Monday, April 22nd, 2013
The topic of Rick Wolff‘s radio program “The Sports Edge,” on WFAN–it focuses on children’s sports–continued to be coaches who bully, in the aftermath of the Rutgers basketball scandal. During yesterday’s show he said he’s heard of countless examples of bullying in other school and college sports programs and asked listeners to share examples.
One of the callers was a wrestling coach who admitted to losing it after he observed one of his best athletes giving up at a major tournament after the first round of three. He said he dressed down the student the next day, screaming, yelling, using the f-bomb, underscoring what a disappointment the kid was to himself and if this wasn’t bad enough, he did it in front of the team.
Meanwhile, last week, Rupert Murdoch refused to apologize for the New York Post‘s decision to run images of two men who were not the Boston Marathon bombers. “On Media” Politico.com columnist Dylan Byers reported that the Murdoch-owned paper was the only major print publication to use the photos.
Murdoch said that as soon as the FBI changed course–it was they who had distributed the photos but it wasn’t clear that the bureau meant the media to receive them–the paper removed the photos. As Byers noted, Murdoch obviously couldn’t delete them from the already-distributed printed copies.
In a statement, wrote Byers, the paper’s editor-in-chief, Col Allan, wrote that the two men weren’t identified as suspects. The headline associated with the image: “Bag Men: Feds Seek These Two Pictured at the Boston Marathon.” The bag reference was to the bags they carried.
So what about the reputations of the young men implicated by the headline that flirted with accusation? Are they collateral damage in the quest to be first with the news so it’s OK?
I’m sure that a smart lawyer could figure out a slippery way for Murdoch or Allan to sound as though they were sorry should their coverage have given the “Bag Men” or their families a start. Maybe one of them, like the coach, will meet with the young men.
Are public figures so afraid of being sued that they won’t apologize? Or is it a macho thing? Does this attitude then filter down to the rest of us so that often vendors respond “no problem” instead of “I’m sorry” when you ask them to right a mistake? Or have some successful people forgotten that they can and do make errors and that the thing to do is to apologize?