Tuesday, July 15, 2008

They'll Never Call It "The Sporting News"

Here's one resignation that Travis Armstrong hasn't urged or predicted: News-Press sportswriter John Dvorak gave notice Monday that he will be leaving the paper.

If you're keeping score at home, this latest departure brings the number of people working in the sports department down to four. According to a newsroom insider, there may be yet another departure from the sports section before the month is out.

The News-Press sports pages have been pretty thin lately. On many days the section has as few as four pages.

My prediction: coverage of local sports will disappear from Wendy McCaw's News-Press by the end of the summer.

* * *

If it doesn't, blame it on me. After all, that's the tact that Travis Armstrong took Monday morning.

Rather than apologize for erroneously reporting on Saturday that mayor Marty Blum was considering resignation, instead of revealing the source of the absolutely wrong information on which he based his column (if such a source ever existed), Armstrong wrote,

I had been advised that if I disclosed what was happening behind the scenes that – in all probability – Mrs. Blum would dig in her heels and refrain from stepping down from office. That seems to be the case. She's apparently staying put. . . So for now Mrs. Blum seems intent on sticking around, perhaps because I let the cat out of the bag.

Or perhaps not.

(And shouldn't a guy who was once arrested for being behind the wheel of a car, "in the bag," avoid that expression?)

Armstrong didn't merely say that she should resign, an opinion that he, without a doubt, has a right to, but rather said that she was considering resignation – an assertion of fact for which he has produced absolutely no proof and that the mayor has unequivocally denied.

As the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, "You're entitled to your opinion, but you're not entitled to your own set of facts."

Of course, “facts" are something that Armstrong rarely lets get in his way.

My thanks to former Washington Post reporter (and current Summerland resident) Lou Cannon for calling my attention to the Moynihan quote.