Thursday, April 12, 2012

Good Guys Get Good Coverage

It is not rocket science.  Despite claims of impartiality -- reporters play favorites.  They give better coverage to people they like.  This simple fact makes it even harder to understand who so many prominent public figures act like jerks.

Count Peyton Manning among those who get it.  The quarterback spent part of his Thursday morning calling newspaper reporters in Indianapolis, where he played for 14 years, to say "thanks" and "goodbye."  It was a simple gesture -- and one which reportedly stunned those on the receiving end. One reporter wrote that it was the first time a member of the Colts had ever taken the time to say goodbye after leaving the team.

In a sport where common courtesy is an uncommon value, Manning's classy move really stands out.  Whether he did it simply because he was brought up well -- or because he recognizes the value of good media relations for his sport -- the gesture will pay off in measures far beyond the time he took to dial some ink-stained wretches.

Compare Manning's graciousness (and his almost universal favorable coverage) to the actions of University of Louisville football coach Charlie Strong who we wrote about yesterdayStrong held a press conference today where he essentially confirmed that he had banned local TV crews from covering his team because he was unhappy that they had failed to show up in sufficient numbers for a spring practice session. 

Strong said it was "nothing personal" and he recognized the media and the teams coaching staff "needed each other" to take his team to the next level. It may not have been personal for Strong -- but we are betting it now is for the media.  When Charlie leaves Louisville -- it is likely he won't be smart enough to make any farewell phone calls and he is not likely to receive many either. More immediately, his peevish behavior will negatively effect his coverage while still in town.


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