IRVIN, WILLIAMS CLEARED; MEDIA'S ETHICS EXAMINED
Police over the weekend cleared Cowboys Erik Williams
and Michael Irvin of a sexual assault charge after
determining that the accusation was false. Williams is
considering legal action "against the police department and
others," and Irvin and his lawyer "have not discussed their
next step" (Kelly Carter, USA TODAY, 1/13).
MEDIA ETHICS EXAMINED: In the wake of Irvin's and
Williams' clearance, the ethics of sports media was examined
by ESPN's Jeremy Schaap on "SportsWeekly." Dallas Morning
News Exec VP & Editor Ralph Langer: "The story was forced by
what the police department did. They had a choice to not do
that and they did it, and once they went public and read
these people's names into the record, then it couldn't not
be reported" Bob Lichter, head of Center for Media & Public
Affairs: "It was just too juicy. Violence against women,
celebrity athletes out of control, the Dallas Cowboys riding
for a fall" ("SportsWeekly," ESPN, 1/12).
REAX: Header in the DALLAS MORNING NEWS: "Image Still
Tarnished, Pundits Say. Some Call Backlash Unavoidable
Despite Vindication Of Players" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/12).
Header in the FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM: "Cowboys Need To
Tackle PR Crisis" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 1/12). Mike
Lupica: "Sometimes we all go too far, and they were innocent
this time, and you know what? It is about time" ("The
Sports Reporters," ESPN, 1/12). NBC's Cris Collinsworth
said Irvin and Williams "deserve the same kind of treatment
on national television once this story went away that it got
when this whole thing started to break" (NBC, 1/12).