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D.C. talk radio guys accuse Ken Rosenthal of making up quotes

Oct 10, 2012, 11:40 AM EDT

Rosenthal bow tie

I linked Ken Rosenthal’s story from this morning in which he quotes an anonymous Nationals player saying that the Nats would be up 2-0 if they had Stephen Strasburg.  A couple of people in the comments who don’t like anyone criticizing the Nats decision in this regard suggested that Rosenthal was simply making it up. Never mind that he’s one of the most respected reporters in the business.

But it’s not just the die hards in comment threads doing it. Two D.C. talk radio hosts had Rosenthal on the air this morning and they did it too:

And so it was that Rosenthal appeared on 106.7 The Fan’s Junkies program Wednesday morning, and was greeted by Eric Bickel, incredulously asking whether “one player on the Nats actually told you that this team would be 2-0 if Strasburg was there?”

“No, I just made that up,” Rosenthal replied.

There was some prickly back and forth, after which Bickel said “You’re kind of being a [jerk], to be honest with you,” Bickel said. “I don’t really understand why.”  Some people on Twitter said that, rather than “jerk,” Bickel said “dick.” Rosenthal took the high road and explained in quite compelling terms, I believe, why it’s silly to accuse him of such a thing or of anti-Nationals bias in general.

I’m told by people who are familiar with the show that Bickel and The Fan’s Junkies is not exactly serious media so I guess it’s not terribly surprising that they’d do such a thing.  But really, the fact that anyone would accuse Ken Rosenthal of making up quotes is simply unhinged.

Also unhinged: the degree to which fans in forums and now, apparently, radio hosts have gone to accuse anyone who writes or says things that don’t flatter their rooting interests as “biased,” and suggesting that it calls their factual assertions into question. Of course bias exists, but bias influences opinion for the most part. It does not necessarily call one’s factual reporting or analysis into question.

To the extent it does, it’s almost always more about not seeing the full picture or unconsciously tuning out data that doesn’t jibe with the bias.  It does not, outside of the most abjectly partisan news outlets, lead to people actually fabricating things like quotes from whole cloth.

  1. leerosenthall - Oct 10, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    Those talk radio dudes went to the Jack Welch School of Broadcasting.

  2. seanb20124 - Oct 10, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    Chad and Lavar’s interview with Rob Dibble was so much testier (same radio station WJFK)

  3. pensfan603 - Oct 10, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    I dont know ive only read ken rosethals columns a few times and they always seem to be really irrelevant or just flat out bad.. i know he is respected but i dont get why. It wouldnt suprise me to see him making up quotes either, ive never heard of this show.. but chance is they either have someoen inside the nats who said ken is making it up, or they were trying ot give him an easy question to start like Felger did with wes.. but look at how that back fired. If this show really is a joke so be it but this is just another knock on ken for me.

  4. pensfan603 - Oct 10, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    I tried to figure out what team this guy is a fan of i dont know if im an idiot.. but this guy does sound biased
    on a side note the point that he says
    But really, the fact that anyone would accuse Ken Rosenthal of making up quotes is simply unhinged.

    really shows how much this writer/blog is willing to just fold in to the media.
    Do you know ken rosethal? I dotn think so its posible for anyone to make up quotes ok
    and most teams dictate what comes out of the locker room, if you ever talk about the team or give the team a negative rap you are kicked out/ or givin less privligace, by this i mean the teams own the club house reports, if they ever try to say what actually happens they are kicked out in a second look at the red soxs situation, alot of the reoprts knew about what is happening but you know they cant report that stuff or they arent allowed back in (the guy who reported it was kicked out). They cant give the smallest of bad raps to the team or they get shunned in a way from the team. Reading Shawn Mcadam report about the red sox’s grade on CSNNE.com is a perfect example the red soxs had a terrible year and deserve at least a D but he has to speak them up (give them a C… talks about some did good) If a inside reporter ever leaked something like what ken said id doubt a team would ever trust them with information again you know ownership is telling the players hey dont talk to ken anymore. Its why i lose legitimacy for ken, either he doesnt respect the player he was talking to and decided to leak what he said or he is blowing smoke up your ass.
    \

    • raysfan1 - Oct 10, 2012 at 11:14 PM

      1) Craig Calcaterra’s rooting interest is the Braves. However, this is not an anti-Nationals post. It is stating that those who respond to Ken Rosenthal’s statement (that not everyone on the Nationals is on board with the decision to shut down Strasburg is a lie) are a bit nuts for jumping to such conclusions.
      2) Ken Rosenthal has been an extremely well known and respected baseball commentator for many years. One doesn’t have to know him personally to form an opinion of his integrity.
      3) Rosenthal’s report that some on the Nats think their current situation against the Nats would be different if Strasburg had pitched one of the games should really be met with a collective “of course they do.” It may be inaccurate, the Cards are a good team too after all, but its only human to think that way.
      4) if you think that reporters get banned from team access over negative reports–or that reporters do not report negative thing about the teams, including what they overhear in the club house (especially in Boston), then you really don’t read much baseball news.

      • pensfan603 - Oct 11, 2012 at 5:23 PM

        I think your wrong sir if you follow any team extensively you know that the team basicly controls what comes out of the club house in a way and if you do try to public things the team doesnt want you reporting on (chicken and bear) then you get kicked out simple as that. And no its more than that its ken R. reporting that national players disagree with ownerships decision in a way saying they wanted strasburg in there and no team wants that. You sir are wrong. Also ya ken rosethal is nationally respected but why does that mean you should respect him form your own opinion. Just because everyone blindly believes what he reports is true doesnt mean you should to. Like Socraties always saidi question question question.

  5. pensfan603 - Oct 10, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    I tried to figure out what team this guy is a fan of i dont know if im an idiot.. but this guy does sound biased
    on a side note the point that he says
    But really, the fact that anyone would accuse Ken Rosenthal of making up quotes is simply unhinged.

    really shows how much this writer/blog is willing to just fold in to the media.
    Do you know ken rosethal? I dotn think so its posible for anyone to make up quotes ok
    and most teams dictate what comes out of the locker room, if you ever talk about the team or give the team a negative rap you are kicked out/ or givin less privligace, by this i mean the teams own the club house reports, if they ever try to say what actually happens they are kicked out in a second look at the red soxs situation, alot of the reoprts knew about what is happening but you know they cant report that stuff or they arent allowed back in (the guy who reported it was kicked out). They cant give the smallest of bad raps to the team or they get shunned in a way from the team. Reading Shawn Mcadam report about the red sox’s grade on CSNNE.com is a perfect example the red soxs had a terrible year and deserve at least a D but he has to speak them up (give them a C… talks about some did good) If a inside reporter ever leaked something like what ken said id doubt a team would ever trust them with information again you know ownership is telling the players hey dont talk to ken anymore. Its why i lose legitimacy for ken, either he doesnt respect the player he was talking to and decided to leak what he said or he is blowing smoke up your ass.

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