Please Tell Me He Didn’t Do It

I must say I was blown away by my collegue’s post about Raymond Ridder’s foray into the blogosphere.

Reason No. 1: If you let members of the organization tell it, they don’t read the media or the blogs out there. They spend more time ripping all of us for having misinformation and we aren’t worth their time. I know Raymond Ridder is an exception. Dude is dilligent at his job. He leaves no stone unturned. I share Kawakami’s sentiments about him. (And he’s an even better guy away from the office.) But I KNOW he’s not the only one. They read.

Reason No. 2: He admitted it. Wow.

Reason No. 3: While I am not shocked that it happens, I am shocked that someone of Raymond’s status, who actually shapes the message of the Warriors, also tries to shape the reaction. I’m a big West Wing fan. This is equivalent to the Press Secretary or the WH Communications Director posing as a citizen and trying to shape the reaction. You can’t play both sides of the fence. At least, you can’t get caught playing both sides of the fence. Fans don’t get to shape the message, or the product, so the Warriors shouldn’t get to shape their opinion of it. That’s practically a violation of the First Amendment!

I am seriously baffled as to why. I know why he did it. I talked to him late last night, too, and I understand his logic. I don’t understand why that is his logic.

I will share with you this, and this is, you know, seeing how the sausage is made kind of stuff. (Which I don’t think really matters, since it is my job to get you the info. The working relationship between the team and the media is for my editors and I to deal with.) This is totally my opinion on the matter, but this situation does give a little insight into the relationship between the Warriors and the local media. Because there is one fact at the center of both issues: Golden State can’t stomach negative press.
The famed writer Brendan Behan popularized the concept There is no such thing as bad publicity. But the Warriors don’t buy that at all from my view. They say they don’t mind. They say they look the other way. But really, I think it burns them up. I was told by a Warriors front-office member that any negative publicity hurts the business.

Me personally, I look at the situation and wonder why Ridder would chime in to make the conversation “positive.” When you guys come on here and rip me to shreds, question my integrity as a reporter, I think it’s great. Because you’re here. You may notice I usually engage in those conversations because it makes for good blogging, the back and forth, the disagreement. Of all the blog sites and websites out there, I find it flattering that people come here.

Why is it not enough that the conversation is about the Warriors? They won 29 games. The season is over. The Nuggets-Lakers game was on. And people were talking about the Warriors. To me, that’s a good thing for a franchise pining to stay relevant.

But for the Warriors, and I am generalizing based on five years of dealing with the organization, when they see stories they view as negative, or people’s comments not being what they want on a blog, they take it as an attack. Therefore, the people who make these “negative” comments and write these “negative” stories are the enemies.

As a result, their coach chides the beat writers in interviews, nevermind they are the only two writers who cover them on the road. They demonize columnists who are critical of them, nevermind the fact that if this organization was in New York, they wold be begging for coverage from Bay Area media. They wink at the STH and say “we’re going to talk to you instead of them,” not even completely understanding the fans’ appetite for information about their team, which they can’t and wouldn’t dare want to fill.

Marcus Thompson