Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tabloid Journalism?

My latest piece for SI.com is up, and while I worked hard to both confirm the story and verify facts with US Soccer itself, I was accused by some in the organization of "tabloid journalism". 

Never mind that what Michael Bradley said was done publicly, even though it was a small group of people.

What bothered me most about the reaction of those from US Soccer who talked to me was the impression that it almost didn't seem to matter that the incident had occurred. That didn't seem to be a problem at all. There was more outrage expressed that I tracked the story down and was writing about it. 

In my opinion, the story was newsworthy, especially once I got confirmation. My biggest concern now is for possible repercussions for both my original source and Eric Wynalda for verifying what took place. 

That shouldn't even be an issue, but it reminds me of the backlash against Hope Solo when she simply told the truth about Greg Ryan's poor choice with the goalkeeping switch in 2007. Some people don't want others to talk about the truth.

28 comments:

Glass Arm said...

That is absolutely a news story, and certainly is not tabloid journalism. You have nothing to be ashamed of.

The Denim Kit said...

It was a great report. Very well done. Enjoyed reading it.

Ben said...

Any criticism you receive is ridiculous. Frankly, we need more US soccer reporters willing to go against the whatever the company line of the US Federation is. It could be just me, but it seems as if there isn't enough criticism of a organization that is begging for some.

Tom said...

Please keep reporting actual news regarding the Federation. I'm sick and tired of other soccer reports simply acting as paid mouth pieces for Sunil and company.

Bryan said...

Lesser things have been reported by respected sports journalist in the past. You're article is both informative and accurate, so there shouldn't be a problem. If the USSF wants to rival other sports and organizations, then they'll have to take in all the good and bad that comes with it. Apparently, it's not just Michael that needs to grow up.

Anonymous said...

It's refreshing to hear stories like this, because it hasn't happened before. Eric Wynalda has been the only critical voice in the past when it comes to US soccer "analysts." I suspect that is why he works for Fox. The USSF is completely out of touch with the fan base in this country. Their response to this article proves my point.

john said...

No Christmas cards from the Bradleys to you this year. I love the quote from Frontzek, "It's really less about the error, as the way how he handles it," said Frontzeck at the time. "As a young player, you have to realize mistakes."
This is such an important point, and exemplifies why Michael seems to have a fall out with every coach who is not his dad. He cannot take nor hear criticism. It doesn't exist in his world.

What will it take for USSF to cut the Bradley cord?

Micah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

You certainly do not deserve criticism. Thank you making the report. Like Ben wrote above, it's nice to see someone reporting something other than the company line. There isn't enough of that.

Anonymous said...

great article. keep it up. this is the type of reporting we need.

vilmabanky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vilmabanky said...

I liked your story. It's good insight into a dysfunctional national team setup and it deserves to be told. Calling it tabloid journalism isn't going to fool anyone. Well done and stick to your guns.

Anonymous said...

It was one of the better articles that I've read about US soccer. Too many times US soccer writers are more cheerleaders for the USMNT than reporters and you actually report something and are now getting slammed for it. Ridiculous.

DingDong said...

Thank you for being the one serious US Soccer reporter who is willing to track down and report stories that do not reflect well on the federation. It was a fair article and well-sourced that tied a minor incident into potentially larger problems, but without being sensationalistic or too easily passing judgment.

Dave Hahn said...

To call a piece with confirmed sources such as Eric Wynalda "tabloid journalism" is ridiculous. You didn't invent this story -- this is something that actually happened, and fans of the USMNT deserve to have access to this kind of information Clearly, people at the USSF prefer to operate without any kind of scrutiny or accountability, and to see this very relevant story get out in a major publication like SI has certainly rankled their nerves.

In any case, I know that you've earned thousands of new fans (like myself) for covering this story. As much as I'm frustrated by the inefficiencies and mismanagement I believe are rampant within the USSF, I have been even more frustrated to see absolutely no criticism of the federation emanating from the media. Serious questions should be asked of them, considering the slide in performance we're seeing at all levels of our Men's program. You've more then done your part to start what I hope is a trend to hold US Soccer accountable, which is likely the only way that we'll ever see any meaningful change.

Thank you so much. And please, keep on writing!

Regards,
Dave Hahn

Anonymous said...

Great article. As others have said the US Soccer org needs more things like this written. Michael Bradley is a very talented midfielder, but there is no reason he should be a forgone conclusion to start. If you base it off of club performance without question Edu and Jones have done more to lock jobs in than he has, and Holden would have as well if he can ever escape the injury bug.

I'm very curious to see what happens if the upcoming Mex friendly ends up the same way the last few games with them have.

CACuzcatlan said...

I had no idea this blog was still around. Glad to be reading your work again Andrea. I saw the link at the bottom of your SI article. Sorry, but I hate Goal.com and their made up transfer sources so I didn't read your work on there much.

Ant0n said...

Keep doing what you are doing. This means you struck a nerve. The only way we get change is if we call them out.

Anonymous said...

Good for you, Andrea. US media that cover US soccer are mostly cheerleaders and apologists, as noted by the reaction you got by US Soccer.

Anonymous said...

Great work Andrea. The fans appreciate it. The truth will win out. Don't let US Soccer intimidate you.

Brendan T. said...

I'm glad you wrote the piece. Illuminating in several ways. Bradley is an average player in my opinion. If he ever keeps a healthy Stuart Holden off the field again, or any player who would compliment Holden in a particular system for matter, then real questions have to be asked of the coach. I did think Bob Bradley was surprisingly flexible at the Gold Cup. Not sure how much to make of the comment by Wynalda, "that locker room will never be normal."

Gaurav Dhar said...

It was a worthwhile issue and one that isn't brought up often enough.

Arlen B said...

Great read. Thank you for doing what so many in this country have failed to do... their job. No surprise you were approached by the Federation. Anything that doesnt paint a rosey picture about happenings within their organization isn't allowed. Keep up the good work. You have more support from the fans than they do.

what'sgoingon said...

I enjoyed your story and thought it was most definitely newsworthy. I keep wondering why Michael Bradley is always in the starting lineup. Why is Maurice Edu not receiving playing time when he is obviously playing better than Michael on the club level. This really isn't close as far as their play on the club level is concerned. Eric Wynalda was absolutely right to make the observations he made.

what'sgoingon said...

I enjoyed your story. It was definitely newsworthy. Eric Wynalda was absolutely right to question the selection of Michael over a guy like Maurice Edu. Edu has clearly been the more accomplished player on the club level over the last year. It really does bring up questions about coach Bradley's selection process.

AT1965 said...

Your article was well written, sources clealry verified, and you gave the subjects a chance to comment. In sum, good journalism. The fact that it fostered debate is an additional bonus. work like this will keep the interest of intelligent readers.
Good job.

Noah said...

To my knowledge, I haven't been exposed to your writing before the Bradley piece. Interesting stuff, but I liked it most of all because it got me thinking about the deep seeded effect that the father son situation has on the team as a whole. I previously felt M Bradley deserved his spot on the national team and dismissed any accusations of favoritism, but the article caused me to explore my views on the matter. Now I'd say one of 'em has to go.
- SoccerStalkers.blogspot.com

Wil from Phil - E said...

Your article on the Bradley - Wynalda incident was fantastic. The question I have is why no other soccer "journalists" wrote about the skirmish. I admit that my impression of Michael Bradley had been, prior to your article, that he was spoiled rotten by his father in particular. He seems to have gotten away with plenty of bad behavior on the MNT and paid no consequences which of course just encourages more bad behavior. Not saying he's a bad player, but when he plays badly he should be taken out of the game just like anyone else who's having a bad game. Hopefully others will follow your lead and give us more newsworthy stories about the inner workings of US soccer.