Blog Discussion #2

Hi all —

 

Please read this account of the Twitter debate between Buzz Bissinger, his followers and Mark Cuban.  Also, read the original column by Bissinger.   Please weigh in on both the column and the Twitter debate.  What do you think about the tone and tenor of the Twitter discussion?

 

Steve

 

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8 Responses to Blog Discussion #2

  1. The Twitter argument between Buzz Bissinger and the original article by Bissinger has shown me how not behave on Twitter as a journalist. Many of Bissinger’s comments contained a number of profanity, making him look unprofessional and too sensitive. We all know Mark Cuban can be an asshole. He has proved it time and again with his comments and rnats to the media. However, I think Bissinger went overboard in his reaction to Cuban calling him a coward. Bussinger should have thought about who was making the comment. This is Mark Cuban, he loves nothing better than pissing people off and saying thing to get under your skin. Despite all of the bickering and foul language exchanged between Bussinger and Cuban, it seems like everything has been worked out between the two. 15 minutes ago Bussinger posted on his Twitter that he and Cuban had a talk before the Mavericks-76ers game. Cuban explained he called Bussinger a coward because he knew it would anger him and get under his skin. They did not discuss the issue of race in the NBA. I guess it just goes to show you have to keep your cool and stay professional as a journalist. You’re not going to agree or enjoy everything people have to say about you or a topic you wrote about. Therefore, don’t take yourself too seriously and roll with the punches. If you don’t then you’ll have a hard time getting through life.

  2. Kimya Hedayat-Zadeh says:

    The article by Buzz Bissenger has an interesting theory about correlations between race and NBA/NFL/MLB audiences. It’s obviously an opinion column based heavily on Bissenger’s own experiences and loosely on studies, so it’s in no way a technical “case study,” but it is an important take on the topic and he seems to have the background to make his case, although it is troubling to make blanket statements like “…I know that whites ascribe very different characteristics to black athletes than they do white ones.”

    The Twitter argument was pretty scary. I had a hard time understanding why an established journalist would get so defensive. He became so angry that he resorted to the stereotypes his column discussed. It would have been wiser to let Mark Cuban and others say what they will on Twitter.It would have only been productive to respond if the atmosphere of forum was interested in actually discussing the topic, not just egging on the fight. It’s hard to have a discussion like that on Twitter sometimes.

  3. juxtapolaris says:

    From poking around its website, I wouldn’t take much from The Daily Beast seriously. It seems to rely on one-sided and opinionated content over real journalism. There are even video clips of The Daily Show linked to political topics. With that said, the article by Bissinger seems to fit right in. If I wrote this piece for a class, I’d hope to receive a failing grade. I have a lot of respect for my journalism professors for instilling some sense of right and wrong in my critiquing of news writing. Bissinger’s piece would be interesting, insightful, and even groundbreaking if it were real news. A sociological study could be made on the subject of racial effects on the NBA industry and the results would be news worthy. This piece is basically Bissinger flirting with academia by trying to use personal observations and a few statistics to prove his theory. I don’t find it racist, in fact race in professional sports, and any institution for that matter, is important to think about. But journalism shouldn’t be two-sided where sometimes writers research and report facts and issues in a credible manner and then go on to write these opinionated pieces. It’s confusing and revelatory; neither of which should be the traits of a serious journalist. The opinions of people matter, however the piece didn’t have a single quote while it sported claims of actual interviewing. I know it’s a column, but these columns start trouble and I find that I rarely learn anything from them anyway.

    As for the Twitter scrap, coward is a strong word. It challenges someone’s reputation and personal honor. I think Mark Cuban was reasonable in calling out Bissinger, as it revealed the journalists potential for flying off the handle, but using Twitter and name-calling isn’t the way to start a debate over anything. Sometimes in high school, students who got into arguments with other students online via AIM and whatnot would bring print outs of the conversations to resource officers and discipline would always be swift due to the usually intense nature of the conflict. There’s something about the Internet that makes confrontation especially hostile and personal. It also makes it look silly and quite pathetic. That was high school, however. Anyway, at least the issue of race in the NBA was brought to the table, Buzz Bissinger’s credibility as a journalist will be questioned by readers, and hopefully people will see the Twitter transcripts and realize that we’re headed for the age where people publicly duke it out 140 characters at a time.

  4. reroberts says:

    For starters, Bissinger’s tweets are unprofessional and utterly ridiculous. He spouts off 7-8 nasty tweets about Cuban in as many minutes, and while Cuban was also out of line for calling him a coward, I don’t blame him for ignoring someone who sounds as farfetched about his NBA race theory as Bill O’Reilly on Fox News.

    Bissinger doesn’t use any of the research tools journalists are supposed to present to their audience. His observations are for himself to interpret, not to turn around and use as proof for his illegitimate theory. There are many other factors and reasons that could affect attendance, none of which he presents.

    Could it be that the reason why whites who once watched Stockton and Bird don’t watch anymore because of a simple thing called life? And I can’t speak for Bissinger or the crowd he rolls with, but I don’t understand how the color of a player’s skin makes it so fans cannot identify with them. For those who love the game of basketball, they will identify with the team name on the jersey, not the race of the player. Also, I wouldn’t mind seeing the stats on which teams have attendance down, because I would bet teams like Boston, Miami, San Antonia, and Los Angeles are doing just fine in terms of attendance. And for teams that aren’t doing well, sometimes all it takes is a superstar to get fans back in the arena. If the team never wins, and there isn’t anyone on the team that fans are willing to pay a good chunk of money to see, then obviously nobody is going to watch. Almost half of the teams in the NBA have a losing record, which doesn’t surprise me considering the stock-piling of superstars these days. You also have to consider the impact that trades have on fan-player identification. Back in the day players didn’t hop around like they do now, making it easier for fans to get to know and identify with their team. Bissinger’s right about one thing, the game is definitely changing, but his comments are out of line and his theory is crap.

  5. After reading Buzz Bissinger’s column, I have to say he is very brave for putting his name on a controversial topic such as racism. You rarely ever hear/read anything on racism today because people make it a point to keep it very hush-hush. However, it is clear that the information he wrote in this column was of his own opinion, and only his own opinion. He has no other evidence to back up his case on whether the actual decrease in attendence at NBA events is because of race. The statistics on the African American/White player ratio in the NBA is substancial evidence but no where does he show statistics of the white audience decrease, especially due to racism. After reading it, I can see why this column did stir up a bit of trouble.

    As for the Twitter debate, I have to say I am embarrassed for Bissinger. After reading through all of his tweets, I lost all respect for him as a journalist (and I am sure I am not the only one). It is understandable for someone to stand up for themselves when being called a coward, but when it is taken to that extent, it almost seems very immature. There was no need for many of the remarks that Bissinger said, and there is certainly no need to curse, espeically when you respresent a source of media (whether it be The Daily Beast or the New York Times). Bissinger tried to be a man by responding to Cuban’s tweet, but in reality, it just made him look foolish.

  6. jchambers12 says:

    The Twitter debate between Buzz Bissinger and Mark Cuban was intense and very insightful to read. I found it discouraging to watch two successful men acting like school boys over an opinionated piece Bissinger wrote. It definitely brought light on how NOT to use Twitter for your own personal gain. Since I’ve heard of Twitter and its craze in the world these days I never thought of it to be a public forum for insults and low blows. Guess I was wrong?
    I think the discussion was ineffective. There is a way to have civil opinionated discussions without calling each other names such as “ass” or “coward.” Those words just raised the level of anger in Bissinger and Cuban. It resorted them into just having a battle of insults rather than an educated discussion regarding Bissinger’s article. However, I found Bissinger very defensive, childish, and basically downright rude because Cuban disagreed with him. I found Cuban’s use of “coward” far less hurtful than Bissinger’s tweets.

  7. arwaldma says:

    I agree with everyones comments so far. Bissinger comes across as an insecure little baby, fighting and confronting everyone who posts on his thread as if he’s the only one who has a right to display his opinion. I was also supremely disappointed when the fray settled and Cuban gave Bissinger floor seats, where they met the next day and acted like they weren’t calling each other names on the internet. For more in depth thoughts check out my blog post,
    http://alexanderwaldman.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/fight-night-twitter-edition/

  8. jlvarney says:

    This definitely shows how not to use twitter as a journalist. It should be used as a tool to have a conversation with your readers, not have an expletive-filled argument. Readers are always going to leave comments a writer doesn’t agree with, the writer has to learn not to take it personally. Bissinger should’ve just shut the computer off and walked away. He needed to cool down and then think before he typed or hit send. This rant of tweets damages his reputation as a journalist. He should put as much thought into each tweet he sends as he does to each sentence he writes in an article. Speaking of his article, he made the mistake of giving his controversial opinion without any real facts to back his argument up. It is just like the Collegian article we spoke about in class the other day. Even when you are giving your opinion you still have to do research and reporting. Especially if it is controversial and you know people are going to try to rip holes in it. The facts are what you base your argument on, if you don’t have facts, like in Bissinger’s case, you have nothing to back you up and leave yourself more open to this kind of criticism.

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