02.18.08

If Albert Pujols’ Headless Body Is Found In A Topless Bar, Does Deadspin Post The Pic?

Posted in Blogged Down, Sports Journalism, Will Leitch Sucks at 10:25 am by

(aftermath of a prior generation’s Congressional hearing on PED use in athletics)

Asked by SI.com’s Richard Dietsch “why has Deadspin gained cultural currency?”, the ever-humble Will Leitch replies, “I don’t think it is because of my brilliance. I think I was just fortunate enough to have gotten there first.” And while I’m busying penning Leitch a thank-you note for inventing the internet, blogging and blogging about sports, you might enjoy the following excerpts from Dietsch’s interview.

SI.com: Do you consider yourself a journalist?

Leitch:I consider what I do on Deadspin to be based in the foundations of journalism, yes, based on the foundations of journalism that I have been trained and that I certainly use when I write for GQ, The New York Times and so on. Certainly, I think the language can be a little looser on the web, but I am held to the same standards and accuracy everyone else is. If I am wrong, and if I am constantly throwing stuff up on the site that is wrong, trust me, people are more than happy to let me know how wrong I am. And if I do that consistently they will stop coming to the site. That is the key thing. If I have no credibility, people will stop coming to the site. People are not stupid. And, frankly, with the other places I write for, if I had a reputation for using very lax journalistic principles, I doubt some of these places would want me to work for them.

SI.com:
Would you print a photo of a beheaded athlete?

Leitch: To be honest, it depends on the circumstances. I suppose if I found an athlete from 30 years ago, uh, gross, no. I think that would be a question SI.com would have as well. And there would be discretion where I would say, after the jump, if what you really want to do is look, here it is.

SI.com:
If Sports Illustrated had photos of Will Leitch drunk, should we post that on SI.com?

Leitch: Well, I don’t know if that would sell that much on your site. But it would be hypocritical of me to be upset about that, and they are already on the Web anyway. It’s not hard to find. Certainly, I’m not sure you would find much success posting them, but you have every right to that.

Indeed, there’s not much cultural currency to be gained in running tipsy party snapshots of Will. Photos of him perpetuating ugly ethnic stereotypes, however, are pure traffic gold, as evidenced from CSTB’s nearly 3 figures in advertising revenue earned last month.

6 Responses to “If Albert Pujols’ Headless Body Is Found In A Topless Bar, Does Deadspin Post The Pic?”

  1. Brushback says:

    It seems lame that S.I. and places like that keep running to Leitch for comments and interviews, as if someone higher up is saying, “This guy is doing something worthwhile, let’s go see what he’s up to and give some coverage to it.” Leitch must be jerking himself off at night just thinking about it. “Wow, the mainstream media thinks I’m a good story!” fwap fwap fwap

  2. GC says:

    hmm. well, to take a halfway rational view (not one I’m used to admittedly), I kinda doubt Dietsch’s editors are on his ass about interviewing Will. For one thing, the SI writer admits they’re pals — and for all of Will’s oh-shucks-I-guess-I-stumbled-into-sports-blogging schtick, the fact of the matter is, he’s long been well connected with a bunch of nu media insiders.

    Given that Deadspin is a) a highly trafficked (if not influential) site and b) Will can now add “best selling author” to his resume alongside “goofy sounding TV pundit”, he’s as worthy an interview subject as any other. The NPR thing aside, however, most of these interviews are pretty feeble.

    Will’s already on record as characterizing himself as “apolitical”. Which is certainly one way of describing someone who professes no desire to appear on ESPN television, but has few qualms about turning up on Fox News.

  3. Rog says:

    That’s funny, he’s registered as a Democrat. Not that that means anything anymore…

  4. Mark Swiderski says:

    I wonder if it gives Leitch pause that a discussion of his journalistic ethics begins and ends with the issue of what level of sports-related debauchery he’d be willing to run a photo of. Keep fighting the good fight, Will …

  5. GC says:

    if anti-American forces ever choose to behead Chris Berman, I promise not to run a photo or embed the video clip.

    Unless of course, someone else in the blogosphere has already done so first, in which case it’s totally ok.

  6. Leitch Sucks Donkey Balls says:

    This guy has been a complete choad for most of his life. I hate how he gets accolades as being so “nice”. Whatever. The guys is a piece of crap, his writing is sub-par and he’s had an titanic-sized ego WAY before he was even a name in sports blogging/journalism.

    Even though he’s leaving Deadspin for some cush columnist job at New York, I really can’t wait for the day when he no longer has a career.

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