Saturday, March 8, 2008

"NASCAR Now" Wrestles With Roush Fenway Racing And Reality


Since the 99 Sprint Cup team penalties came down from NASCAR, things on-the-air have begun to take on a very polarized dynamic when it come to the NASCAR TV partners.

There are lots of good phrases that can be used to try and explain exactly how the NASCAR TV networks have presented the "cheating" issue to the public. Walking on thin ice. Skirting the truth. Being politically correct. Using the words of others to avoid creating their own. The bottom line is, this is a big TV mess.

Angelique Chengelis on Friday's NASCAR Now casually said that Roush Racing's notorious company President Geoff Smith is "on vacation in Vail (Colorado)" and wanted to "take his time" in deciding whether or not to appeal.

She went on to act as a RFR spokesperson, which is very unlike the role of news reporter she usually assumes on this program. Chengelis quoted Smith as saying the team is not a bunch of cheaters and this is an incident that "just happened" during the race. Chengelis showed her naive side in representing the words of Smith, who has a long and colorful history in the sport.

ESPN put Chengelis on-the-air in the first segment at the top of the show. She never reported on the other side of the cheating issue. She never dealt with the fact that Edwards pulled away from a Hendrick COT car with Earnhardt Junior behind the wheel and won the race. NASCAR says he cheated, ESPN is saying he did not.

Chenglis said that Smith wanted fans "to know that this was not an overt action." Smith singled-out Michael Waltrip's team at Daytona in early 2007 as a situation where a team "overtly" tried to increase the performance of a car. Chengelis continued her PR work for Roush on ESPN2 by saying "this was an accident, pure and simple." This was not presented as opinion, it was presented as fact.

Still not hearing any opposing views or other opinions, Chengelis continued on into even deeper water. "This was not something that someone came up with a plan, this was not something that they believe would have actually helped their team because they do not know how it happened (or) when it happened," continued Chengelis quoting Mr. Smith. NASCAR fans have heard those words before in this sport many times.

Host Nicole Manske then turned to NASCAR Now commentator Brad Daugherty. Manske specifically said Daugherty was being brought in for "another opinion." The only problem was that Daugherty, a former member of the very NASCAR panel that reviews penalties, refused to deal with the Edwards issue in any way. As he so often is when alone and unsupported by Allen Bestwick, Daugherty was useless.

Finally, Manske brought in Boris Said to deal with the Edwards issue. Even as the cameras panned to the oil tank lid on the "Home Depot garage" car in the studio, Manske asked Said point blank about the advantage of not having the cap on the oil tank. Instead of maintaining his role as a television analyst, Said took-off on an anti-NASCAR rant that once again undermined his ability to walk the line between active driver and national TV analyst.

"That (lid) had no effect on him winning or losing the race...for sure," Said commented. "On a track like that (Las Vegas), it makes no difference at all. I'm really surprised by the penalty. The penalties are so severe right now, it seems crazy."

What Chengelis, Daugherty or Said failed to present was an even-handed approach to a NASCAR news story that represented both sides of the issue. This fundamental failure to handle NASCAR news in an unbiased manner is a problem.

NASCAR Now co-host Ryan Burr is one to push announcers on-camera during interviews with hard questions, even when it makes them uncomfortable. Manske failed to do this even once during any of her interviews. This needs to change fast.

Simply asking Chengelis if, as a veteran NASCAR reporter, she believed any part of what Smith told her would have put the entire report in perspective. Smith is one of the most effective NASCAR PR men in the business, right behind NASCAR VP Jim Hunter who most recently created "the punch heard 'round the world" during a boring Daytona weekend.

Daugherty was never asked his opinion of the "reality vs. spin" topic when he was on-camera, and Said once again used his time on-the-air to lash out at NASCAR. This sports car racer has been out-of-sync with NASCAR for some time now.

This is a moment where the simple commentary of Stacy Compton is missed. Compton quietly spent a lot of time in 2007 putting things that were hyped, spun, or just clearly mis-represented by NASCAR Now back into perspective. On this day, and in this show, a little Stacy would have gone a long way.

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44 comments:

Anonymous said...

JD, you may have forgotten to mention that Said's No Fear Racing #60 Ford is a Roush-Fenway satellite operation headed up by one-time #99 crew chief Frank Stoddard.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather see what ESPN did rather than just be puppets for NASCAR like SPEED did during the whole California mess.

Anonymous said...

How do you prove if it's cheating? All the media can do is speculate and give their opinions. Across the media board, there have been storys and reports taking both sides.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon,

I thought about it, but in this context of TV-related topics, I chose to stay with the words on the program.

If Manske had pinned down her announcers like Burr and Bestwick do on a regular basis, maybe things would have come across as more balanced.

Good point though, thanks for the comment.

JD

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 12:07PM,

Exactly right. The role of the media is to present both sides, support those with facts, and let the viewers decide.

As you can hear on Fox right now, the challenge of trying to strike a balance where this story is concerned continues to be a challenge for the TV networks.

JD

Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds like you are asking for Angelique to take the Eric K role, and stir up some ESPN conspiracy story. Roush held a press conference and denied it was done on purpose. Reporters should report what they know, not speculate. There are enough "talking heads" to do the speculating for us.

Daly Planet Editor said...

No, exactly the opposite. Asking her and all the reporters to report both sides of the story.

The other side of this issue was never mentioned, reported or even suggested. The recent comments of other drivers and some team management types have shown the reality of the sentiment in the garage where this "incident" is concerned.

Mike Joy has been talking a lot about this story since SPEED has been on the air this afternoon.

JD

bevo said...

This is the crux of the problem covering NASCAR - too many of the people "reporting" have by necessity ties to those they are covering. It is still a very insular community.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Just a heads-up, the Google Blogspot server is once again having problems. If service is slow for some of you, I apologize.

JD

Anonymous said...

JD, thank you for posting this. I've been one of the people complaining about this. I was very disappointed in the PR approach (which I think you are spot on with) that NASCAR Now took. I think SPEED messed up yesterday too not interviewing some of the drivers that were giving interviews on their opinions on this issue. I've read interviews from Jeff Burton, Dale Jr., and Elliot Sadler to name a few that say that the missing cover could be an accident is very unlikely. Dale Jr. even said that excuse made him laugh and that saying that is ridiculous. Sadler said that calling it accidential "insults my intelligence". That would be some good TV. Many crew chiefs have come forward too and expressed strong opinions.

Like I said in a previous comment - everyone should express their opinion on the matter, but Rusty and Co. flat out declaring that it was accidential and that there was no advantage was wrong. How does Rusty know for sure that it was accidential - many drivers don't seem to agree with him. He should have said it could very well have been accidential if he wanted to express that. And the advantage that it provides has been well documented so I really don't understand NASCAR Now and it's no advantage stance. I think it's funny that Sportscenter reports about the advantage, but NASCAR Now doesn't.

There are pictures that crew members have that showed clips that hold that window in place looked as though they were open -- which would allow air into the driver's compartment and creating downforce. Why didn't this come up in any of Rusty's safety discussions? I've seen it referenced in numerous articles.

NASCAR Now's treatment of this storyline left a lot to be desired IMO. I expected a balanced look with both sides represented.

Anonymous said...

To me you have Angelique, Marty and Terry as your "Reporters", they should report without opinion. Then there are any number of Analysts and hosts that can give opinions and take sides.

Newracefan said...

Major google problems here, haven't been able to post for about 2 hours and still pretty slow.

The first problem I had with Nascar Now was that they never really tried to show me, they have a cut away car and 2 crew chiefs and all we got was reporters and a shot of the car. Monday Ray should have been standing next to that car and giving us a hands on birds eye view but no. I finally saw what should have been shown just now on Speed's practice coverage. I also remember waching Angelique and thinking why doesn't she have someone from Roush on camera are they afraid to talk on camera or don't think it was worth their time. Obviously since the Lee White incident Roush is hot and on camera everywhere. It was all just a little strange and if it wasn't for the other stuff I saw and read I would have thought it was just an oops by the 99 team and not a big deal. Overall the coverage was not very balanced. Speed guys are a little better I belive Hammond thinks it was a mistake, Daryl does not and Larry Mac is leaning towards may not have been an overt act but they were hoping it might and did nothing to prevent in and might have helped some things along. Unless of course they have been told to balance it out to be fair. Nascar Now could have spoken to others outside their group for counter opinions and never did or even someone official from Nascar

Anonymous said...

I don't know if it's fair to now dismiss Boris Said as "this sports car racer who is out of sync with NASCAR" simply because you don't like the way he presented his opinion. He is an analyst (as is Brad), not a reporter and there's a big difference.

For the record I don't agree with his opinion on this event - but Boris has basically been hired by every team in the NASCAR garage to teach every driver under the age of 30 how to drive at Watkins Glen and Infineon. I'd like to find a NASCAR driver under that age who hasn't spent days out practicing with Boris. And he's done that well. He would have sat on the pole at an oval track race last season if it hadn't been rained out. He knows a little something about NASCAR.

So I'd rather just say I disagree with him on this issue rather than insinuate that he doesn't belong as a NASCAR analyst.

Angelique is usually very good, but don't forget that Roush is based in Livonia, Mich, which is where her main base of NASCAR coverage lies (the Detroit area). As she has gotten a lot of Roush news before others before, it wouldn't surprise me if that's how she was able to talk to Smith - probably long established contacts there.

I agree that it shouldn't be couched in spokesman-like terms without a rebuttal from the other side, but this unfortunately happens all the time in NASCAR reporting. I recall when AT&T/NASCAR were having their battle, and Marty Smith couched NASCAR's responses on NASCAR Now in the same way as Angelique couched Smith's. NASCAR's views of AT&T and the lawsuit were bascially presented as is with no opposing view and no followup analysis from Marty or whomever the host was at that time.

So, not the first time this has happened on NASCAR Now and likely won't be the last.

The bottom line is: NASCAR is riddled with conflict of interests, more than about any other sport out there that I've seen. And that includes the NASCAR media, which I've seen compared to Pravda by other media -they toe the party line. Change that and we'll get better reporting.

Anonymous said...

Simply asking Chengelis if, as a veteran NASCAR reporter, she believed any part of what Smith told her would have put the entire report in perspective.

Chengelis should NOT have been asked or have answered a question of whether she believed Smith or not. That's not in a reporter's job description and would have been completely inappropriate for her to say on air if an interviewee is lying or not. That's for NASCAR columnists and analysts to decide.

That would be like another of the ESPN reporters saying "Despite all these Carl Edwards interviews we've seen, neither I or anybody I know believes what he's saying about this bolt." They can say it to their friends in a bar, but not on TV. It just shouldn't be done.

This is a case where instead of Chengelis taking Smith's words from an earlier interview and restating them on air (which is done on NASCAR Now by all reporters all the time), she should have asked for a emailed statement from him that could have been transcribed into one of those picture graphics with a statement that we see all the time. Or asked to record the interview for replay later. That way nothing could be misinterpreted from Smith's side and she wouldn't seem like she is favoring his POV. Then she should have reported what Lee White and drivers were saying, with no spin and preferably on video.

Otherwise, they should stayed with Jack Roush's clear cut statements from Friday and not Smith's.

Anonymous said...

JD- Is the column with your take on how FOX SPEED handled this also going up soon? Said so in the comments on the other thread a few hours ago, but Google may have caused a delay....

Richard in N.C. said...

JD- What I find improper is that no one makes it clear that many of the people offering opinions have conflicts. I am a fan of Boris Said, did not see/hear what he said, and believe he should be free to say whatever he thinks - BUT, he or ESPN should make the listeners aware that Boris has a business relation with Roush-Fenway so the listeners can put his comments in context. Likewise, Jeff Burton, Dale, Jr., and Elliot Sadler are all competing with R-Fenway and, thus, also have an inherent conflict, and just might want to try to distract the Roush-Fenway teams from focusing on the race.
I believe this is similar to the poor reporting done last year about Carl Edwards run in on SPEED with Matt Kenseth. When several drivers were quoted criticizing Carl Edwards (and for more than his on-camera actions), I never heard or read anyone say that some of the drivers might have a reason to sully Edwards' reputation for their own personal benefit - such as competitors for the Chase or the driver of the as yet undetermined Roush Cup team that Roush will have to do away with after 2009(?) for Roush to get down to the 4 team limit.

darbar said...

Fair and Balanced---that's all we want. And with this entire situation, I don't feel we have balanced. Fair, maybe, but not balanced. When any broadcaster is reporting on an issue that has two sides, said broadcaster must present both sides without prejudice. The Nascar Now sequence showed the Roush Fenway side of the story, and not any other. It would have been interesting if NN would have inserted the comments by drivers and by the person from Toyota. What I don't want from NN is anyone shilling for one team over another.

Vince said...

Good article JD. I kept waiting for the opposing viewpoints when I was watching this show. I like Angelique, but I think she may be a little to close to the Roush camp and didn't want to risk alienating them. As for Boris, like a previous poster said he's basically in Roush's back pocket as it is. With all the help he gets as a satellite operation for Roush. So I knew before he even spoke he was going to be pro Roush in his views on this one.

I'd would have liked to see Marty in on this discussion. I think he might have gotten us more comments from other drivers and crew chiefs. Where was he anyway??

All in all a very one sided presentation of the issue and a poorly done show by ESPN and NN. They dropped the ball on this one.

Anonymous said...

Is there an ESPN or SPEED analyst who offers opinions who *doesn't* have a business and/or personal connection to the sport? If so, they are unusual. Plus some of the reporters (Marty Smith, Matt Yocum) host radio talk shows with drivers, and I know Marty has led audience Q&As for drivers at personal appearances because a friend of mine went to one(Junior). I assume they don't do those out of the goodness of their hearts and are compensated for them.

But it starts at the top - NASCAR sets the example that everyone follows. You have Mike Helton and a few NASCAR staff - not a separate set of officials who have nothing to do with running NASCAR - officiating the racing *and* assessing both in-race and post-race penalties.

It would be like the NBA's Stu Jackson (Helton/Darby's equivalent, who gives out NBA penalties) sitting upstairs and making the calls on the basketball court action, then deciding the penalties for the same players two days later.

Don't get David Poole started on that lack of separation between NASCAR and race officiating. He can entertain us with his (accurate) rants on that all day!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 3:15PM,

I could not disagree with you more in this one instance. The reason she should have been asked is because she "reported" the opinion of a senior management person at Roush as fact. She never disclaimed any of it as opinion or public relations spin.

The simple question from Manske should have been, "how much of that do you think is true?" That is the only way to cap-off a reporter who is trying to slip something by on-the-air.

That way, you could have on the record her response. If she said "not a lot" it would change everything.

I agree that under normal circumstances (which is the example my column used as normal) there is not need to ask the reporter for an opinion.

This show needed Ryan Burr, Marty Smith or an analyst no longer actively involved in the sport like Petree.

If you check courant.com for Shawn Courchesne's outstanding column, you will see the outrage and laughter from the garage about what Smith had to say, and ESPN swallowed hook, line and sinker.

JD

Anonymous said...

I'd would have liked to see Marty in on this discussion. I think he might have gotten us more comments from other drivers and crew chiefs. Where was he anyway??
Despite what some people choose to believe, Marty Smith is not the perfect NASCAR reporter and has as many conflicts or more as the rest of them. He doesn't always bring us both sides of the story (I remember the cingular thing, because I was mad that the NASCAR guy actually had the nerve to say "the fans" are tired of lawsuits so cingular should stop fighting so "the fans" would be happy. Marty read those quotes off his notepad on camera; he didn't say what he thought of that or if he thought any part of it was true. Nor was he asked if he thought it was true.

The ESPN Insider - Angelique - and the program producers made a mistake in the way they presented the information. Other insiders including Marty, have done the same on past shows and may have done it yesterday if they were there. We don't know. But this "Marty Smith would have saved the day stuff" is getting kind of tiring to read, and I like the guy.

red said...

i guess what bothers me the most is that the scientific realities of the oil tank lid situation is something that should be so clear but has now become so muddied. it's become unreasonably hard to understand what actually happened and it seems that it should be pretty easy to explain. instead, we now have people discussing the number of bolts involved, the lid being off versus partially off, the status of the right rear window latches: all of these questions should have been answered BEFORE there were any discussions about who and why. good reporting should have dug at these questions first.

once these questions are answered, then i would like to hear a serious discussion about what the impact of all that could have been. only after all of that is brought to a consensus answer should the interviews and discussions move to who and why and how and who is biased in what direction.

seems it all moved directly to the personalities and loyalties and positioning that the few facts we may actually know about what happened have been lost.
hard to be either fair or balanced when one doesn't have basic information. getting that should have been the roles of these reporters.

Richard in N.C. said...

If you eliminated all the reporters and commentators who have conflicts, then all you would have left would be those who have no idea what they are talking about- such as Erik K.

I see no problem in using reporters or commentators who have conflicts, PROVIDED the conflict or potential conflict is disclosed so the listener, or reader, can put the comments made into context-and print reporters, in my view, are the very worst for failing to disclose their conflicts.

I did not hear what Boris Said said- and I am a fan of his - but, it sounds to me that he actually sidestepped the question by instead asserting that the cover removal would have given Edwards no benefit, which I have heard others say.

Daly Planet Editor said...

BTW - don't forget Tradin' Paint on SPEED tonight at 9:30PM. It should be interesting to see what Kyle Petty and his media guest have to say about all this stuff.

JD

Anonymous said...

red - great comment.

I agree with you that we should know by now exactly what the issues is with the oil lid cover, but the problem is that NASCAR was not specific. All they said was it was a violation of three rules in the mysterious NASCAR rule book.

Leaving everything open to speculation and rumor, which results in the different stories presented by the media. NASCAR is the entity that could state the exact condition of the lid and latches since they examined the car at their research facility, and they should have done that when issuing the penalty, not relied on vague rule violations.

No surprise, though - We still don't know substance what was in Michael Waltrip's car last year because NASCAR said they weren't going to tell us. Mind-boggling if you stop and think about it.

Brrrn Rubber said...

"I see no problem in using reporters or commentators who have conflicts, PROVIDED the conflict or potential conflict is disclosed so the listener, or reader, can put the comments made into context"

IMO that's pretty darn impossible the way things are now.

-Is DW going to mention his Toyota Connection every time he's on RaceDay or an actual race talking about how great the Toyotas are or how great Kyle Busch is? What about Hammond owning part or all of a race team (Trucks)?

-Is Michael's Toyota connection going to be mentioned on TWIN or a Truck Race?

-Every time Yocum or Marty Smith interviews Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, or Dale Earnhardt Jr. on a controversial issue or praises them on TV, are they going to mention that they'll be recording a weekly XM/Sirius show (or something similar) with them the day or two after that week's race?

And on and on. It would take up way to much broadcast time to mention all the connections the NASCAR folks have goin' on when they are commenting or reporting on a controversy. Sad really.

red said...

hey anon 5:26, here's my follow-up then: is it just us, the fans (and maybe media) who don't know exactly what was/wasn't done? do the teams know? i mean, not just in the same vague way we're entertaining but in a real, detail level way? 'cause, if not, how can the same "error" be avoided in the future? granted, some "errors" are so egregious that they are, by default, obvious. but if the teams aren't told in specific detail what was wrong, what then? shouldn't they be told more than just which chapter & verse of the infamous rulebook has been violated?
as for me: i keep trying to figure it out based on what i've been able to dig out from sites like stockcarscience.com and courant.com but it would really make more sense to get concrete info from nascar. why the secrecy &/or vague information? concrete answers would eliminate a whole lotta this speculation and bashing. guess i just always prefer to start with hard science first then move into the other stuff!

Anonymous said...

It would be like the NBA's Stu Jackson (Helton/Darby's equivalent, who gives out NBA penalties) sitting upstairs and making the calls on the basketball court action, then deciding the penalties for the same players two days later.
--------------------------
For real! Actually the even more real comparison would be Stu running around on court refereeing the game, Stu throwing a player out of the game for two technicals, and then Stu announcing later that the player was suspended and fined for "actions detrimental to the NBA." A one stop shop!

That's NASCAR, and I agree, if they aren't going to clean up or own up to their own conflicts of interest, why should the related parties do it when they're called on to analyze the news?

Richard in N.C. said...

Brrrn Rubber- In my view running a scroll across the top or bottom of the screen would be adequate - or don't use reporters or commentators where a conflict exists. I will not hold my breath until any network does either.

On CNBC when an investment analyst or manager speaks about a particular stock, at the end of the interview he or she is asked whether his firm has done any business with the corporation and whether the interviewee, his firm, his fund, or his family own any stock in the discussed corp.

darbar said...

I sure would like to see Elliott Sadler on Tradin' Paint. On Nascar.com, he has some very interesting, and controversial, comments about the 99 situation. He says that he wants to see stiffer penalties like having wins taken away from cheating teams. Of course, you have to define what's cheating and what's an "oops". When you consider that Edwards won more than $425,000 for his Vegas win, and got 195 points, fining them $100K and taking away 100 points doesn't really mean diddly. I mean, look at Jimmie Johnson---they were caught cheating at Daytona and he still went on to win the championship. So, if Tradin' Paint really wants a great show, bring on both sides of the issue and them them duke it out.

Anonymous said...

JD, I'm anon 3:15. While I certainly respect your opinion and appreciate you explaining your thought process, I will still disagree.

If Chengelis had answered "Not a lot" to Manske's supposed question "How much of that do you think is true?" she would never get to talk to Geoff Smith or probably anyone else at Roush again. That's burning a source, plain as day.

It doesn't matter if this was a normal circumstance or if Chengelis was wrong - as she was -in this case for not presenting interviews from other sources. I'm not trying to stick up for her. As I said in my post, she also should have recorded the smith conversation for on- air use or had a statement for on air use delivered in email rather than interpret it for Smith.

She didn't, so a mistake was made and she should be called on it. No need to compound the mistake and make it 100 times worse by having a reporter humiliate the president of Roush Fenway Racing by inferring he is a liar. (BTW, I don't like Geoff Smith.)

It's not like some scandal where a reporter reports something untruthful and that subject (like a coach) is fired and the reporter doesn't have to deal with them again. Geoff Smith wouldn't get fired if Chengelis said she didn't believe his statement. That's a small world (NASCAR), and they all have to still work together. ESPN and Chengelis have nothing to gain and everything to lose by doing something like what you suggested.

Richard in N.C. said...

As I recall, NASCAR's consistent policy has been that fans are going to know the winner of the race when the race is over - period, not a day or days later.

I believe Dale, Jr. would have made the Chase in 2007 if he had not had points deducted for an improper wing mount - so points can be significant.

Newracefan said...

I agree that asking Angelique her opinion might not be the way to go but how about What are some of the other teams saying would prob have provided a different perspective

Anonymous said...

She didn't, so a mistake was made and she should be called on it. No need to compound the mistake and make it 100 times worse by having a reporter humiliate the president of Roush Fenway Racing by inferring he is a liar. (BTW, I don't like Geoff Smith.)

March 8, 2008 7:05 PM

Yeah, I think the best thing would be to handle that privately on staff (NN) and say, we blew that let's not do it again. Plus if Nicole just sprang an unexpected question saying do you think that's true to Angelique on TV without warning, that could create tension too, putting Nicole in the position of acting like she doesn't believe what Angelique is reporting. It's different if Nicole said that to Rusty or Boris or somebody because they are supposed to give their view.

Anonymous said...

It's no big secret that every car on the track is cheated up. It's just when and if they are caught.

Asking Daughtery his opinion regarding a Nascar issue is an exercise in futility. #1 the guy doesn't know jack and #2 the guy is never, ever, going to go against Nascar. Plus, I thought his role was to be the average fan or some such nonsense.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR Performance is on SPEED now. Chad gave a great explanation of how the cover being off provides more downforce to the car. Bootie expounded on it and was candid enough to give his opinion on that he didn't think it was accidential. Will be interesting to watch Trading Paint and see what they say on there.

SophiaZ123 said...

NASC Perf was good about the oil lid issue. Larry mac was quick to say HE WASN'T JUDGING INTENT but Chad and Bootie seemed to believe there was intent and it made a substantial diff on downforce.

Wish Rusty could've been there. :-)

Anonymous said...

When does McMann and the midget appear?

Anonymous said...

JD,

I disagree with you calling BD completely useless, maybe in that situation, but he does an awesome job. He was one of the few that didnt annoy the heck out of me last year and I think he has gotten better this year.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
JD,

I disagree with you calling BD completely useless, maybe in that situation, but he does an awesome job. He was one of the few that didnt annoy the heck out of me last year and I think he has gotten better this year.

March 8, 2008 11:06 PM

Specifically what does BD do an awesome job doing?

By his own admission, he owes his job to Nascar/France, and his goal is to promote diversity.
Nascar.com: Hoop star Daugherty joins ESPN/ABC team - Oct 13, 2006

The job with ESPN will build on Daugherty's long-running efforts to increase minority participation in one of the least diverse of the major sports.

"This is huge," he told The Citizen-Times in a story published Thursday. "It's unprecedented to have a full-time African-American covering NASCAR, and I'm excited about the opportunity." He and NASCAR chief executive Brian France co-founded NASCAR's Diversity Council several years ago.

"Brian said to me that the cultural impact of this is huge, and I think that's what intrigued me the most," Daugherty said. "I thought that if I don't step up and take this opportunity, who will? It probably wouldn't be another African-American. So I felt some responsibility as well as being a big racing fan who loves the sport."

Tom said...

I don't like the idea of asking a reporter "Do you believe it?", but I would have liked to hear Nicole say "OK we have heard what RFR has said, what are other drivers/owners/crew chiefs saying about this?" This is the approach needed to be taken with a reporter. Ask people like Brad Rusty and Boris the "do you believe it? question. I am not sure you would get a good answer, but I would rather leave the reporters free to collect the news and others to comment on it.

Tom
Inverness, FL

Daly Planet Editor said...

Let's get something straight, I did not call Daugherty "useless." Read my column again.

Each analyst or commentator works best in a certain environment. When Daugherty is alongside of Allen Bestwick to steer the conversation and set the parameters, he is fine.

When he is alone, on a liveshot, on NASCAR Now, he is useless. The reason is exactly the one you see when he is on NASCAR Countdown. Daugherty needs a conversation to contribute. Even when he was turned loose to do a feature on Petty Racing, because he was having a conversation with the King, it was fine.

Alone with an anchor in a studio far away reading questions from a script, what does Daugherty bring to the table? The answer is very little. His perspective and experience works in the roundtable or in the Infield Pit Studio, but certainly not alone.

JD

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up about the Sunday morning one hour version of NASCAR Now.

Anonymous said...

--As he so often is when alone and unsupported by Allen Bestwick, Daugherty was useless.--

--Let's get something straight, I did not call Daugherty "useless." Read my column again.--

I did and you called him useless. See what you said in the first paragraph here. How did you not see what you wrote and deny you wrote it when it's a scroll up the page.