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The mediots strike again! New info in Jonathan Taylor case?

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Mediots are a finnicky, sensitive bunch. Not all members of the media are mediots. The Tuscaloosa News’ Cecil Hurt, for instance, is a legitimate journalist who doesn’t rush into a situation to shoot the first thing that moves. But sadly that can’t be said of everyone.

This week has seen quite a roller coaster ride for the Tide athletic department. A volley of Tide arrests added to a prolonged men’s basketball coaching search has made it anything but a banner week for Alabama.

But the crucible moment came Monday when our beloved mediots rushed to tar and feather that mean ole Nick Saban for “his mistake” in letting Jonathan Taylor on the team. You know the story on Taylor by now. And with his second apparent infraction of domestic abuse within the the last year, it was time to circle the enemy and shoot.

Saban did the predictable…at least what they hoped he would do. Not apologize for giving a young man a second chance. Is Taylor a good person? I have no idea, but Nick Saban does. The media, particularly those who get their feelings hurt (or more accurately, their egos shredded) by Nick Saban’s antics, would love you to believe that there was no research into Taylor’s past before signing him to play football at Alabama. “All Saban was concerned with was whether or not Taylor could get to the quarterback,” and certainly wasn’t concerned with the plight of women.

Ah, the plight of women and domestic abuse. It IS a serious issue, and not one to joke about or take lightly. But with all politically correct issues, there is hyperbole that is simply too easy to climb aboard without knowing the facts. The grandstanding among mediots on any political correctness issue is nauseating to say the least as they compete with one another to take self-righteousness to Pharisaical extremes.

Nothing was more gratuitous than Paul Finebaum’s appearance on ESPN following Coach Saban’s post practice presser, where mediots circled his podium like sharks fishing for the soundbytes they hungered for. The ultimate self aggrandizing media attention seeker Finebaum immediately declared the Saban press conference as a disaster, rendering himself as judge, jury and executioner on the subject. Forget that Finebaum knows more good that Saban has done, both public and private, than anyone. The soup de jour was Nick Saban etouffee, and Finebaum was more than happy to serve it up.

The story was, Saban gave someone a second chance with the condition of a zero tolerance policy in place when it came to future incidents. That line drawn in the crimson sand was crossed (apparently), and subsequently, said player was dismissed. But that wasn’t enough. Stones had to be thrown. The bear had to be poked and provoked in his cage. And a public apology just had to be squeazed out of Bama’s head coach as retribution to the evils he personally cast upon society. And when he didn’t comply? Kaboom! Here came the tweets, the debates, the grandstanding, and all the other idiocy mediots do to make themselves sound and look important.

Now, enter Tuesday. Whispers that the young lady allegedly at the center of the scandal is arrested. For what you ask? Allegedly falsifying a police report. We’ll soon know the level of truth to this. UPDATE: Police charged the woman for filing a false report.

But if this is the case, it’s a report, mind you, that cost Jonathan Taylor everything. A report that led the worldwide leader in sports to broadcast Nick Saban’s normal post practice press conference live around the planet. A report that led to an avalanche of mediots rushing to judgment and posturing to be the first to make a public stand against the politically correct issue of the day, domestic violence.

It can’t be said enough, domestic violence is a serious issue for obvious reasons. But just for a minute, imagine there being a woman out there willing to use a point of weakness against a man trying to turn his life around. I know such a woman doesn’t exist, but just hang with me. The immediate rush then would be to automatically assume the girlfriend recanted her story out of fear. So much so that one of my favorites, Jim Dunaway, even sent me a link via Twitter to a list of reasons women recant their stories in domestic issues. Absent from that list was one possibility: Fabricating the event (or the extent of it) and later having a change of heart, seeing the damage done.

You have to at least consider this as a possibility. That is, unless you are a mediot. You see, mediots don’t like to be wrong, and they do not like to be engaged by bloggers. They are a sensitive bunch that can dish it out, but when called on the carpet curl up into defensive little children, insistant that they haven’t eaten the Hershey bar all while chocolate is all over their faces.

My favorite though was the Tuscaloosa News’ Aaron Suttles, who didn’t pause while relenting a barage of criticism at Nick Saban over the Jonathan Taylor situation. But when I engaged him in debate on the topic, what did Suttles do? Let’s just say I can’t see his Twitter feed anymore. Suttles is a good writer, but can he not converse with the public over his craft?

I’ve got to say, I’ve followed Suttles on Twitter for a while, and always found him to be informative. And Dunaway is a mainstay in central Alabama media, his show “The Roundtable” being the best Birmingham’s WJOX has to offer. But there’s something about the concoction of political correctness and a polarizing figure like Nick Saban that brings out the mediot in even the best journalist. Again, Cecil Hurt being one of the only figures I’ve seen in the competitive field of shock journalism to withstand this slippery slope.

Simply, mediots are sensitive little creatures. But again, not all members of the media are mediots. I really had considered neither Suttles nor Dunaway to be members of this bunch, nor had I thought Finebaum to be until he joined ESPN, who obviously has influenced the talking head with talking points since his move to Charlotte.

But the inability to admit, or even consider, that you might have jumped the gun, and hence fired shots at an innocent man proves you belong in the category of “mediot.” Your hatred and hurt feelings associated with the coach who doesn’t make your job easy soaked you with saliva over the opportunity to take him down. The only problem is, some things aren’t what they first appear to be.

What is the truth in the Jonathan Taylor situation? Well, that’s still a mystery at this point. At best it’s more complicated than was first reported, and if any apology this week is in order, it MAY…just MAY…need to be directed at him. At worst, the situation could be a woman willing to do the unthinkable: Deceive in order to hurt a man in the worst way. Again, goodness knows this has never happened in history.

But regardless, we still have a coach everybody hates in the media’s crosshairs, a fanbase absolutely sick of it, and a group of sensitive mediots crying when their “wisdom and judgment” is questioned. Sounds like quite a soap opera to this writer. And like all soap operas, don’t plan on this plot being resolved anytime soon.

Afterall, as long as there are mediots, there will always be plots. But don’t listen to me. I’m just a blogger.

(Follow ITK on Twitter for Bama news, commentary and smack.)

17 thoughts on “The mediots strike again! New info in Jonathan Taylor case?”

  1. Ha! Great column. Mediot Aaron Shuttles blocked me too Monday for stating the exact same things.

    1. Auburn never offered the player and never let him visit. Shortly after this article came out Malzahn made it very clear that he was not recruiting Taylor and had no interest in doing so.

  2. I guess Bama fans want him back now that he’s beaten his girlfriend into retracting her statement. I guess those choke marks on her neck when they arrested him were really just a weird birthmark….

  3. So Nick kicked this young man off the team without solid proof he did anything wrong? This was the first trouble that this young man was rumored to be in since he arrived, but we have multiple players with police records that are still on the team? Sonething just don’t add up.

    1. You need to learn some reading comprehension skills. J Taylor was on a set of restrictions as a condition of his membership on the team. It is highly likely that one of those restrictions was “don’t ever get anywhere near an incident like this ever or you are off the team – no second chances”. All that had to happen was for him to be involved, whether he actually did anything or not is beside the point – it was a “zero tolerance” policy. On the other hand, Geno Smith is, outside of his two encounters with the law for DUI, a model citizen. He must still work his way back onto the team with requirements that we can only guess about, since they are between him and the coaches and AD. I feel pretty sure that, if he is even seen near a bar or alcohol, he will find himself in the same position as JT. As a comparison, the Honey Badger NEVER passed a drug test while playing for LSU. Yet, he was on the team – and a starter – for two seasons before they finally got tired of his nonsense and kicked him off the team. You are dealing with a culture and community that you are completely unfamiliar with, and the rules are sometimes different, whether we want them to be or not. Sometimes a one time mistake is all it takes, depending on your circumstances with the team. Sometimes you get more than one chance, but rarely do any of these guys get off scot free.

        1. Peach: Once again, you miss the point. I was using him as an example, and it really doesn’t matter if he actually passed one or two of those tests. The point is that these things are done out of the public eye and are between the player and the athletic department and institution. I could have brought up that, at another school in the state of Alabama, there is apparently a “second chance” agreement in place for players who sneak up behind other people on the sidewalk outside of drinking establishments and cold cock them to the ground. But that wasn’t the point – the point is that there are situations and agreements between programs and players that we – the general sporting public – are not privy to, and cannot make general judgements about due to that ignorance of the details. Taylor had an agreement with the Bama Athletic Department that he would not become involved in this kind of situation again, ever, without consequences. He will likely not have a place on Bama’s team in the future, regardless of what the victim is saying now. Smith also likely had an agreement with the Athletic Department that spelled out consequences if he ever had another drinking incident, and I’m sure that he is having to do a LOT of extra work as a result just to have the opportunity to come back to practice (not start or play, just practice). He’s proven he can and will do the work, but, if he doesn’t, I would expect him to be shown the door as well.
          Many of today’s athletes come from a culture and background that is foreign not just to old guys like me, but to even their own teammates. Each person’s situation has to be taken into account. Tyren Jones had already had issues with the coaching staff – he was suspended indefinitely for breaking “team rules”. When he managed to screw up again with a trivial amount of weed, he tipped the scale against himself and was dismissed. Even though some might say he really wasn’t guilty of a major crime or indescretion, he violated an agreement that was in place with the athletic department (and probably the school) that he shouldn’t have violated. It shows that some of these guys just don’t learn from past mistakes, much like many other young men in the 18-21 age group (including one that lives in my own household!). Sometimes they respond to the second or third chance they are given, sometimes they don’t. It’s up to the coaching staff to evaluate that ability and come up with a plan for each player instead of a blanket policy that doesn’t take any of the actual circumstances into consideration. That is so against the prevailing attitude of most of our civic and educational institutions these days, it is no wonder that so many media people (and others) don’t really understand the concept.

      1. Are you always this angry? That doesn’t matter. I am just asking a simple question. I am judging by you using phrases such as ” Highly likely” that you really have no clue as to what Saban’s conditions were for Taylor. So please save your breath by playing message board nazi , and forcing you half ass belief on everyone here.

        Just reading between the lines of ITK’s post, we are being lead to believe that Taylor , since arriving at Bama, has been a model citizen. That this entire event was a lie by the female, and the media just wanted something negative to run with about Alabama. Here is where my question from earlier comes into play. If this was all fabricated by a pissed off girlfriend , why was Saban so quick with the boot? Using one of your phrases …It is ” highly likely ” that Saban has access to more information about the situation. That is what lead to the quick boot. Now the PR department is in high gear, trying to save face for the school and Coach. You can not have it both ways. Either he was guilty , and should have been kicked off the team, OR Saban over reacted to the bias media. If the answer is he over reacted , why are we not questioning CNS decision making?

        1. And the Police Department has said they arrested him with probable cause after finding that the victim had choke marks around her neck and the damage to the property. She retracted this statement for the same reason that most abused women do; she “loves” him and is scared she ruined his chance to make it big and she didnt want to give up that ride.

          1. That’s an assumption, possibly a correct one. But possibly not.

            One thing is for sure. JT has cooked his own goose, either by repeating a past trend of violence towards women or having an association with someone willing to pull the trigger on something as heinous as a false accusation.

            Either way, a terrible situation altogether, and membership on a football team, however you look at it, just doesn’t matter.

        2. Because not all decisions and situations are black and white. The political correctness associated with this one makes for a lot of gray.

          And I’m not saying he was a model citizen, or that the girl in question had an agenda, or a weak moment. I’m only introducing those possibilities, which is what you’ve heard absolutely nowhere else.

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