Tuesday, February 1, 2011

King doesn't make excuses for mistakes

By Jeff

SI's Peter King wrote a little snippet yesterday in his Monday Morning Quarterback column that many people got upset over.

King wrote that Roger Goodell spoke to about two dozen Steelers players and not one of them came to Ben Roethlisberger's defense in regards to his alleged sexual assault last year and his qualities as a person.

Apparently King messed up and inserted the "Steelers" part in the quote. King clarified the error today. This makes it a less important story, as it's not a big deal if players on other teams don't have Roethlisberger's back. Why should they? They want to beat him and they're not in the Steelers' locker room. If this had come from Steelers players, then it could have been a real distraction for the team.

I mention this correction because King took full responsibility for the mistake in his column today. That's what good journalists do. They admit when they screw up and don't make excuses. King doesn't claim he was given bad information, he just explained how he messed up and how there was no excuse for it.

The situation immediately made me think of a story reported by Ken Laird on ESPN Radio 1250 Pittsburgh (It's now 970) last year. Laird reported that anonymous, yet reliable, sources inside the Steelers' locker room told him that offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was having a meeting with Mike Tomlin and was going to be fired.

Well, they had a meeting, but Arians was not fired. Laird came on the next day and instead of just saying he screwed up, he proceeded to make excuses. He kept saying how he had reliable sources and prior to the meeting Tomlin was leaning toward firing Arians.


Laird wanted to be the first person to have the story and reported it prematurely. That's the danger of today's 24/7 news cycle. We all want our news immediately and news organizations try to feed that need. Unfortunately, this leads to mistakes.

All I want is for people to admit they screwed up and apologize for it. That's what King did and he has my respect for doing so.

Barenaked Ladies - Lovers in a Dangerous Time

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