Whether you think Bill Simmons is the latest sacrificial lamb at ESPN, or that his suspension is really theater in the vein of professional wrestling, there are important issues behind the suspension that we could all pay some attention to.
- Too much content, too little editing: From podcasts to blogs to social media posts, there is a fair amount of content that goes straight to the audience with very little editing. With small changes (see word choice, below) to his rant, Simmons could have stayed within the boundaries of ESPN’s acceptable journalistic standards. In broadcast, that’s the producer’s role. In writing it’s the editor’s role. There is editing and production that takes place. But do those people do their work with an ear toward editorial standards? It’s hard to say if that’s even possible with a marquee talent like Simmons (see Stars, below.) But they could and they should.
- Word choice: Simmons was on solid ground when he called Goodell’s response “fucking bullshit.” Suggesting the football commissioner take a lie detector test was clever.