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April 30, 2008

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Johnny

Great interview PD, but despite your charity, he probably came off worse than he did in that SPEED column.

"They aren’t a) receiving a check for what they’re doing, or b) they aren’t producing anything. They’re impersonating journalists."

I'll have to remember that. Next time in a press room when I'm "impersonating a journalist" I'll be sure to act like a pretentious *sshole. I think that was the critical, non-Olson element I was missing.

pressdog

I think you'd fall under b) in the Olson Criteria: You're producing (or will produce) something. There are very clearly people in the media center who are only there to watch whatever race is on the TVs and graze on complimentary food items and will never publish anything in any form. I agree with Jeff on that one. I disagree that it's the majority. As long as nobody gets disruptive and everyone has room, I don't have issues, personally.

Allan

If guys like Jeff ran the media relations we'd still be reading off of stone tablets

Go away and read your precious newspaper/mag in the can JO

The rest of the world is online now

Meeshbeer

I'm afraid I have to agree with Johnny on his assessment.
Oh well, you tried P-dog. Some people just enjoy the taste of their feet...

Sad part now though is I really could care less about the guys opinions on anything else in the interview. The whole thing made me shrug and think "meh... whatever Jeff, enjoy your pay cheque"

pressdog

I respect the guy. Don't agree with him on everything, but still respect his skillz. He's a good writer and knows the racing stuff. I found his comments interesting. But then it's kind of hard to piss me off too bad ...

My Name Is IRL

I'll give credit to Olson for speaking about the topic at hand. The fact he agreed to discuss it shows he wasn't just venting randomly and it almost sounds like he has some remorse that the message wasn't conveyed as intended.

That said, I know you were trying to be respectful Bill, but part of me wishes you had the opportunity to follow up because that "receiving a check" comment is just gonna dial up the outrage.

Of course, the other part of me wishes this wasn't even a topic because going into The Month of May I'd much rather be talking about racing and not the people covering it.

Meeshbeer

ya but Jeff, he likes you!
*waves hands beside head and sticks tongue out*

I agree. Dead horse. Let's talk about racing.

ramblinman

Okay folks, this is JMHO....I didn't think Jeff's comments were insulting in the first place. I also think that the record has been set straight thanks to pdog and Jeff.

I'm not a racer nor a sportscaster, so admittedly, I don't have a clue about the real world of racing.

I did however drive an 18 wheeler for over 25 years and would have to bite my lip everytime some idiot would try to tell me all about my profession. On occasion, I'd have to say something (perhaps like Jeff did). While truckers aren't exactly the most understood nor loved of creatures on the planet, some of them actually know their profession quite well.

I'm sure most professionals have similiar issues with those of us who have no business mucking about. (Kinda like Jeff did).

On to Indy!

Mike

What qualifies as "producing anything"? Everyone has a view, but it's not always going to play well with the masses. It may not be seen by the masses at all. As a little website tries to gather momentum, am I qualified to be in the pressbox if I get a check for a measly amount for what I may write on that website? What if 'the opinions expressed by the author' don't fly in Eldora or Knoxville?

I'm not a formally trained journalist, not by the furthest stretch of the imagination. I'm a former USAC/CART Champ Car mechanic, Indy Lights chief mechanic, woulda-coulda-shoulda driver...and often I see something in racing that I feel compelled to write about. I have an opinion that can be something more than uninformed, but sometimes it's just me talking about what I think about things. It likely won't be the view everyone has, but occassionally it may resonate with some of the readers (I think we're up to 8 now). Sometimes it'll sound like just another member of the same band playing the same chords, but at other times it may be very different. Without a check, (or a small one if it comes at all) am I DQ'd?

yaumb

You know what the funny thing is about Olson and his ilk who are so offended by the makeup of the media center? They're afraid they're going to be found out.

That's right. They're afraid that people who invade their sanctum will discover just how little work they do. They stand around making small talk with their pals during live sessions; they graze at the buffet; they play solitaire or web-surf in their reserved seats while working writers and photographers have to change their batteries and film in an unoccupied section of floor.

I have nothing but contempt for Jeff Olson's opinions on who belongs in the media center and who doesn't. There are plenty of people (including at times Jeff Olson) who earn a paycheck for being lazy, while there are folks who work until they're totally exhausted with no guarantee of being paid for anything. Olson respects the paycheck and the name on the credential - I respect WORK, EFFORT, and DEDICATION.

I once spent an entire racing season not getting paid for anything and not "producing" anything because my work wasn't picked up by a major outlet. The irony? I still won awards for my work. I'm incredibly proud of that. More so now because I know that if Jeff Olson had been in the same media center as I was, he'd have wanted me out of it. Bite on that, beeyotch.

PD, love your blog.

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