Sunday, June 05, 2005

Whitlock and the 49ers 'scandal'

I put the word 'scandal' in quotes because Jason Whitlock says it's really nothing of the kind and posts his column saying so on the board. (The new improved board is great, by the way.)

Jason makes a lot of really good points. I was kind of conflicted on this story from the get-go. As an inside thing intended for a pro football "family," was it really that inappropriate? All of us tell jokes or whatever to colleagues that wouldn't play well in a public forum.

The problem, of course, is that this wasn't just "told." It was produced, an electronic record of it, and it got out. And then it became a problem.

The 49ers PR guy's mistake wasn't as much his insensitivity in an "inside joke" as it was his lack of recognition of the world he lives in and the fact that things like this are bound these days to get out -- and become completely public.

That was Jason's mistake, I think. He says it wasn't worth prominent play in the Chronicle. I say that whatever our judgment of the relative significance of this, once it got out and was indeed offending people, it became news in San Francisco and was therefore fair, and necessary, game for the paper.

Like it or not, that's the world we live in.

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