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And Another Thing

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No, no, a thousand times no

So here's where I go all geezer on you (shaking my bony fist, croaking "You kids get off my lawn!").

I'm referring to this -- a freelance "journalist" named Tom Bowles who was fired by Sports Illustrated for applauding Trevor Bayne's victory in the Daytona 500.

If that seems a trifle extreme, keep in mind that he probably wasn't fired for the act itself. He was fired for idiotically defending it.

And here's where my inner geezer starts ranting and raving, because the most disturbing aspect of this is not that Bowles defended himself and continues to -- that just means he's a knucklehead -- but that the guy writing this piece seems to think it was heroic of him to stand up to SI's antiquated notions of what constitutes proper behavior in the sports journalism realm.

Yeah, maybe it is antiquated. But sometimes antiquated's right. And I find in the defense of Bowles, and in his own defense of his actions, more evidence that the blogosphere is eroding traditional journalistic standards, in favor of no standards. In the brave new world of anybody-can-be-a-journalist-as-long-as-they-can-access-Typepad, cheering in the pressbox is OK, because, after all, we all have our allegiances.

Maybe so. But you don't put them out there. And if you do, you're not really a journalist. You're ... well, just a guy with access to Typepad.

That said, I'm not surprised this happened at an auto race. The motorsports press is, shall we say, different. It's much more inclined to blithely step across ethical lines in a way you never see in any other sport. I see it all the time when I walk into the IMS pressbox and see writers for the various motorsports trade sheets rocking not just event gear but actual team gear that they probably didn't pay for. I can't imagine a Colts beat writer showing up in the pressbox wearing a Peyton Manning jersey, but in motorsports it happens all the time.

Every time I see it, it makes me cringe. Just like I cringe every time a winning driver finishes with his post-race presser and the writers in attendance break into applause.

Not cool, young people. Not cool at all.

Ben Smith's blog.

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