Checkbook journalism?

Perhaps rightfully so, ESPN and Lebron have been getting killed by most in the media (specifically Los Angeles-based media, who seem to be more upset at the fact Lebron is getting so much more attention than Kobe than anything if you ask me) for their prime time TV special, titled “The Decision”.

Mostly, people are complaining that this is checkbook journalism–ESPN is essentially paying and profitting from what should be a news report.  Lebron and ESPN, probably aware of how bad this makes them look, seem to be extra defensive, with the sports network announcing that proceeds will go to charity (such a bullshit term) and Lebron declaring that the decision would be revealed in the first 15 minutes of the show (meaning no American Idol finale style stalling).

Of course, Lebron’s attention-whoring ways are being called out. But let’s back up.

Instead of pointing fingers, let’s accept some blame too. Lebron hasn’t really said a word since free agency started. In fact, he’s said much less than clowns like Amare and Bosh. It’s the media who kept things Lebron-Lebron-Lebron 24/7 and it’s us who are so interested. So stop pointing fingers and understand that while Lebron deserves accusations of being an egomaniac, we’ve also enabled him that power and thoroughly enjoying the ride ourselves.

Take me and some old high school friends, for example. The four of us have realized that this whole free agency thing, with all the “who’s going where? who’s aligning with who?” stuff resembles old professional wrestling drama, or more specifically, the nWo storyline from 1996. So once news hit that Bosh and Wade have teammed up and are possibly waiting on Lebron to join, we spent half of today spamming each other’s facebook wall with nWo posts.

It’s fun. It’s what makes sports great.

As for ESPN’s checkbook journalism, perhaps this is where the new age media is going. With twitter and youtube, celebrites are bound to hit new levels of fame and we fans have new level of interactions.  Lebron going live on TV to announce his decision, followed by twitter reactions from America, is drama that deserves a prime time television slot.

And by the way, word was that Hollywood agent Ari Emmanuel, whom ARI GOLD is based on, helped Lebron and his manager pitch this TV special. So yes, ARI GOLD had a hand in setting this up.

You can’t even make this shit up, this is how wild this Summer of Lebron is.

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