WTF are they thinking over at A2 dot com?

Gee. It's been almost a month since any negativity toward the University of Michigan was published in Ann Arbor dot com. Apparently, they thought that was too long. Today, they printed four "articles," all with gaudy headlines, with most of the work done by MSU grad Dave Birkett, about "practice-gate." Plenty of people have dissected this already over at mgoblog, but I would like to cover a few things that piss me off about this.

1. It shows up as four gaudy headlines in mlive, thus keeping the story alive as if it had just happened yesterday.

I can't understand why A2 dot com would do this. An mgoblog poster who calls himself "aamichfan" speculated that the series is a reaction to the newly-restricted access to spring practice. This may be true, but if it wasn't for the University of Michigan, nobody would care about A2 dot com's sports section. If it wasn't for UM sports, all they would have to report on would be local high school sports.

2. The headlines misrepresent a lot of the material.

The material is semi-solid, but the headlines make it look as if the sky is about to fall. The worst of these contemplates "grave consequences." I would imagine that Birkett wants fellow MSU grads reading mlive to click on to his work, but what they did today is utterly absurd.

3. Possible negative effects on recruiting.

Recruits and their parents read this stuff. D Hart from Florida probably changed his mind because of the first round of "reporting" about this. If A2 dot com was trying to have a negative effect on UM recruiting, they couldn't do a better job than they are now. Keeping this story alive, not only in their little rag, but in milve and whatever blogs or MSM outlets pick the stories up, only serves to make RR's job more difficult.

If the MSM has an axe to grind with RR and/or UM, using "objective" media isn't the way to go about it.

4. The relative coverages of UM and MSU.

From A2 dot com to mlive to the freep, it seems like all of the media are simultaneously trying to prop up Misdemeanor State University and tear down the University of Michigan. Close to fifteen percent of MSU's scholarship players don ski masks to commit multiple misdemeanors and it gets treated like "dog bites man" or "business as usual." The University of Michigan gets nit-picked as the result of a freep "reporter" with a personal agenda and it is given more coverage than the tragedy in Haiti.

While I must admit that MSU players running afoul of the law happens a lot more than UM committing even the smallest of "violations," the coverage is still slanted toward Misdemeanor State. It was noted by a national blogger whose name escapes me that the relative coverage of the incidents at MSU and UM are so slanted that they would give a casual observer or one who is intellectually challanged the perception that UM was an "outlaw school" while MSU is a great school that gives second chances to "deserving kids."

So, what can we do now?

Sadly, if anyone boycotted every MSM outlet that has treated Michigan like shit in the last twenty-four months, he/she would not be able to read any instate media. I have mixed emotions about this. Whenever mlive or A2 dot com print stories like this, the trolls have a field day. If they post enough and nobody defends UM, it gives the appearance that the majority opinion is that Michigan sucks.

So, I click on the stories and write my rebuttals, knowing that they fall on deaf ears at the outlets but at least hoping that enough people defend UM that the casual reader doesn't decide that UM sucks because he read it on mlive or A2 dot com. This gives me mixed emotions. I think it would be great for UM fans to not click on negative UM stories, thus encouraging the bean-counters to tell the "reporters" to knock it off, but I can't stand to see such ignorance go unrebutted.

I am at a total loss at this point. There are two choices, and both suck. Sorta like A2 dot com.

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