Dude Who’d Make a Subpar Blogger Attacks Blogs

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

I’ve never really understood the appeal of Stephen A. Smith, a guy whose comparative advantage seems to be his willingness to say “controversial” (though not really) things, and his superhuman ability maintain “angry black man face” for . . . well . . . so far, his entire career. Does the guy ever smile?

All of which makes this comment from Smith on how to “fix” journalism especially douche-y:

“…when you look at the internet business, what’s dangerous about it is that people who are clearly unqualified get to disseminate their piece to the masses. I respect the journalism industry, and the fact of the matter is …someone with no training should not be allowed to have any kind of format whatsoever to disseminate to the masses to the level which they can. They are not trained. Not experts.”

What exactly is Smith’s expertise? Near as I can tell, it’s talking really loud with an aura of exaggerated faux-frankness.

Also, isn’t Smith’s shtick supposed to be that he fills some sort of populist niche in sports commentary? How exactly does that jibe with him being an elitist asshole?

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17 Responses to “Dude Who’d Make a Subpar Blogger Attacks Blogs”

  1. #1 |  The Johnny Appleseed Of Crack | 

    He’s Stephen A. Smith, everything he says is important

  2. #2 |  va | 

    Johnny Appleseed, are you familiar with the Stephen A. Smith Heckling Society of Gentlemen?

  3. #3 |  Ruud | 

    All good points. Ever since he said that NFL teams should kick potentially game-winning FG on 3rd down so they could have a second attempt on 4th down if they missed, I immediately turn the channel when he’s on.

  4. #4 |  Nando | 

    I’ve never liked him. He’s a yeller (all he does is yell) and I can’t stand his personality.

  5. #5 |  Dave Krueger | 

    I’m not sure what he is referring to when he speaks of the journalism “industry”, but if it includes Fox, CNN, ABC, etc, then they deserve no respect.

    Unfortunately, it seems that many people consider the 1st Ammendment to be aimed ONLY at protecting journalistic press freedom and not indivdual freedom of speech. As more activities become prohibited by anyone not a “trained professional” it’s not too far fetched to see the argument made that news should be left to the pros. Bloggers will be required to be licensed by the government and show themselves to be “responsible” as radio stations are now forced to do. If I had a dime for everytime the internet is portrayed as being out of control and dangerous, I’d take everyone out to dinner. And by “everyone” I mean everyone on the planet. And I’d have change left over.

  6. #6 |  John M | 

    I took the deposition of a neurosurgeon earlier in the week. I freely acknowledge that I couldn’t do his job, not even if I went to medical school and certainly not without training. I don’t have the same impression of sportswriters. Most sportswriters aren’t “experts” in the sense of having training or experience relevant to the sports that they cover. They are trained as journalists, meaning they may know more than the typical blogger about how to write a straight AP-style game report or how to squeeze a coherent argument into a typical newspaper column, but they don’t have any more “expertise” than a hardcore, thoughtful sports fan (and often have quite less). I understand why people like Steven A. Smith are defensive. Beat sports reporters will always have a purpose–someone has to prepare the box score, get the player quotes, provide injury reports, and so on. But general columnists? Who cares? Most of the outstanding sports commentary and analysis these days is online, where the length/brevity/deadline constraints of a print paper aren’t in play. Some of these writers are with mainstream sites and others are unaffiliated bloggers. It says something about sportswriting as a profession requiring “expertise” that many of the best, most insightful sports commentary these days is written on the side by people with day jobs.

  7. #7 |  Jack | 

    The fact that he can’t distinguish between format and forum really drives his point home.

  8. #8 |  Chris | 

    I had never even heard the name before today. (I suppose it has something to do with not being interested in sports.) The article was pretty funny for me to read as I had no previous opinion on this guy and after Googling some other quotes, I can say I really agree with your assessment of him.

  9. #9 |  norbizness | 

    Did they clone Scoop Jackson from him?

  10. #10 |  bob | 

    In addition to drooling at the thought of taxing it, the government would go orgasmic over a decent excuse to regulate the internet.

    Then those annoying little phenomenon of freedom, such as the Ron Paul Revolution, could be nipped in the bud.

  11. #11 |  Matt Moore | 



  12. #12 |  Rick | 

    You hit the nail on the head. This guy is an elitist asshole. What makes him think that just because you have a career in journalism, you are ipso facto competent, intelligent, and ethical? He obviously believes free speech of the public kind is only for competent, intelligent, and ethical persons such as himself.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he runs for public office next. God help us!

  13. #13 |  FP | 

    Hardly surprising and is the typical “I may be out of a job soon” attitude of “professional journalists”. The fourth estate isn’t exactly a harbinger of quality news reporting these days. The NYT and Jason Blair being one such example. Days and days coverage of Anna Nicole Smith by major networks another.

  14. #14 |  Alex | 

    With Skip Bayless, Colin Cowherd, and Lou Holtz, Screamin A. Smith is at most the fourth most ridiculous person associated with the 4 letter network. I’d double their airtime though if it meant no more World Series with Joe Morgan.

  15. #15 |  J sub D | 

    Janet Cooke http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/day/04_17_2001.html

    Stephan Glass

    Jayson Blair

    Journalists one and all. Trained experts as it were. Nuff said.

  16. #16 |  Kwix | 

    “someone with no training should not be allowed to have any kind of format whatsoever to disseminate to the masses to the level which they can. They are not trained. Not experts.”
    Hrrm, then I guess that would have excluded Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine. What a shame they weren’t trained experts or we might have actually had a revolution.

  17. #17 |  Bad | 

    Let’s be honest: most sports commentary is so abysmally stupid that it’s hard to believe that anyone can take it seriously. How many variations of “if we had scored more goals, we would have won” can you listen to before you realize that stating the obvious is not a form of analysis?