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Beware The Hordes Of August

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Syracuse.com is hosting a bunch of Audio Slideshows over on their site around the Syracuse football practices. It's something they did last year as well and it's a pretty decent idea. The photos are all Syracuse.com Frank Ordonez' and are narrated by (and presumably scripted) different writers for the paper.

Your assumption might be that the audio shows exist as a way to showcase the players and coaches and get a sense for the mood on the field that day. But if you watch the Media Day slideshow from a few days ago, narrated by sports reporter Dave Rahme a.k.a. The Insider, there's something else that seems to be going on as well...I think...

Right off the bat, we're treated to a montage of reporters on hand for media day. The montage is general at first, as is the audio. But then all of a sudden, there's a weird vibe to what Rahme is saying...
It was the Syracuse Universirty football team's annual version of Meet The Press. These days though, "the press" (it's emphasized) consists of a few die-hard print and TV journalists and a horde of bloggers, videographers, talking heads and instant opinions...

The facts? We don't need to stinkin' facts.

That swashbuckling throng of Internet addicts descended on the Orange Monday morning at the team's practice facility for an hour of questions...questions...and more questions, before rushing from the scene to download the standard opening day of canned quotes and then analyze them to death.

Puh-lease.
Um, did I click on the wrong link? I came here to watch a slideshow of Syracuse football players, not get lectured on the role of media in sports.

What's most interesting about it is that before and after this little diatribe, the photos are general and generic. But when Rahme rants about hordes of "talking heads" and "Internet addicts," the photos become extremely focused on two individuals in particular, local radio talk show hosts The Manchild, and Brent Axe (2 photos of each to be exact).

Just in case it was a coincidence, I watched the entire video and sure enough there was care taken to match up specific photos with what Rahme was saying.

And so it's official, the Post-Standard has it's Buzz Bissinger.

Couple questions and notes...

Was sports talk radio invented in 2008? No? Didn't think so.

I don't listen to Manchild but I do listen to Brent Axe and I can honestly say that never once have I heard him say anything that wasn't factual. He may not always say positive things about SU, but why should he? Everything isn't positive. Especially lately. Rahme's inference is more than a little obnoxious and reeks of snobbery.

Can someone confirm that any unaffiliated bloggers actually were at Media Day? I didn't apply for a press badge (being that I'm 3,000 miles away) but I'd be curious to know if any local bloggers did. My guess is no and the only "bloggers" on hand were those affiliated with the local newspapers. I certainly didn't see any blogger reports from Media Day so my guess is that Rahme is wrong about that or he's just seeing bloggers everywhere, in his dreams, in his cereal and walking among the masses like little Gremlins scurrying about.

What about the "media members" who took the standard opening day of canned quotes and then analyze them to death? That would have to include Donnie Webb, Bud Poliquin and every local news journalist too, all of whom added their input into Robinson's statement about not focusing on him and others. Are they horde members as well? Who says we want them in our horde? It's an exclusive club.

Bud Poliquin's slideshow, which is a little less accusatory and little more upbeat and positive about the season, will get you back on track. But if you weren't sure where Rahme stood on the Great Journo-Blogger War of the Aughts, now you know. When the uneducated, blogging masses take over the world (and more important, newspapers), we know which journalists we will take with us to teach the "new ways" and which ones we will turn into soylent green. You're on notice, Rahme.