Journalistic Ethics 101: The Internet Is Forever

Damo Don't Know

It is no secret that we're not fans of the Toronto Star's Damien Cox. While we wished him well when it looked like he was going to sign with TSN and offered him some advice on his new national gig, ultimately we think that it's in the best interests of Leafs fans (and really, hockey fans) to do their level best to ignore the trolling efforts of Damien Cox. Luckily, some people have the same attachment to Cox's writing as others do to rubbernecking at car wrecks.

Cox has long banged the drum of reporters being different because they have to face the consequences of their actions. And he's right. The Chloe Fedio cage liner, while providing Cox Bloc with a fastball down the plate, had real world consequences as seen in the latest post on The Spin: 

Currently, The Star is in an ongoing minor dispute with the Maple Leafs, having had our access restricted by president/GM Brian Burke in retaliation for a story published last week that Burke deemed unfair. Attempts to resolve the dispute so far have failed; the league has not be asked to intervene. 

Or at least, that's what was written before a Star editor removed that paragraph. As a protest, Cox removed the entire post. Luckily, the internet is forever and you can read a cached version here (glove tap to @sdougbrown). according to Damien, the fault lies with an editor: "A para relating to The Star was deleted by my editor. In protest, I yanked whole blog post." The intriguing part is that at least according to Brian Burke, access has not been restricted.

Follow me after the jump for more chuckles at Cox's expense. 

That's an old appearance on The Score that Tyler Dellow, James Mirtle, Damien Cox, and I did on the intersection of professional media and bloggers in NHL coverage. This came in the aftermath of the fallout from the Colin Campbell e-mails when bloggers realised what a 'conflict of interest' was and professional media, for the most, popped their heads in the sands or, even worse, carried Colie's water to defend him from the suggestion that ripping on refs for calls on his kid could even possibly carry the faintest whiff of a conflict of interest.

Cox, naturally, hammers away but the truly germane aspect of the video is the part where he suggests that bloggers are untrustworthy because readers aren't aware of their biases thanks to their anonymity. Forget that bloggers aren't anonymous but pseudonymous or that you can basically find out any bloggers' identity, certainly those of us here, in about five seconds after e-mailing them. Damien Cox thinks that journalists don't have relationships to protect or any hidden biases. That's ludicrous! Any fan in any city can probably point to one local journalist's relationship with a source that isn't fully revealed. Damien's is the easiest: Brian Burke. Compare and contrast his coverage of other Leafs' GMs and it's crystal clear that he's got a direct line to the big guy. Hell, you could just bring binoculars and look for his presence in Burke's box at the ACC.

This little episode has shown that there are issues behind the scenes that impact coverage of the team that are not covered. During the Kaberle trade press conferece, Burke pantsed Steve Simmons. The next day, he took to Twitter to bash Tyler Bozak after he had written an article calling him a bust. Coincidence? Funnily enough, The Star was more than willing to report that Brian Burke was upset with Howard Berger, Andrew Krystal, and Fan590 after those two shock artists basically said that the media should go easy on Burke because his heart was clearly not in the job. But God forbid you suggest there's any hidden agenda.

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