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Are Bloggers To Blame For Kitchen-gate?

I hate that this business with Maxwell has become such a story.  Partly because I'm not big on gossip and the tearing down of celebrities simply because they are famous.  And partly because I worked hard on the other posts I've put up in the last day or so and they have been largely ignored in favor of this tripe.

However, one angle of the story that needs to be addressed is the role of bloggers like me in the course of a story.  For instance, WEEI and other sources have indicated that we are blowing it way out of proportion. 

The line of reasoning is that Cedric was using his "Tommy Heinson voice" and pretending to say something outrageous as a joke.  Here's the thing: I can't tell you if that is true because I wasn't listening to the WEEI broadcast and I have yet to hear it for myself.  All I had to go on yesterday was another blogger's reporting of the events.

In fact, my discovery of the incident was via a 3rd blog - the AOL Fanhouse blog.  I read that entry and was shocked by the comments as they appeared in print.  Sadly, that blogger didn't gain much credibility by referring to Maxwell as an "essential reserve" on the 80's teams whose greatest skill was "towel waving."  Obviously he was mistaking Max for ML Carr.  He goes on to condemn Maxwell (as many commenters on this blog have done - including myself).

For my part, I decided to bypass that blog and quote the original source (Universal Hub) directly.  In the blog post, I quoted only the source and added no additional commentary, letting the reader make the call for themselves. 

Time for introspection:  Could I have handled that differently?  Should I have added a disclaimer that I had not heard the comments for myself and thus cannot vouch for the context of the comments?  Perhaps.  In matters like this, I do think an additional layer of disclaimer is necessary.  On the other hand: Should I have avoided the story altogether?  I don't think so.  This was newsworthy before I touched it because it had been reported by two other blogs already.

What of the comments themselves (and the subsequent explanation/rationalization)?  I must say, even if he was making the comments in jest, they were (as the WEEI rep stated) a poor attempt at humor.  If he was using his "Tommy Heinson voice," does that imply that he thinks Tommy is sexist?  I doubt that he does, so one would have to hope he's targeting some other unknown person or persons that share that viewpoint.  Again, it is hard to know what his intentions were without hearing the clip.

Still, in any light, the comments are regrettable and out of place on a Celtics broadcast.  This isn't a matter of freedom of speech.  It is a matter of representing your position of employment the best you can.  In that regard, Max fell short and the apology is necessary.

I don't think "bloggers" made the situation any better, and certainly some blogs are more reliable than others.  I'm hoping that mine is viewed as one of the better ones as I strive to give you the most accurate information possible (as opposed to the most buzz-creating slant).

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