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Saturday, January 3, 2015
THE DETROIT SPORTS MEDIA "BLUE WALL"
Joe Rexrode is the best sports reporter in the Detroit market, let's get that out of the way right here at the top. We are not criticizing the work of Rexrode, nor are we saying he is part of a pro-Michigan conspiracy at the Detroit Free Press. But he works in a blue-biased-bubble at the Freep (though that publication is not necessarily the worst offender in yellow-and-blue journalism).
So it wasn't surprising to see a very unflattering picture of Spartan Football Head Coach Mark Dantonio topping an article that claimed he was somehow inadequate because he wanted to talk about the Cotton Bowl at a Cotton Bowl press conference. You may recall only a few short days ago how the sports media was trying to hijack every interview with every sports figure and turn it into a Jim Harbaugh Retrospective. Dantonio was the only one to put a lid on such attempts, closing off the impulse to distort every American sporting event into a showcase for the University of Michigan.
He was right to do so. Dantonio knew that he wasn't a guest on the Jim Rome Show in Dallas, he was coaching a team to play in the Cotton Bowl.
Dantonio wanted questions about his team and/or
his coaches, and maybe a few about Baylor as well.
Not another episode of "All About Michigan".
Shawn Windsor of the Freep attacked Dantonio the next day, claiming he was deficient for not playing along with the sports media bias in favor of UM. Windsor essentially was saying that the MSU Head Coach should have bowed down, bent over, and taken it with a smile. When Dantonio didn't play along, Windsor slapped him around in a nasty article with an even nastier picture of the Spartan leader who was obviously squinting in the sunlight when the photo was taken.
Nobody seems to have a picture of Harbaugh with his player's blood smeared all over his own face, so such a photo would be a rarity. The Freep, however, has hundreds (if not thousands) of photos of Dantonio in which he's not squinting in the direct sunlight. For "SOME REASON", they chose a bad photo of Dantonio to publish the day after Harbaugh's hiring and the day before MSU's bowl game.
So I logged in to the Rexrode weekly chat to ask about it. We bring you the text exchange for your review.
JOE REXRODE WEEKLY CHAT - DECEMBER 31, 2014
Rexrode did a stand-up job defending his colleague while dodging the main point. I made it absolutely clear that I wasn't charging him with complicity, but he just laughed-off the whole idea. That's okay, as we can count on him to continue to produce outstanding work on a regular basis. But it remains quite possible that one reason the Freep (finally) hired/promoted him was to establish an easy and convenient counter-strike to claims of media-bias in favor of their beloved University of Michigan.
Joe Rexrode provides excellent professional coverage of MSU Football and Men's Basketball, and we can all appreciate that very much. His employers, however, have not consistently shaken the habit of bowing down to the Blue Gods in Ann Arbor, almost always at the expense of Michigan State.
Keep up the great work, Joe Rexrode!
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