Eyes on Isles Presents: The Deke Squad — Episode 2

By Rich Dias-Rodrigues
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Jan 21, 2014; New York, NY, USA; A general view of game action between the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week, our own Eric Bordin published a reaction piece inspired by the Daily News’ Filip Bondy and his opinions regarding Tuesday night’s Islanders-Rangers matchup at MSG.

With that said: Is bias reporting (or Op/Eds) ruining the art of sports journalism and the sport being covered?

RDR: In my personal opinion, I accept the fact that a writer, a filmmaker, an artist, or sports journalist will report the truth as it appears to him/her. That’s ideally, the nature of all writing.

Language being what it is, for me anyway–a series of negations, hence “this is a book, because it isn’t a chair,” not because we understand book-ness, or the word “book” encapsulating bookness–one can never really arrive at any semblance of actual, 100%, Truth.

Just think about it.

Be it words and your ability/inability to use them precisely and properly, or a word’s inability/ability to represent the real, or simply the distance and time from the event to the moment you rethink and/or retell the moment, the truth suffers; the primacy of that moment suffers and is somewhat fuzzy in one’s head.

And there’s a thin bubble that houses propaganda, personal agenda, bias, and lying. In fact there’s one thing in common amid the four aforementioned actions: they are conscientious decisions made by the writer.

Like I said: language may be faulty or imprecise, but it’s another thing to bank on that aspect of language to purport and/or hide one’s own agenda or bias.

And then there’s logical fallacies: straw-man, ad hominem, etc., all useful (but illegitimate) forms of expression/argumentation depending on the stage/arena in which you find yourself, and all harmful to the integrity of reporting and/or reciting the truth of an event.

Chris? You still there? Sorry dude. HAHA. I’m on a roll today, brother.

CT: Um. Yeah.

RDR: Now what in the world am I talking about? Good question.

CT: I didn’t ask anything, but, go ahead since you’re obviously on something, that’s for sure.

RDR: I take no exception to Bondy’s loyalty to his Rangers, or that he subtly thumbed his nose at my beloved New York Islanders (biased statement #1),

–or that he didn’t recognize that Thomas Vanek is, “like, a beast” (biased statement #2),

–or that “my favorite Islander since Pat LaFontaineKyle Okposo“–(biased statement #3) wasn’t recognized for his courageous play that COMPLETELY out-shined one Derek Stepan, who is going to Sochi over the Islander forward.

None of that bothered me, nor did expect such observations from Bondy.

No, what bothered me was

  • ignoring the responsibility of being a balanced writer, something they teach you at any level of writing, columnist or not–Pulitzer is rolling his grave at what passes for journalism of any type these days–sure he’d have something to say about bloggers, so I won’t speak too loudly. HA.
  • his choice of a title, which is obviously Bondy’s way of garnering reads/page-views, something that even BLOGGERS are vehemently told NOT to do–at least the one’s from Fansided.
  • his overt sense of bias with his final send off

Was Bondy outrageously biased? No, of course not. Was he irresponsible by omitting or ignoring or obfuscating other moments of that game for the sake of his bias, yes.


CT: Of course personal opinion distorts the “truth” when it’s put on paper by a journalist, etc. I’m not going to tell anyone how they should (or shouldn’t) do their jobs – a lot of what I put out has my opinions sprinkled into it as well. It’s human nature.

It cannot be prevented.

However, I think it’s a tad ridiculous to start “making excuses” for a team’s loss. All teams that lose games lose for a reason, right? To say things in order to diminish one team’s success during a 60-minute game, for it comes off as desperate, as clutching at straws.

Oh, Henrik Lundqvist was sick? Don’t the Rangers have Talbot, the backup goaltender, that many fans (and Bondy sounds like a fan) felt extremely comfortable with in goal, almost to the point of benching Henrik?

Too many Too Many Men penalties?

Get your act together. That’s not a “fluke.”

That’s your team failing to stay disciplined during a 60-minute game, and the Isles took advantage….because that’s part of the game.

The Islanders have been on the wrong side of “excuse-making” for quite sometime. Everything is to the tune of “team loses to lowly Islanders,” etc., and after a while, people believe it because it’s all they read from the media.

RDR: Agreed ten fold.

I just think when you only bring one side of the story to an event, you do damage to the truth of that event.

Listen: sins of omission (as in, excluding facts) are just as bad as sins of commission.

Bondy, purposely ignored citing the Islanders strong play on Tuesday night, which is that sinful; failing to detail key plays what would’ve made for a much more rounded Op/Ed, nevertheless.

He chooses to take the low road and act like a fan rather than a seasoned veteran. That’s my issue with Filip Bondy of the Daily News, for crying out loud.

Also, stating that few players want to play in Long Island is a miscarriage of the truth, as well. But that’s for another day.

But the pot shots, like “The Isles rolled Tuesday night, played an impressive road game. Don’t get used to it”  do nothing more than cheapen a man’s voice.

Even if he’s paid for his opinion, he should at the most, be responsible with stage upon which he speaks.  That’s giving away your integrity for a paycheck.

To say that Bondy can be biased and stretch the truth because he may very well be on the Rangers payroll, or that the Rangers’ own all the media outlets in NYC, etc isn’t good enough.

That’s a mouthpiece and not a journalist. Bondy has a choice, and he chose poorly.