Feder: White Sox, Cubs networks squander credibility with suspicious editing
Twice in recent weeks Chicago's regional sports networks have shown they cannot be trusted.
In both cases editorial standards were compromised in ways that shortchanged viewers and raised suspicions. In the end, they came off as kowtowing to teams whose owners have substantial equity interests in the networks.
On Thursday NBC Sports Chicago edited out a key sequence in the evening replay of that day's Chicago White Sox game -- one that included Tony LaRussa's controversial decision ordering an intentional walk to a Los Angeles Dodgers batter. It resulted in the next batter hitting a three-run home run, effectively burying the White Sox and costing them the game.
But in place of the most consequential minutes of the game, NBC Sports Chicago simply skipped over it and posted a graphic that read: "Due to the length of this program we now move ahead in the action."
The network later attributed the lapse to an "error in judgment" in the process of editing the rebroadcast for "time constraints."
Chicago Bulls and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf owns a 50 percent majority interest in NBC Sports Chicago.
On May 22 Marquee Sports Network excised a segment from "The Reporters," a weekly sports roundtable, that included criticism of Chicago Cubs baseball operations president Jed Hoyer. During the taping, a producer ordered the panel to record the segment again -- leaving out the critique of Hoyer in the retake.
In response to the ensuring uproar, Marquee Sports Network released a statement acknowledging that "a judgment was made on the fly that in retrospect was overly sensitive." It sought to restore confidence by moving the show to a live, unedited format.