.
And also check out Tom Moore’s take on this subject – from a year ago. Also worth your time: