Jeff Carroll’s Chronic Distortion

We know he’s not a good stylistic writer.

We know he’s not bound by journalistic ethics (as witnessed by his hack attack series last year,) but Jeff Carroll should at least, by now, know when he’s making himself and his paper appear stupid. I really can’t think of a word that better describes his ‘commentary’ on Jimmy Clausen’s latest non-story.

Carroll’s latest distortion attempts to create some strange linkage between Clausen’s recruiting announcement, his injured arm and the fact the he was busted on a beer run as if this is some pattern. I don’t get it, Jeff. Did he hurt the arm that caused the “soap opera black cloud” during his “abominable” commitment press conference causing him to drink and “run afoul of the law?”

The distortion here starts with a misleading headline: Clausen Drama Creates Doubts

Doubts among whom?

Whom Jeffy, have you talked to who has expressed doubt?

Well, turns out Jeffy hasn’t talked to anyone he deemed worthy of mentioning in print who had expressed doubt about Clausen.

Perhaps, as a ‘reporter,’ you could ask someone, like, I dunno, connected to the team? Perhaps you could, for balance, find someone who doesn’t share your distorted opinion?

Check out this next line:

Jimmy Clausen hasn’t taken a snap at Notre Dame, and already his time with the Irish has been emotionally exhausting.

Again for whom?

Whom do you know, Jeffy, who’s ’emotionally exhausted.’

For you? Are you ’emotionally exhausted?’

Do you really get ’emotionally exhausted’ writing about a freshman? If so, that’s rather pitiful. More likely, he was looking for something to write that didn’t have to be based in something that’s important to most journalists, facts.

So he picks this useless phrase.

No one’s ’emotionally exhausted’ you hack.

It gets so much worse; I won’t kill you with it. Basically, he tries to rehash the Clausen announcement as justification for his silliness and then uses a strange strategy: he creates hyperbole and steps back from his own hyperbole to make himself appear objective.

That’s distortion, not journalism.

We had the news on NDNation last week (a policeman was apparently running his mouth) and I personally deleted it because it was so trivial. I’d be more worried about the kid if he wasn’t on a beer run in June.

He saves the worst for last. You can’t help but snicker at the overwhelming stupidity wrapped up in this closing gem:

“you can’t help but start to wonder whether it’s worth the aggravation, whether Clausen will really play four years at Notre Dame. And you start to wonder if he should. If, for all his prodigious talent, he’s worth the distraction.”

I feel like I need a shower after reading that.

Now that I think about, it’s all becoming clear.

Clausen Drama Creates Doubts?

The headline of the story refers to Carroll’s credibility.

For that, Carroll’s writing has created much doubt.

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21 Responses to “Jeff Carroll’s Chronic Distortion”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I read Jeffy’s columns as much as possible. It’s like getting a daily joke delivered to your front door. Someone should do the Tribune a favor and run him out of town. Then maybe we could get some decent coverage of Notre Dame from the Tribune.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I don’t know how the hack continues to get away with it. I would think at some point, the editors would try and maintain some type of journalistic integrity. Why allow your paper to be pulled down by such trash?

  3. Anonymous Says:

    In fairness, the headline was probably not written by him. But in this case, the copy editor did not runw ild. Rather, it perfectly reflects the sentiment of the article. So it’s not inappropriate to blame Carroll for a title he didn’t actually write, simply because of the article he did.

  4. Ted Says:

    Jeffery Carroll should be fired by the SB Tribune. He is doing nothing to make the paper a reliable source of sports information. His journalism is trash.

  5. TL Says:

    Carroll’s articles are what you want to read before you go to bed at night so you won’t have anything on your mind.

  6. carson Says:

    Im taken aback by the tribune columnists attempt to rail against Jimmy for a kid just being a kid. he will grow up trust me, not so shure about carroll.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Personally, I hope Jeffy works for the SBT forever. It is a constant source of amusement for me.

    In all seriousness, in my opinion Jeffy is about the most obnoxious sports “writer” I’ve ever read, and it generally steers me away from reading the SBT online.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Again, he is successful at generating tons of web traffic to the paper’s site.

    This is crazy….I don’t even think tOSU fans would come up with words so harsh and so far from the truth.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    I have a question for Jeffy. May we assume that, when you were an eighteen year old freshman in college, that your “beer runs” consisted of riding your bicycle to the local Seven Eleven for a crystal light? Good God get over yourself. This episode with Clausen proves one thing to me–the kid’s normal. That somehow this transgression will lead to further run-ins with the law is akin to suggesting that going to Church on Sundays will cause one to become a Priest. Take the rest of the year off, Jeffy.

  10. IrishGlory Says:

    Thank you for this wonderful response to a hatchet job article related to a non-story. Carroll’s repeated cheap attempts to further his own career at the expense of the Clausen family is downright distasteful.
    BTW, is there any “journalist” in the country who has a scarier picture attached to his byline than Jeff Caroll???

  11. Anonymous Says:

    In the age of shock jocks and news magazines, entertainment is more important than accuracy. The reaction means people are paying attention, and that means money for him and the paper. If you are upset with him, either (1) ignore him, or (2) cancel your SBT subscription and let them know why. Like Mark May, he wins if you keep reacting strongly. I’ll just ignore him, though I feel bad for Jimmy.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Everytime I think of Carrol and his kronies pitching ND football stories over at the Trib I can’t help but think of J. Jonah Jameson. The ficticious editor with an obvious beef against Spiderman twisting every ounce of info and blowing every little thing WAY out of proportion…just to sell papers. In this case, Carrol isn’t even THAT clever. He is a joke and needs to be on his way…out of South Bend that is.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    I use to read the SBT a lot until they seem to be bashing the Irish. If you want good local news, I would try the Elkhart Truth or Fort Wayne paper. They do a much better job at being reporters and not some hack that is out get noticed. He reminds me of mark may to a point, but not that bad. Once again well done The Rock Report!

  14. Ryan Says:

    Give Jeff a break. We are taking this too seriously. It’s August, and there isn’t much to write about. Clausen is the QB at Notre Dame. He showed up in a Hummer. It’s going to get worse than this, I’m sure.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    This is so funny, I just wrote to Jeff this weekend and told him I thought he was the most negative Notre Dame writer I’ve ever read. He wrote me back and said he didn’t consider himself negative, but a realist. I just find it funny how I write to this guy and then all this comes out. WOW

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Maybe Jeff is related to Pete

  17. Anonymous Says:

    I am a Michigan fan and I love the Irish getting burned but I wrote to this guy stating that even I thought it was a hatchet job. This was his response:
    “I don’t think that’s a fair assessment of the piece. What I was merely saying was that Clausen has had a rough start here – he has. That some of it he has brought on himself and some of it has been outside of his control – true. That I have empathy for his no-win situation – I do. And that if he wants things to work out the way he hopes them to, he has to at least take control of the things he can control, however minor the transgression may be. Such is the burden of playing quarterback at Notre Dame.

    I guess everything is relative to people’s perspective, but I hardly think that is a “hatchet job.” I was just trying to put his trying times in some context. Maybe I hit the mark, maybe I missed it. I’m not perfect, either.

    Thanks for the feedback, though – it’s always good to hear how my work comes off to people who read it. It’ll help me think through the next piece and the next one after that and the next one after that … because ultimately, we’re all works in progress, whatever it is we do.

    JC”

    Go Blue

  18. Anonymous Says:

    Could it realy be an Indiana law that if I buy a bottle of wine at the grocery with my 10 year old, she is a criminal if I don’t make her walk home? This is the most inane law I’ve ever heard of. Even if he was trying to get the guy to buy for him it would equal the behavior of 50% of ND 19 year olds, but only being in the car???

  19. Gerald Says:

    Any truth to the rumor that Jeff Carroll applied for admission to ND but was not accepted?

    The argument will be settled on the field. In the meantime, keep both of these articles for four years and let’s see where Clausen is when he graduates.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    Just ignore him. He’s playing a role and he’s getting noticed. His Clausen article was the most viewed story the last couple days. Like it or not, ND haters can advance in this world and we create that vehicle for them. Next thing you know, he’ll be at the Sun-Times. Don’t link to him. Don’t write about him. Don’t talk about him.

  21. Anonymous Says:

    Is Clausen worth the distraction? Even if Clausen never takes a snap for Notre Dame, his membership on the football team has been positive and one that outweighs any of the so-called negative distractions. Consider alone his impact on recruiting. Clausen has been one of the most diehard and selfless recruiters for Notre Dame.

    As just one example, consider Clausen’s role in recruiting Dayne Crist, a stellar QB who could challenge Clausen for playing time. As reported by ESPN:

    “Crist . . . has had many sessions alongside Clausen. The two QBs even went to the same middle school and Crist says they are ‘pretty good friends.’

    ‘Most people might think Jimmy would be a guy discouraging me [to come to Notre Dame],’ Crist said, ‘but he was like ‘Come visit. You’re really gonna like it. It’ll be fun.’ And he was a big recruiter. It’s probably totally opposite of what most people would think, but I stayed with him at his house up there and he talked to me about recruiting in general.'”

    Clausen’s encouragement of Crist is a big plus for ND and he has done this with other recruits. Such behavior is not that of a prima donna or someone who is aloof. It is the behavior of someone who is committed to making Notre Dame as a team better. It is the behavior of someone who puts the team before his own interests.

    When Carroll only reports the so-called “distractions” surrounding Clausen and fails to praise Clausen’s selfless efforts to help ND recruiting, he loses all credibility as a balanced journalist.

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