Friday, February 5, 2010

Roush Blasts TV Commentators Again


There certainly have been some interesting agendas revealed this week in Daytona. From Danica Patrick's masterful manipulation of the media to seven hours of media day being webcast on NASCAR.com, it has been fun to watch.

The Trackside program on SPEED was the source of the most recent TDP column. The first show of the season aired at 7PM Friday night and featured guests Jack Roush and Brad Keselowski. The show is hosted by Steve Byrnes and the panelists are Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds and Jeff Hammond.

Roush was seated next to Waltrip on the set and he spoke about various topics including his teams, his goals for this season and his personal history in the sport. Then, Waltrip brought up a topic that once again generated some controversy.

Click here for the TDP story relating the comments about the NASCAR TV partners made by Roush on the January media tour in the Charlotte, NC area. The Roush comments were so off-the-wall that several of the TV networks felt compelled to respond immediately.

"You know Jack," said Waltrip. "I reluctantly bring this subject up but I would not be doing my job if I didn't. I read where you felt that maybe the media had been a little biased or hadn't been fair or maybe too critical. What were you thinking?"

"The thing that was on my mind is I don't watch a lot of baseball," said Roush. "But I watch the playoffs for basketball, hockey...when it comes down to our final ten races I watch that in all the series if I can...and it came to my attention and I spoke to that...I thought the people who announce the other sports were more supportive of the sanctioning bodies and of the sport(s) itself than some of us (in the NASCAR media) have been."

Roush then looked directly at Waltrip and continued:

"And I'll say than you have been some days," Roush commented. "That's not saying that you don't have heart for what you doing and everybody at the table and everybody else that picks up a microphone does not have passion for what they do."

"But, we need to make the most we can of the exciting dimensions of the things we have going on and not look at the things that would be negative that would be possibly not absolutely agreed upon by everybody."

Darrell Waltrip then emphasized to Roush that everyone involved on the media side loves the sport, has their own opinions and sees things differently. Waltrip reminded Roush the each owner also has their own agenda and the media has to sort through those issues.

Roush then brought up another item from his original interview:

"And we all have our own prejudices." he said. "We've had fights and the ones that we didn't finish the way we wanted to, so sometimes we like to fight when we shouldn't."

Roush was speaking to the point that he made in the NASCAR.com column where he stated that some TV announcers are still grinding personal axes left over from their driving days. Roush specifically called-out Rusty Wallace and Waltrip.

There are a couple of points to be discussed and then we are going to ask for your comments. The line between public relations and journalism is that PR is all about controlling what is said and journalism is all about making sure everything is said.

The Roush belief that somehow TV commentators shrouded the sport in a dark cloud is laughable. On the other hand, the longtime problem that we have discussed many times is that personalities like Wallace, Waltrip, Brad Daugherty and even Phil Parsons have ongoing direct business dealings inside the very sport on which they comment.

Where do you come down on the recent Roush comments? Is ESPN a network that speaks to the reality of NASCAR while SPEED shows like Trackside, Raceday and Victory Lane are all about public relations? Is Roush delivering a NASCAR message to the TV partners to watch their step this season?

The theories have been flying in the TDP email about why one owner suddenly is advancing this theory that "TV negativity" is to blame for the issues of last season's declining attendance and TV ratings. While you earlier read the response from the TV networks, it may be the silence from NASCAR itself on this topic that may be speaking the loudest.

To add your comment on this topic, just click the comments button below. There is nothing to join and we do not want your email. We just want your opinion!

TDP is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by. We have a full slate of updates, news and live blogs scheduled for Saturday. Please join us for the ARCA race and Bud Shoot Out.

42 comments:

Judson Haas said...

So basically Jack believes commentators should lie when the racing sucks?

Donb said...

Well I have to agree with him about Rusty Wallace,it's very obvious he despises Jeff Gordon. DW, not so much, he has mellowed, except for his admiration of Dale Jr.

matriarch said...

I'll speak regarding my own negativity. Toyota was all over Trackside tonight. A contest, building cars for panel, WTH? We've got a network doing shillwork for a car company. That's just wrong. Owners or anybody have close relations with any car brand or any driver in Nascar should NOT be an announcer on any network carrying Nascar programming. It instantly signals favoritism and questionable intentions.

U Want Some? said...

Jack has got to have at least one thing to bitch about. This season it is the TV people.......

Richard in N.C. said...

I have yet to see any article comment that maybe Jack Roush had his own agenda and was getting back at DW and Rusty for making critical comments about the unexpected decline in the performance of the Roush cars from 2008. I can't say it was DW or Rusty, but I recall hearing quite reasonable comments on TV about the Roush teams slipping backward from 2008, such as no wins except for the 2 wins by Matt Kenseth in the first 2 weeks of the 2009 season. It seems to me that Roush almost always gets a pass by the print media - but did not in 2009 by the TV commentators. Roush made some really biased, self-serving comments 3 years ago about how Toyota was going to come in and overwhelm NASCAR, but I never saw anyone in the print media challenge his comments. The print media's handling of Roush's comments about DW and Rusty demonstrstes again the bias in the print media and how they look out for their favorites, without regard to the facts.

Anonymous said...

I do not care for Jack Rousch. I met him last year at the California Speedway and I was trying to get his autograph. I was right in front of him and he just kept ignoring me. The man walks around with his nose up in the air!! I think he is wrong!! He just wants things HIS WAY!!!

RvNGrammy said...

DW's admiration has moved from Dale, Jr. to Kyle Busch, partly because he drives a Toyota and DW sells them at his dealership, partly because he likes a driver who roughs up the other competitors and gets away with it. I agree with matriarch and the distaste for SPEED becoming a marketing arm for Toyota. That may be one reason Jack is upset but he isn't telling us about that. He puts the blame on the talking heads instead of management. I do agree that Rusty Wallace still has a hate on for Jeff Gordon and it makes me gag to hear the booth go gaga over the "great" Kryle Busch.

RvNGrammy said...

Have to add, after reading Anonymous' comments....when we were at the Martinsville Airport a few years ago, Jack was one of the few who came over to the small group...maybe 15 of us...to give out autographs. He was very nice. Maybe it was because he wasn't "on the job" at the track, but on his way home after an ok day at the track. (JJ won.)

Anonymous said...

B'leeve many of us were being pretty critical of the coverage during the Chase last year. Why be surprised that JR was as displeased? My main problem with *all* the tv coverage is that racing isn't being 'covered' with the solitary car in-frame, stationary speed shots, over-use of the in-car cams and that (shudder) Rodent!
I *really* want to see racing!

TominBristol (thanx, JD)

Sally said...

Once again, someone assumes that Nascar fans are incapable of deciding for ourselves whether we find the racing entertaining or not. We have to be told what wwe think, then just follow like sheep? Thanks for the vote of confidence, Jack.

Yes, I think some of the announcers have a bias...but I'm well aware of them ,and can discount the more obvious comments. I also don't consider most of the commentators journalists. That is up to the reporters for Speed or ESPN. Let Mike Helton and the other Nascar employees cheerlead for Nascar....that's part of their job. It is not the job of the networks to do so.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Daly Planet Editor said...

Try that one again please. No caps and no shouting. Thanks.

Gymmie said...

@anon 9:55 sorry you had that experience :(. A few years ago when I was still in Cali, I had gone to Stockton to meet Elliott & then to Roseville to meet Mr. Roush & Da Biff. He was very nice & accomodating to everyone.
Yes the announcers have biases but we fans are smart enough to KNOW what's good & what's bad. We can see through the bias & let the action-or lack thereof provide the entertainment & story.

Anonymous said...

Let's be clear here. DW does not have a Toyota dealership. His store sells Honda and Volvo.

Shirley Buttacavoli said...

I used to watch ESPN on a daily basis. However, since the network became part of the ABC/Disney family, I feel it has lost its credibility. I can’t remember the first false statement made several years ago, but the one that turned me off was when Ryan Newman drove the #12 Penske Dodge. His team would have contests, and the loser would have to dress up as a character or personality. The final straw was when one of the crew members was dressed up like Elvis (or somebody), and more than one announcer on SportsCenter said it was Ryan Newman – obviously reading a script.

The guy was over 6’ tall and thin. Even with the costume, I knew it was NOT Ryan Newman. To air the video and make the statement once or twice, could be taken as a mistake. But do to it for an entire day was unacceptable.

Except for a few reporters, I no longer believe what ESPN reports until I verify it somewhere else.

As far as Roush, IMO he’s not happy unless he’s complaining about something. I guess he had to give up on the COT and Toyota. So now he’s focusing on the media.

There is no doubt the ‘media’ is aware, but have they figured out how to handle the situation?

As Steve Byrnes was closing for break just before Roush was coming on Trackside, Hammond asked Larry Mac if he was going to wear his ‘Bama hat when Roush was on. There were some laughs, then DW said, in what sounded like a stern/serious voice: “I wouldn’t go there Larry.”

Was that tone fear? Apprehension? Or just knowledge as to what Darrell expected from Mr. Roush –negativity toward him and his industry?

After working for the Marketing Department of the Florida Gators for several years, I learned 99.9% of the time the media gets the last word. I have a feeling Jack Roush might find that out in the near future. I’m pulling for the guys with the laptops, pens, cameras and microphones.

Anonymous said...

Mr.Roush seemed like quite the politition,dacing around with his comments,never answering the question directly.Saving face or kissing butt?

bevo said...

Roush is the type of guy who has to always have someone or something out to get him. If there isn't he will create one to fill the bill.

I can count on one hand the number of times in the past decade of watching NASCAR races that an announcer was actually critical of anything to do with the racing. Since Jack is at the races I doubt he ever watches and listens to the broadcasts.

There is very little actual journalism when it comes to NASCAR. The vast majority of those who cover the sport are little more than cheerleaders who know that one call from Daytona can end their career.

There was an episode of Car Crazy a few months ago that featured Roush and his car collection. He was a completely different person, laughing and telling the stories behind some of the cars. I had to keep reminding myself that I was watching the same guy.

dannyboy said...

Aw, Jack! Wanna complain 'bout something? Why dont-cha go put one o' yer sway bars in MWR's garage and claim they stole it..... Wait: that already happened? Uh, lessee...um....let the oil reservoir cover come off the 99 car and when you're caught at it point at Toyota and say, "They tried it TOO!"

Oh, well...did that already too.

Listen, I respect Jack on a lot of levels, but this isn't one of them. Maybe he should just shut up and get his teams back in the winners' circle. That might actually improve TV ratings and attendance.

I mean, I love the Hendrick organization, but I think we're all getting a little tired of the same winners every year.

Jonathan said...

I agree w Jack all the way and have since I first read about this!

Jim said...

Did anyone hear Tony Stewart's opinion about the "print media?" I don't have the exact quote, but he blistered the print writers and praised the TV folks.
So Jack Roush has an opinion, Tony has an opinion, DW has an opinion. Who doesn't?
Nowhere that I know of does NASCAR get bashed more than in the "comments" from Daly Planet loyalists.

Buschseries61 said...

Again, take anything Jack Roush says with a grain of salt. Every year he is unhappy with something.

What are the announcers supposed to do? Lie to us? When the racing is bad, it is bad. When 6 cars pull into the garage to S&P we should know. If the announcers can't see the debris in the famous debris caution, let them question it. It is their job to be observant, not propaganda.

The biggest issue with tv coverage is the camerawork and production truck, not announcer bias. Fox has gold with Mike Joy & ESPN has promise in Marty Reid. Show us the racing and let the action on track speak for itself.

Chris from NY said...

Roush should blame the execs and the directing crews for not supporting NASCAR, not the announcers. After all, the execs and directors are the inexperienced ones who can throw a monkey wrench into what could be a fine broadcast.

There are not a lot of problems with the announcers, though others can tell different. The real problems are bad camera work, Digger, occasional lack of weekday and off-season programming, etc.

red said...

roush has apparently decided that i am incapable of deciding for myself what to think of the nascar broadcasts, the quality of racing, and that i am willing led by the media. all i can say to that is: roush don't know jack!

for me, the issue is the disconnect between what roush sees at the track and what i see from home. if the racing is as solid as he believes, then the issue is not that the media criticizes the racing. the issue is that the broadcast media fails to show the racing!

i know the biases that various announcers bring to the booth and i take that into account as i listen to them. they infuriate me, to be certain, but i don't rely on their view of nascar to shape mine. and i most certainly do not rely on jack roush to assist me in forming my own opinion.

to me, this is a case of arrogance on the part of roush and acquiescence to it on the parts of DW and LarryMac. as a fan, i'm disappointed with them all.

Chris Buchanan said...

Jack always seems to find something to complain about. NASCAR's decline is because of the IROCish look the sport has become. The muzzle on emotions and the racing they have implemented. If they do what they say their going to do about spoilers, let them drive and police themselves and so on, could get some of the "Old racing" back. LEt the Rusty's and DW's, Dale Jarretts and so on speak. Whether I like what is said or not, they have keen insight to the past of the sport that is and has been the part of the sport. To Jack, concentrate on your Teams performance and not on TV.....

51 yr. fan said...

I'm not a Roush fan, but I think he
handled the comment very diplomaticaly. It didn't seem to me
that he was addressing the Talladega criticisms as much as he was the announcer's agendas and
past conflicts. We fans all know
of DW's brother's Toyota race team
and evergoing NAPA infomercials and
can't understand why FOX doesn't
employ someone who has no agenda.

Anonymous said...

Fox & Speed only exist to clown around and could care less about credibility (Digger & Friends, Rutledge Wood, Kenny Wallace, Chris Myers, NASCAR Smarts, the new Fast Track to Reality crap, Most Colorful Fan of NASCAR, DW waving the pom-poms for Kyle Busch, production compund staff dancing and twirling disco balls over their heads while "working" and on and on and on........)

ESPN only exists to emphasize the negative and tries to stir up controversy themselves when nothing bad is happening naturally.

TNT's not around long enough to have a completely fair opinion but doesn't seem to decidedly lean to one extreme or the other.

Anonymous said...

I will post a comment from Jim Morrison, in 1968:
"Whoever controls the media, controls the mind."
There is some fact among fiction, people.IMO, Jack is trying to stop-gap a growing trend with the media "dumbing down" the public. I mean, really, there are people out there that believe in three-headed Elvis', because the media(National Enquirer)told them it exists.How many people believe Jimmie Johnson is actually talented? Again, because the media pushes that agenda.

Donna in FL said...

I'm gonna say this bluntly. I don't care who has what ax to grind. Everyone has an opinion and I appreciate hearing them because they all vary. But MAKE SURE when you speak it you label it as such!! THAT is what upsets me... making opinion into fact. A fact is unchangeable no matter who says it. When people watch racing they form their own opinion. Some people have a problem with that.
Also, some of these guys are getting OLD... maybe the thought is that if we don't all get our gripes out now, it'll be too late!!

GinaV24 said...

Roush always has something to complain about. If all the commentators were saying wonderful things about his teams, he'd probably be happy, maybe. I'm capable of deciding whether what I see and hear on TV and the radio makes sense to me or not AND whether I think the racing is exciting or not. I don't need the media or the biased commentators to lie to me OR for that matter, have NASCAR tell the drivers to only say positive things -- or else. Geez, how stupid they think the fans are - its so darn insulting.

What I want from the commentators and media are the facts. I'd prefer unbiased commentating but that isn't going to happen in NASCAR given the business relationships that DW, cRusty, Brad, Parsons & others all have with the sport that they are in the booth for, so for me, they lack credibility and like Jack, I think many of them still have axes to grind -- Rusty is a prime example of that and the Waltrip cheerleading squad has worn out its welcome for me.

Jojaye said...

If Jack would think it through before he speaks he'd sound like an intelligent person instead of a cranky old man. This year his target is the media.
Who cares, really?

Speed shills for Toyota & every thing with NASCAR brass is wonderful.

espn rips NASCAR & its drivers & fans as often & hard as they can.
2 opposites there and then
TNT & Fox are in the middle ground.Mostly.

I would not go to any of them as my only source anymore. To many conflicting interests, and agendas for any kind of independent reporting of just facts anymore.
I don't believe much any of them have to say unless I can cross verify it.

If a fan can figure it out - why can't Jack?

Anonymous said...

Matriarch has hit the nail right on the head, good points. As far as owning a dealership or not, wearing a shirt with Toyota over the pocket is wrong enough in my eyes.And Gymmie, as far as seeing through the bias, we shouldn't have to do that. The on air people should try as much as possible not to show bias. And I don't blame Roush for not getting into a heated discussion with DW on the air, the media, as Shirley says, always gets the last word. What he said about DW and Rusty was on target.If DW's feelings are hurt he can correct it, stop the bias for Toyota, the schilling for his DW store ,and make it a point to try and improve.

glenc1 said...

as a fan for 12, 13 years, many of those following Roush cars (though not now) I think we all know Jack likes to talk. And we don't always like what he has to say. It is always a fine line. You often hear a football announcer rail on a bad call, and yet in the next breath, talk about what a tough job the officials have. Hard to support the activity yet be honest at the same time but that's what everyone tries to do in every sport.

But as for the conversation--I simply heard two guys who respect each other agreeing to disagree without getting into too much detail (which isn't really a function of Trackside). Not a big deal. I think if a writer or commentator felt the need to come out with some story ripping Jack, they have a right to do so, just as Jack does to give his opinion. I do think reporters tend to dwell on the most negative and most positive things they can find, and ignore much that falls in the middle....the real stories.

Ya know, I'll be honest. I've been reading this stuff about Rusty & Jeff and yet I never noticed it. I'd like to hear some specific examples if anyone remembers one. I guess I just haven't paid enough attention (I'm not a particular fan or hater of either.)

Also, I experienced what others did with Roush--he came out of the RV lot on an ATV--coulda kept going, yet he stopped, sat there and started signing autograhs for everyone who wanted, like 15 minutes. Many times, it's all about the timing. These folks sometimes have a lot on their minds.

Anonymous said...

SPEED stands for "Silly People Exist Every Day"

Grow up and broadcast the event!

So tacky to see each announcer on SPEED wearing a different sponsor on their shirt...

Dodge Boy said...

Hard to believe that anyone could think that good ole DW would be anything but a straight shootin' tell-it-like-it-is kind of guy.

Dodge Boy From Canada

Anonymous said...

Trackside and all NASCAR related broadcasts, blogs, etc are about entertainment and not about 'journalism. The racing principles, entertainers, and 'reporters' should be free to express any opinion they want. Those who are being entertained are obligated to sort it out or not.

Anonymous said...

On one hand Jack has a point that the announcers need to step up their game. But on the other hand, it's ridiculous to expect reporters to look the other way when the news isn't so great or stick to the party line's "talking points". Not every media outlet operates like FOX News.

Thankfully.

Haus14 said...

I do not think anyone should get all twisted up over Toyota or anyone else having a logo on a set. All of those Toyota logos and other product logos are there because those companies pay to put them there. All of the network broadcasts have paid advertisers as well as sponsor logos visible throughout the broadcast...This is certainly nothing new and is not unique to Fox or to racing. (ESPN's Home Depot Garage or Dish Tech Center are a few other examples)

The Mad Man said...

While the Fox Part of the season consists of a lot of cheerleading and shilling (Jr, Scrub, a car manufacturer, a tire manufacturer, a fuel supplier, and the sanctioning body)the TNT part was very refreshing and quite honest. Unfortunately, it wasn't long enough. ESPN/ABC was, let's face it, very representative of what was happening on the track. Boring! And they were justly criticised for it until Talladega when they called it the way it was and got taken to the hauler by the sanctioning body for their remarks.Fox has their shills and cheerleadrs, ESPN has theirs. I don't see why Jack got his panties in a wad over this. I've met him before, got to talk with him for a couple of minutes, and even got an autograph. If he really wanted to make a point, he should've asked why Fox and ESPN can't do a broadcast like TNT.

David said...

jack being jack.

he makes some good points, but nothing worth getting worked up over.

Richard in N.C. said...

Roush won't criticize the real nattering nabobs of NASCAR negativity (the print media) since they print everything he says as if he brought it down the mountain with Moses.

On Trackside it seemed to me that DW gave Roush the opportunity to express himself and Roush blinked.

Anonymous said...

Logos on a set,sponsors paying the networks, that's always been done. A commentator being paid by a automaker and that person then plugs that make of car in excess is what most people are talking about.I don't blame Jack for not getting into an on air fight with DW. DW knows what Roush said and he reiterated it on the show. Obvious is obvious, Jack was right in this case.

Richard in N.C. said...

Roush showed me 3 years ago with his baseless warning about Toyota that he will say whatever benefits him regardless of facts, so I don't think he has any credibility. At a minimum he demonstrated to me that he has no class since it was obvious that he made vague accusations about DW and Rusty and had not bothered to say anything directly to DW. Sounds to me like maybe Roush was trying to put the TV guys on the defensive as far as criticizing the performance of his cars.