Saturday, February 16, 2013

Irresponsible? Journalism?

I understand Matt McLean using the first term to describe Braden Keith's "work" over at SwimSwam, but "journalism"?

That's giving him way too much credit!

Middle schoolers put together more professional stories about food fights than Keith does when "reporting" about our great sport.

Read McLean's response to Keith's article about former coach Pliuskatis here.

Oh, never mind the link - I just can't resist!

Braden Keith:
I take great offense to the use of my name in your article about Michael Pliuskatis. I swam for Coach Pliuskatis at Snow Swimming as an age group athlete prior to transferring to what was then Curl-Burke in 2005. After enrolling at the University of Virginia I did all of my training at the University, summers included, until the summer of 2011 when I trained with Jon Urbanchek at FAST in California. Out of loyalty to my original club team, Snow Swimming, I continued to represent them in name at Summer United States Swimming meets even though I was training in Charlottesville at the University of Virginia. This is not an uncommon course of action amongst college swimming athletes. During my brief visits home, such as semester breaks and summer weekends, I would occasionally train at Snow. This amounted to approximately ten practice days per year, at most. At no time during my association with Snow Swimming was I ever aware of, or witness to, any actions brought forth in these allegations. I am truly and utterly shocked by these allegations.
Any inference linking my name to any impropriety involving these allegations against Mr Pliuskatis is irresponsible journalism on your part and inexcusable reporting. No effort to contact me in an effort to gather facts was made, and as a result you have tarnished my good name and reputation and for that you should be held accountable.
Matt McLean

You can search "Braden" to find several posts I've written that were critical of Mr. Keith.  If you don't have much time, check one out here.

We'd hoped for better out of SwimSwam in the new year.  After all, didn't he resolve to mend his ways (here)?

Edited 7:13 p.m. - Keith has edited his "article" and added the following:

EDITOR NOTE: This story was edited to remove a swimmer’s name. The swimmer merely swam under the coach years ago and occasionally over the last few years. Due to the sensitive nature of this topic, we felt the swimmer was right in requesting that their name be removed.

He's also closed comments.  Wonder why?

Edited 2/17/13 - In case you didn't catch the original, cached version is (at least for now) here.  Portion Keith removed:

Pliuskatis has coached a several teams, including Swimtec LLC and SNOW Swimming, predominantly on the East Coast, and among his most famous athletes are former Virginia swimmer and 2012 US Olympic Champion Matt McLean.

We’re seeking more information on exactly what happened here, but there is no early indication that McLean is involved in any way.

Ha!  Seeking more information?  Guess Matt provided y'all with plenty!

No early indicaton that McLean is involved?  Gee, thanks...


SCOTT said...

That's pretty funny that the comments are closed. I wonder what they said.

Button said...

probably something along the lines of 'author is poopy head' or 'article is doody'

Wally said...

I read the cached article and feel you have really overreacted to the point of slander of the author. I thought his original text was fair and his removal of the swimmer's name was also reasonable. What's the big deal? He just mentioned the swimmer's name as a reference point. That's not bad journalism. Do you just have some vendetta against the author? I'd suggest you chill. But, I guess chillin isn't what your blog is about.

Button said...


not only are you no longer allowed to visit my site, you are also uninvited to my birthday party.

overreacting? i think not!


Anonymous said...

Wasn't it the former Olympic swimmer that was most upset with the article? The "journalism" and integrity was shown by Button as he made his readers aware of how upset the former Olympic swimmer was to have his name linked to this trouble.

Button said...

headline: triple axe murderer used to live on same street as famous swimming commenter

article goes on to describe brutal killings, then adds just one other name.

besides the axe murderer, the only other name mentioned in article was a kid who lived five houses away named wally.

closes with: we're looking into whether or not he was involved in the slayings.

Anonymous said...

I think Braden could take some writing lessons from Mclean.had he wanted to mention the swimmers name as a point of reference, he would have stopped at Mclean., instead of going on to say "We’re seeking more information on exactly what happened here, but there is no early indication that McLean is involved in any way"
VERY poorly written.

Anonymous said...

He could use writing lessons, period.
You cannot refer to what he does as journalism. It is fairly easy to read a newspaper article and then re-write it in your own words.
Use of the athlete's name as a reference would have been fine, if he did stop there. Why is there no early indication that the athlete was involved? Was it because you spoke to someone? Was it because the athlete's name was not listed in the article you read online? Why use the word "early" at all?

Button said...

my original beefs with swimswam was their poaching of material and then presenting it as their own. i used to have the same issues with timed finals. here's yet another example:

virginia press release:

now read swimswam's post:

see any credit given to the virginia sid? anything to indicate this was someone else's work?