SBD/January 20, 2014/Media

Ombudsman Writes ESPN Should Reconsider Allowing Staff To Vote For Individual Honors

ESPN Ombudsman Robert Lipsyte in his most recent column addressed the net's Dan Le Batard giving away his Baseball HOF vote to Deadspin.com. Lipsyte wrote, "Was it unethical for Le Batard to give away his vote? Probably. ... Was the caper in support of a good cause? I think so." Lipsyte: "ESPN allows staffers to vote for individual honors, and I wish it would reconsider that. Not only do I think there is a conflict of interest in voting for the Hall of Fame but I think it puts writers in the position of making news as well as covering it. That is against ESPN policy." Le Batard is a "terrific performer whose voter mischief was a clever stunt." There are "lessons to be learned while squirming." ESPN has to "keep reminding itself why it hires professional bad boys" like Le Batard, Jason Whitlock, Keith Olbermann and the "baddest boy of all" in Tony Kornheiser. While they will "occasionally 'screw up big time' as they swing hard and free, they also have the rare ability to take viewers over the top and find new horizons" (ESPN.com, 1/17).
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