The other radio scandal

04.20.07 | Comment?

While all of the mainstream media attention has been focused on Imus and his asinine comments, another radio talk show scandal which includes the actual commission of a crime has skated by largely unnoticed.

Colin Cowherd, an ESPN Radio host, has had a long running beef with sports bloggers. Enough so I would characterize it as a love/hate relationship, enough love to lift material from these sites and enough hate to suggest mounting a denial-of-service attack to his listeners on a specific site, The Big Lead.

Earlier this month, that’s exactly what happened. Rather than describing it, listen to Cowherd’s own words.

The listeners responded, bringing The Big Lead down for 48 hours. The sports blogosphere rallied to The Big Lead’s defense and newly appointed ESPN Ombudsman, Le Anne Schreiber’s mailbox was filled up with messages about this incident. Schreiber’s response was fast and direct.

Cowherd apologized on air and escaped further discipline over the act (after all, he didn’t do it, he incited others to do it and ESPN had, at the time, no policy against promoting denial-of-service attacks.) To me, Cowherd’s incitement of the attack is orders of magnitude more serious than a notorious “shock jock” doing what he does, make stupid comments in public. If Imus can be fired for that act, Cowherd ought to face something more serious than a forced apology on air.

This does highlight a growing tension between traditional media and sports bloggers, you’ve got to wonder how it’s all going to shake out.

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