The Media Learning Curve: Aug. 20-27


Denver Post sports columnist Dave Kreiger is tired of being singled out as working with a bunch of idiots.

So here’s a dumb idea: Strength in numbers. Odd, even or prime.


In his latest column (linked here), he suggests starting a new media organization called “Dumbest Guys in the Room.”

“This organization is open to men, women and any other primates capable of composing an e-mail. Applications for membership should be sent to”


“The mission of Dumbest Guys in the Room will be to restore sports media’s good name. Or give it a good name for the first time. Whichever.

“It will not be an easy task. The media in general already rank down there with mortgage brokers, politicians and Lindsay Lohan in public esteem. On the bright side, the fact that I just mentioned Lindsay Lohan should improve the search-engine optimization of this column.

“The deterioration of our reputation is easier to figure out than the solution. To stem declines in readership and viewership, we embraced provocation and sensation because provocative and sensational sell better than considered and correct. Political parties are discovering pretty much the same thing.”

It concludes, for those too dumb to click on that link above and read it for yourself, thus giving the newspaper another click on its website so someone counting beans and quantifying current Internet ad revenue possibilities will have something to do:

“It’s a zoo out there. There are shrill, self-righteous arbiters of human behavior such as ESPN’s (Jay) Mariotti; thoughtful, self-conscious judges such as (Miami Herald columnist Dan) Le Batard; and thousands of writers and editors doing their best to be considered and correct. It is little different from the sprawling range of behavior among doctors, lawyers and, yes, even Internet entrepreneurs.

“It is, in short, the spectrum of human nature, from glorious to hideous. I think I can report with a fair degree of certainty that this variety is not unique to our business. But it is true that provocative and sensational get a disproportionate share of the attention.

“We can do better. And even if we are the Dumbest Guys in the Room, we aim to try.”


Not a dumb idea at all. Who but us to clean up our image?

Maybe we should start by issuing Smart Phones to all the smart alecks out there who have remained in this profession rather than thrown in the towel, or started a bed and breakfast somewhere in Oxnard-annex.

What else you need to know in the media world aside from today’s column (linked here):

== Derek Fisher is the guest host today on ESPN”s “Jim Rome Is Burning” (1:30 p.m.) and his in-studio guest: Kobe Bryant.

== John McEnroe, speak (linked here).

== CBS’ NFL broadcasting lineup includes paring Lakers radio play-by-play man Spero Dedes with former Crespi High and UCLA star Randy Cross on regional games. Dedes’ first three assignments: Cleveland at Tampa Bay (Sept. 12); Buffalo at Green Bay (Sept. 19) and Oakland at Arizona (Sept. 26).

The rest of the CBS teams: Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf, Ian Eagle (replacing Dick Enberg) and Dan Fouts, Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots, Gus Johnson and Steve Tasker, Bill Macatee and Rich Gannon, and Don Criqui with Steve Beuerlein.

== Pam Ward and Doris Burke will call the Sparks’ WNBA playoff game against Seattle (Saturday, noon, Staples Center, ESPN2).

== Showtime confirmed that “Inside the NFL” will return with James Brown, Cris Collinsworth, Phil Simms and Warren Sapp, starting Wednesday, Sept. 8 at 10 p.m.

== NBC’s coverage of the U.S. Amateur golf championship from Washington goes Saturday and Sunday from 1-3 p.m. Dan Hicks, Gary Koch, Roger Maltbie and Dottie Pepper will do it. As the leadins: NBC also has the highlights from U.S. Open of Surfing championship from Huntington Beach on Saturday (noon, Channel 4) hosted by Pat Parnell, while Paul Sunderland is joined by Ato Boldon, Lewis Johnson and Dwight Stones on the taped coverage of the Diamond League Track and Field event Sunday (noon, Channel 4) from Brussels, Belgium.

== CBS has Bill Macatee and Mary Carillo at the final of the WTA’s Pilot Pen Tennis event from New Haven, Conn. (Channel 2, 11 a.m., Sunday), the final women’s tournament before the U.S. Open.

== The Baseball Hall of Fame will begin posting candidates for its 2011 Ford C. Frick Award given to a broadcaster. From Sept. 1-30, fans can vote through the museum’s Facebook page ( to pick three candidates that will be included on the final 10-name ballot for the award, which is voted on by a 20-member panel that includes Vin Scully, Jaime Jarrin and Jerry Coleman and will be announced in December.

== Fox goes with Philadelphia at San Diego (Saturday, 1 p.m., Channel 11) with Josh Lewis and Eric Karros as its MLB Game of the Week. ESPN’s Sunday game: Boston at Tampa Bay; TBS takes N.Y. Yankees at Chicago White Sox at 11 a.m. Sunday.

== A reminder: A celebration of the life of former Kings colorman and L.A. radio legend Dan Avey will be today in the Empire Room at the Sportsman’s Lodge in Studio City from 4-7 p.m.



AOL’s FanHouse announced Thursday morning that it has suspended columnist Jay Mariotti indefinitely following his weekend arrest on suspicion of felony domestic assault.

FanHouse told Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch (linked here): “We are continuing to gather all the facts. In the meantime, we have suspended Jay Mariotti and are not featuring any new work from him.”

Also, Mariotti won’t be on ESPN’s “Around The Horn” ianytime soon. The show has been thankfully off the air this week with the Little League World Series coverage, and an ESPN spokesman said Mariotti is “not scheduled” for next week. Mariotti had also been subbing on local ESPN affiliate, KSPN-AM (710) in the last few weeks. Not that we know much more than that, because whenever we heard his voice, we’d switch to NPR.

Earlier this week, Deitsch examined the sort of glee that some blogs are experiencing in “reporting” on this Mariotti story (linked here).

On our radar, like Glenn Beck, we’ve tuned Mariotti out months ago. Nothing gained, nothing lost. Not even the irony of this whole mess, and its message, is amusing enough to muse about. Except to say: Karma.

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