Dirk Hoag at Predators blog On The Forecheck has had his share of run-ins with the way The Tennesean covers hockey, going so far at times to urge readers to cancel their subscriptions with the paper. Today, they're at it again with a byline about how Pavel Datsyuk finally shook off the shackles of his defense-only play and ran roughshod over the Predators in a rare offensive outburst for the apparent defenseman.
Dirk does an excellent job over there of giving Datsyuk his due by pointing out that for each of the last seven seasons, Datsyuk's output would have made him Nashville's leading scorer and explains that the story run in The Tennessean itself is taken straight from the AP, since the paper didn't send their beat writer Josh Cooper along on the road trip. The article itself isn't the problem, it's the headline and byline tacked on by some lazy editor who couldn't be bothered to take the 30 seconds it would have required to fact check and find out that Datsyuk is 1. not a defenseman and 2. only a "rare" point producer in the sense that players with his skillset are not common in the NHl.
So, anybody want to guess whether I go to the mainstream Tennessee media or the bloggers when I'm looking for news about the Predators? Why do we have to keep having the debate about credentials and accountability again? If all bloggers are going to be looked over with the same lens when talking about what harm or good they do, then all traditional news outlets, national and local should get the same treatment. I'd like to see The Sporting News have to keep defending their right to coverage every time some rinky-dink daily rag with more than half-a-million subscribers gets something wrong.
[For the record, I have never been denied credentials because I have never requested them. Not a lot of good a guy in Kansas is going to do with a press pass to the Joe Louis Arena - I just think the arguments against the quality bloggers who actually do want that access are ridiculous]