Thoughts from my parents’ basement

Take off your gas mask and hip waders.

It’d be real easy to make jokes and take shots at John Vogl for his Sabres Edge post yesterday. I’m not going to do that. I’ve been a supporter of John Vogl’s work for the Buffalo News on the Sabres beat. I’ve met him, I don’t have a negative opinion of him, and this modern-day “I remember when you could get a Hershey bar for a nickel!” rant isn’t gonna do much to change that.

But it does throw another can of gasoline on the dumpster fire that is traditional media vs. new media. In response to rumors that Sabres center Tim Connolly’s black eye was courtesy of Derek Roy’s fist, Vogl seemed to throw Twitter, and most of his audience, under the bus.

After putting on hip waders, rubber gloves, a gas mask and taking an anti-vomit pill, I ventured to the God-forsaken site and discovered what I expected to discover: One person posted the rumor, and a lot of other people copied and/or linked to the one comment, making it look like more than one person actually had an original thought.

If they had a thought, it should have been to go outside and enjoy the world rather than sit and stare at a computer screen.

As a fellow tweeter succinctly put it, it’s the message, not the medium.

Blaming Twitter for this is misguided. Sure, there’s a sense of being unaccountable for what you say when you don’t require and credentials to say it, but media is heading in that direction. Anyone can be heard. The office water cooler is now on the internet, and there’s no going back.

Adapting to it and accepting the pitfalls is required in today’s age, whether professional journalists such as Vogl likes it or not. It seems like it was a member of the media, former Sabre Matthew Barnaby, who ignited this whole thing with this tweet:

I can’t confirm 100 percent but it looks like roy popped connoly once at the catwalk but not a fight

That’s a member of the media, an employee of ESPN, the worldwide leader, helping spread a rumor. And John Vogl blames this on the people without a credential hanging around their neck? Again, misguided.

As far as Tim Connolly’s black eye, it doesn’t seem to be much of a story, with Derek Roy denying being involved and Lindy Ruff somewhat explaining what happened.

“I didn’t do anything to him,” Roy said. “Trust me. I would not hit a teammate at a charity event, that’s for sure. I’m the last guy in this dressing room, if you ask anybody, who would do anything like that.

“I heard it about it this morning. I’m just upset about it because I didn’t do anything. I don’t know who would smear my name like that. I didn’t do anything.

“Nothing happened. It was obviously a rumor. I don’t know who would make that stuff up. If you want to know what happened, ask him.”

Of course, no word from Timmy yet, so who knows. Until we hear from him, there’s room to wonder.

I’m sure many bloggers may not have spent much effort talking about a black eye with those quotes if the writer didn’t attack a good portion of the readership when he relayed them.

Black eyes go away. When will traditional media’s distaste for new media do the same?

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Posted on November 24, 2010, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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