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The 15-Seconds Blog

  • Urban Blight

    On Wednesday, University of Florida football coach Urban Meyer publicly berated an Orlando Sentinel reporter, Jeremy Fowler, for a story Fowler had written (apparently accurately) quoting a Florida player. In the video below Meyer gets in Fowler’s face, calling him “a bad guy” and telling him that if the player had been Meyer’s son “you and I would be going at it right now.”

    The player was trying to praise his new signal caller, dubbing him “a real quarterback,” and by implication took a shot at departing QB Tim Tebow.

    Today we read that Meyer met with the reporter for 20 minutes in private Saturday and, according the the reporter, apologized for his comments.

    If the coach wanted to teach his players a real lesson — he would have apologized in public — the same way he attacked the reporter.

    An additional lesson would have been to explain to the team that if you say something to reporters you may well read it in the paper or see it on TV. So THINK before you speak. If what you mean is that the new quarterback is more TRADITIONAL than the old one — say that. But if you say the new guy is a REAL quarterback…live with the consequences.

    When asked about the alleged apology — Meyer declined to comment. Way to show your players to take responsibility for your acts, coach.

  • Quit Your Whining

    There’s no crying in baseball. But there is in politics.

    Politico has a story saying that Senator John Ensign (R, NV) claims that the press have been unfair to him.

    “Seeking of the truth should be not only part of the Justice Department and part of our judicial system, but also should be … a goal of reporters today,” Ensign said. “Unfortunately, too much of our press is … (1) biased or (2) just about ‘gotcha,’” Ensign whined.

    The problem, Senator, is not that the media engaged in some trickery — but that you were caught having an affair with a former aide, that your parents helped pay off the woman and her family, and that you tried to steer work (perhaps illegally) to the husband of your ex-mistress.

    Politico says that the Justice Department and Senate Ethics Committee both have issued subpoenas to members of the senator’s staff and to those familiar with his relationship with his ex-mistress and her husband.

    There are times — plenty of them — when the media engage in shady tactics. But when you have been caught doing things as unseemly as Ensign has done — it almost never works to blame the messenger.

    If you want to hold the media responsible for your troubles — you need to cite specific examples of how they have been unfair. Simply saying that they are interested in “gotcha” doesn’t work when it seems clear that they have “gotcha” dead to rights.

    Yes, there is crying in politics — and it almost never works.

  • The Mic Is Always Hot

    How many times do politicians need to be reminded that microphones pick up sound? Shouldn’t be a hard concept to master — but time and again our elected leaders (and other celebrities) seem to forget.

    The most recent example is Vice President Biden who was overheard whispering into the President’s ear that the health care reform bill was a “big F@A*%ing” deal. CNN’s take below.

    Biden is just the latest in a long line of politicos who get caught being themselves. Our favorite example is former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who had gotten herself in trouble in a dust up with Capitol Police and then a short while later attended a town hall meeting in Georgia and after doing an interview with local media walked away with her wireless microphone still attached and fully functioning.