Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Media Runs A-Rod, Cameron Diaz Movie Story With Pretty Much No Evidence

I always laugh when I hear some pompous journalist tell that old cliche, "If your mother says she loves you, check it out," implying that people in his profession wear out shoe leather (another journalistic cliche) to get the story. Because, unfortunately, the reality is sometimes a lot less glorious, especially when it comes to Alex Rodriguez.

Remember how after the Super Bowl, pretty much every single media outlet pubished an anonymously-sourced story from the Chicago Sun-Times that A-Rod went "ballistic" after being filmed getting fed popcorn by Cameron Diaz at the Super Bowl? And that it turned out the Sun-Times columnist Bill Zwecker used that exact word, "ballistic," to anonymously describe a half-dozen other anonymous celebrity reactions (what a coincidence!)? And that it took until spring training for anybody to even ask Rodriguez about the incident, which he convincingly laughed off?

Anyhow, the UK tabloid the Daily Express is now claiming that Cameron Diaz wants to make a romantic comedy about baseball, and hopefully have A-Rod co-star in it. The article, written "by Daily Express Reporter" (now there's a name to hang a story by!) claims that Diaz has created a scheme for her to spend more time with who the paper calls the "distinctly average-looking" Rodriguez. From the article:

It appears the actress is crazy about the New York Yankees player, cooking up a new project involving him so they don’t have to be apart during the new baseball season.

"Cameron actually has an idea for a romantic comedy set around Major League Baseball," reports a source close to the actress.

She’s very excited about developing her own projects and the fact this one is about a baseball player means she has good reason to spend more time with A-Rod and the Yankees.

“She’s even thinking that Alex could star in the movie with her."
There are a few gaping problems with this story, as it's clear that the writer doesn't have a clue about how either Hollywood or the baseball season works:

* Diaz has never produced a movie. And most films take years to get developed and get made, so it's extremely unlikely that she would somehow have a romantic comedy about baseball ready to go for this season. Unless they're going to remake "Fever Pitch" or something, and I really don't think that would work.

* More importantly, A-Rod is kind of busy with his day job playing baseball for the New York Yankees for the next six (hopefully seven!) months. Besides, the idea that somebody who has never acted (his IMDB credits include things like being "Audience member" at the Super Bowl, and a deodorant commerical) would not only get to star in a movie, but film it during the regular season, is just ludicrous. Even if he wanted to do that, which is extremely doubtful, there is no way the Yankees would give him permission to do so.

* There's not a single on-the-record source; the piece is solely sourced by a "friend" (an imaginary friend?) of Cameron Diaz. And the unnamed reporter never bothered to even attempt to reach A-Rod or Diaz for comment.

You would think that this ridiculous story would stay in the realm of items you see in Weekly World News or something. But you would be wrong.

Google News shows that over 150 news outlets have picked up the story and rewritten it for their own papers and sites, including the New York Daily News, Huffington Post, the Washington Post website, MSNBC's Off The Bench website, and Business Insider. But not one of them have appeared to actually, you know, call either A-Rod or Diaz for confirmation, or do any original research, let along use a modicum of critical thinking. Guess they didn't want to wear out the old shoe leather.

What do you think? Tell us about it!


Tanisha said...

I love when an outlet's only research is what the original outlet reported. Then the reporters get upset when you criticize their industry and shady tactics.

Over 150 articles huh? Could easily mean 1 liar and 149 lazy outlets.

Subway Squawkers said...

Yes, I couldn't find a single article where anybody bothered to ask A-Rod or Cameron for the story, or done some original reporting, or done anything other than regurgitate the phony story.

Steven said...

Lisa, what this is all about is that the media in this country has become so lazy that it is almost stunning. It is all the more reprehensible in that so much primary source material is online and a click or two away. Instead they just cite to each other as if that makes it more credible.

Uncle Mike said...

Lisa, as an Arsenal fan who sometimes looks at British papers online, I can tell you that the Daily Express is an even trashier version of the New York Post: If you don't like its hard-right politics, the only reason to read it is their sloppily-researched gossip and sports pages. The British tabs would not leave Jeter alone, and they'd eat A-Rod alive.

As an Arsenal fan, I can also tell you that the Red Sox version of "Fever Pitch" IS the remake -- though I did enjoy it, except for the last 60 seconds. The original has a pre-Oscar Colin Firth and "Kick-Ass" villain Mark Strong.

For those of you not squeamish, there's another soccer film you can check out: "Green Street Hooligans," with Elijah Wood as the expelled Harvard student staying with family in London, and Charlie Hunnam of "Sons of Anarchy" as the relative who gets him mixed up with the West Ham United firm. What Hunnam says about Pedro Martinez is a scream; how he compares the Yanks-Sox rivalry to "football derbies" is terrifying. The terrace and street fights make the Stadium and Fenway bleachers look like Woodstock.

There's a scene where Wood tries to sneak the GSE past the Manchester United firm by saying he's scouting locations for the new Hugh Grant movie. When the Man U "top boy" asks if there's a "bird" in it, he says they're considering Cameron Diaz. The Mancs approve.

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