More Distortion

This is, of course, nothing new from the South Bend Tribune’s Jeff Carroll, but his latest distortion deserves a rebuttal.

Here’s some background: Google Adsense had been running an ad that ran through on that contained pictures of Luke Harangody and Jimmy Clausen. That’s a problem. Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune spotted the Ads on our site and called John Heisler, who called Mike, who removed them from our site. Brian wrote an accurate account of what happened.

Today, Carroll wrote about the issue (a day late,) but his “article” contained this distortion:

“Coffey had caused previous stirs on the ND Nation site with inaccurate/false reports that Notre Dame men’s basketball coach Mike Brey was considering leaving Notre Dame for, first, North Carolina State and, this past spring, Indiana University.”

So, a couple of points of distortion here. First of all, Coffey didn’t “cause a stir” he solved a problem working together with John Heisler. Mike was the solution, not the problem. The cell phone ring tone company and Adsense were the problem and Mike acted quickly to remove the Ad from our site and Notre Dame sent a cease and desist order. The issue was quickly solved by working together with Notre Dame. Carroll is attempting to link unlinked events to create a seeming pattern.

Second, let’s deconstruct Carroll’s next two data points. Mike ACCURATELY reported interest in Mike Brey from North Carolina State. Unlike Carroll, Coffey actually has good sources (he did write the book on ND Basketball.)

Finally, Mike wrote an “April Fool’s Day” post about Brey leaving for Indiana, which was noted by almost every poster on The Pit as a joke that day. We have a tradition of April Fool’s Jokes and we’re not about to change that because reporters don’t get it. Reporters did feel compelled to make calls on this simply because Coffey does have such great sources even though they knew it was April Fool’s Day. That’s a testament to Mike’s knowledge and connections. I would hope we don’t have to put a big flashing sign on our site that reads, “It’s April Fools Day.”

That Carroll didn’t bother to call or email us (trust us, they’ve got our email) before writing this story is a testament to the quality of journalism practiced by Carroll. And this isn’t the first time. Carroll had caused previous stirs on the South Bend Tribune with distorted reports that attempted to cast Charlie Weis and Jimmy Clausen in a negative light.

For more on Carroll’s past and journalistic integrity see Deconstructing a Smear Campaign
and Jeff Carroll’s Chronic Distortion.

The pattern here is Carroll’s. You’d think he’d show an ounce of common sense or at the very least, journalistic ethics. Just send us an email, Jeff. We’ll talk to you and clear up your confusion.

We’d like to reiterate that there are some very good writers for the South Bend Tribune, who write accurately, do their research and understand what a balanced story looks like.


18 Responses to “More Distortion”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Just wondering WHO runs the SBT???? Jeff Carroll? This type of behavior would require dismissal from any other news media.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    . . . there really isn’t anything newsworthy here. Adsense violated a protocol; ND Nation and the University of Notre Dame promptly and properly addressed it. Finis
    To make anything more of this is ludicrous.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Did Mike actually “write” a book or did he just transcribe what others said to him? Just a thought…

  4. WeisGipper Says:

    You’re spot on about Jeff Carroll. Actually most of the SBT writers are d-bags, including Eric Hansen. I’ve got a great story about him, but I’ll leave that for another day.

    The only two writers that are worth your while on the SBT are Tom Noie and Jason Kelly. Although Kelly hardly does any sports articles anymore. Maybe he stopped bashing on ND Football and the SBT put him on another beat. Who knows. Oh well I love your blog!

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Coffey should have “solved a problem”
    by not running the ad in the first place.

  6. The Rock Says:

    Coffey didn’t “run the ad.” Hundreds of ads are funneled through different advertisers and that was one of them. We don’t and can’t approve every Ad, we can just try to police the ones we do see and hold the advertising entity, in this case Google, responsible. We’re looking to move out of this ad environment and into one in which we have more control.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Can I get a job like Carroll’s? The kind where I sit in a cubicle somewhere and cronstruct ideas without research or merit and publish them for the world to read and take as factual. I have some great mermaid and unicorn stories to tell.

  8. Barry Says:

    Whoah whoah, hang on there. I’m not a Google apologist, but you just rushed to throw them under the bus in your effort to continue to (admittedly deservedly) flog Jeff Carroll.

    While it is somewhat the responsibility of Google Adsense to screen ads for appropriateness, there is a BIG difference between “offensive” (of which Google probably screens out thousands of ads) and “NCAA violation” (which you have to admit most people are not exactly keenly aware of outside of college sports).

    This means that the real “villains” are the creators of the banner ad, not Google. I’m sure if Heisler had called them and explained how such ads were a violation, they would have taken it down. However, calling NDN was the more immediate solution as I’m sure Mike has a better turnaround than a worldwide multibillion dollar department of a search engine company.

    If you’re going to criticize Jeff Carroll’s intentional misunderstanding of technology, then at least make sure you understand how that technology works yourself.

  9. Barry Says:

    Also, if you’d like some ideas on self-controlled advertising, there’s always OpenX ( However, keep in mind you’d have to sell/run your own ads, choose, keep track of hits for sponsors, etc. Everything Google does for you with Adwords.

    It’s a substantial effort to do this, which is why most people like to defer to Adwords/DoubleClick/etc.

    As far as control, come on – filtering inappropriate ads is as simple as a click. True, it’s reactive in nature, but no situation is perfect.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    I liked it better when you guys didn’t link to SBT articles. They don’t deserve the hits…

  11. BigE Says:

    Carroll is like a little kid trying to get back at someone “….and he pulled my hair too.” Grow up Jeff.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Carroll has a way of appearing about once per year when he writes something ridiculous. That of course makes me want to ignore him for the remaining 364 days per year, which I do.

    For him, it’s a great way of getting attention once or twice in a blue moon. Unfortunately, it drives readers like me away from an otherwise fine newspaper 364/365ths of the time.

    A consistent, grounded writer who doesn’t wear his personal vendettas on his sleeve would do a lot more for that paper.

  13. Donut98 Says:

    It’s a shame that Carroll lacks the basic skills of a journalist, yet writes for the local paper of the most recognized university in the college football universe.

  14. Dan_DHRT Says:

    I just don’t get it.

    I am not disagreeing that the reporter is not, well, a good reporter.

    What I don’t understand is why the publisher / editor of the newspaper in question does not enforce journalistic ethics on its reporters.

  15. chezhdchick Says:

    I cannot believe he used the April Fool’s incident in that article! He just couldn’t resist the opportunity to take a thinly veiled swipe at NDNation after links to his articles were basically banned.

    How old is this guy? Twelve?

  16. Anonymous Says:

    To the SBT lurker:

    Whether Mike “simply” transcribed others’ reports is largely immaterial.

    What is material is Mike had access to those whom provided the reports.

    And of course, he also provided analysis.

    So, yes, Mike did write the book.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    Are you sure Jeff’s piece isn’t a 3 and a half month late Aprils Fools joke itself? It would make more sense that way.

    This is so 12-year-old name calling and reputation attacking. At least Mike backs up his critiques of Jeff with data, sources, and facts.

  18. Martin Says:

    Newspaper writers are starting to get threatened by bloggers. And when that happens, they “look” for a story instead of “finding” one.

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