February 3, 2008

Cuban asking wrong questions

In the Internet world, I'm late. But I still find Mark Cuban's posts questioning the ethics of someone who interviewed him worth a closer look.

Cuban questions the ethics of the interviewer writing about the interview in his blog AFTER writing the piece for a national magazine. Cuban should've been surprised only if the interviewer/blogger hadn't blogged.

When a journalist comes calling, the person always has a choice: Answer the questions or not.

It doesn't matter where the work of the journalist will go - a national magazine, a community newspaper, a television station or a blog. A person has the right to say no.

It is clear that Cuban knew the man blogged, knew the blog, and yet he continued the interview. It is also clear that Cuban gets blogging since he's behind the Blog Maverick.

About 100 comments were posted on the original post last time I looked.

I agree with commenter Adam Elman who reminds us that today's journalists often use one experience to post in several places. Trying to control the flow of information - even thinking you can control that flow is unreasonable in today's world of multiple methods of communication.

Plus the blog post even mentions - and links back to - the site/article, so the company footing the travel and writing expenses got a link and PR. (A good thing, right?)

You can tell the company that paid must have known Will Leitch blogs - they link to his Deadspin blog in the introduction of the (The most likeable blowhard in sports).

I disagree with those who want to say blogging about the experience is OK if it was for a personal site, but not a blog that makes money. Money should not be the decidng factor.

Did the writer agree to only write about the interview in the magazine? I can't imagine the question coming up or a writer agreeing. (I haven't seen anything that contradicts this - have you?)

Now that I've looked at the article (The most likeable blowhard in sports), looked at the blog post (Why no rich techie should ever buy a sports team) I think the writer was OK.

And next time, Mr. "I have trust issues and prefer interviews by email" Cuban is uncomfortable because he knows the type of blog the writer does he should just say no right then.

He agrees that should be his position in a follow up post:
Its my fault. I was stupid to think that the guy who runs Deadspin could stop being the guy who runs Deadspin. I should have asked for GQ to send someone else. Better yet, I should have stuck to my rules and only do interviews via email.

Bad idea, those email interviews. but that's for another day.

Meanwhile, Cuban needs to read The Scorpion and the Frog before heading out to the flowing river of promotion next time.