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Social Media is Nuts

It has been a few days since I've written anything, and I have no excuses except to tell you I just haven't felt like writing anything. I've been drowning on Twitter, and that has filled the writing void, but today I have things to discuss.

For the past few days there have been two main topics on my Twitter feed, and I know everybody's is different, but these are my top two. First, a pitcher who lost a perfect game in 2010 because of a bad call wants it overturned now, and he has tons of support on twitter. Second, there are a million and three people on Twitter who don't understand the role of news reporters, or the difference between, reporters and columnists.

On June 2, 2010 the above play was called safe by Jim Joyce, the first base umpire, which cost Armando Galarraga, who you see here with his foot on the bag, a perfect game. There is no argument that he was out, in fact Joyce even admitted it after the game and felt horrible about what he had done. The next day he apologized to Galarraga and everybody moved on.

Suddenly, in the middle of a horrible pandemic, with too much time on his hands, Galarraga has a change of heart, and now wants MLB to reverse this call and give him his perfect game. As you can imagine, every millenial with a participation trophy thinks this is on par with Gore v. Bush, and has rallied to Galarraga's defense. This isn't even the best part.

Their argument is, since it was the last play of the game, which it obviously wasn't because he was called safe, that it is OK for MLB to reverse this call. It would not change the score and nobody gets hurt is their take on this.

Those of you as old as dirt, like me, will remember another horrible first base call that did change history.

The 1985 World Series between St. Louis and Kansas City was about to be wrapped up by the Cardinals. They held a 3-2 games lead, in game six, and had just taken a 1-0 lead in the game in the eighth inning. Jorge Orta of Kansas City hit a slow roller to lead off the ninth inning. Jack Clark fielded it and tossed, underhand, to Todd Worrell covering first. The ball beat Orta by half a step yet Don Denkinger saw something else and called him safe.

The Cardinals went nuts, of course, but the call stood. The Royals went on to win the game 2-1 and then finished off the Cardinals the next night, in game seven, and won the World Series 4 games to 3. Anyway...

The fact that anyone would even consider reversing the Galarraga call, and making it the perfect game he really did earn, and not the St.Louis/Kansas City call, is unthinkable. To argue that because it was the possible last play of the game, and the outcome wouldn't change, is even more ridiculous. These same people would be ok with the bad call if it happened in the fourth inning, but not for the 27th hitter. I can't even get my head around that stupidity.

If baseball went and reviewed every bad call it would take them 500 years and they would only cover half of them. If they are going to review and change this call, then they better go back and look at every ball and strike Galarraga got during the game to see if anything there needs to be changed too. I mean, its baseball and bad calls are made every game. Let's move on Twitter world.

This next one is even more frustrating for me.

For some unknown reason, largely due I believe to the Reade, Flynn, Obamagate, Covid, etc. coverage, 99.8% of the people on Twitter are enraged at the mainstream media and their coverage of the said topics. They just don't feel that the news media is covering it like they want them to cover it, you know, biased and for their side of the discussion.

They want them to be as voracious in attacking Trump, the GOP, and conservatives as Fox News, OAN, and the Washington Examiner are in glorifying Trump and his followers. Because the only fair news coverage is when they publish your point of view.

This of course has led to arguments about what the role of a reporter should be. As I learned in journalism school, the role of the reporter is to report the news and not make any editorial comments about what is happening. In my opinion most journalists are following that tenant and are reporting the news accurately and fairly.

The issue is when you get to columnists and entertainers in the media where the confusion reigns. Their job is to write their opinion on a topic. It doesn't have to be fact based, although most news organizations, not named Fox News, expect them to follow some modicum of integrity. Even Fox News daytime news shows do a pretty good job of being fair, and same can be said for CNN and MSNBC. When you get to prime time and the entertainers come on the air is when it all goes to hell. Facts be damned in the name of getting their point across.

The point here is that reporters report what happened. Who, what, where, when, and how are the pillars of journalism. Nowhere does it say, why, or I think, or in my opinion. Those are the pillars of opinion and columnists writers or broadcasters. Nobody should confuse the two roles.

The problem with today's world of social media is that things are getting blurry and people can't keep track of news and opinions. Reporting that the head of the DNI released names of people who asked for someone to be unmasked is not the same as writing that it was a political hit job, unfairly attacking good people, and might be illegal. One is news and the other is opinion.

I have now wasted two days of my life, that I can never get back, arguing with people who don't understand the difference, and never will, in either story. I remember, now, why I left social media 18 months ago. Crazy people are out there.

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