Ladies and gentleman, welcome to The Manes Event. I’ll try to keep this from getting too political on you all in the future, but for now, let’s get to round 1.
There’s been a lot of talk and fear concerning Trump and his administration’s banning of certain media outlets and journalists from press conferences. Lost amongst all this is the fact that another billionaire has done similarly.
Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, refused to credential ESPN.com writers back in Nov. of last year. Cuban said the move was in protest to what he saw as increased automation in the reporting of games. Essentially, a computer writing the story.
The Associated Press does offer automated recaps. Of minor league baseball games that is.
Cuban’s move just happened to coincide with ESPN’s decision to not have a full-time Mavericks beat writer this season. Banning two flesh-and-blood people from covering a game certainly sounds like a good way to keep a computer from doing it.
This wasn’t Cuban’s only move against the media recently.
On Feb. 25, Bleacher Report removed a tweet showing Mavericks’ star Dirk Nowitzki shooting an airball with the caption “Dirk Forever.”
Cuban responded with emails to the president of Bleacher Report’s parent company TBS and tweeting to Bleacher Report “delete your account.”
Bleacher Report responded by deleting the tweet, and were promptly mocked and scorned by the internet for the decision. The Wikipedia entry was changed, declaring the site’s status as deceased, and ownership changed to Mark Cuban.
It’s a scary road we’re starting to travel down. If team owners can influence the news that circulates, both fans and journalists are in for a fight.