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CANUCKS HOCKEY BLOG

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Real Eklund?

On Saturday, I posted about Sportsnet and their seeming willingness to play along with Eklund, his anonymity, and at the same time, perhaps risk their journalistic integrity. I wasn't the only one, of course, as other hockey bloggers have asked the same thing for three years now.

Well, could Sportsnet have finally smartened up? Or was this just an "honest" boo-boo on their part? Taken from HFBoards, here is apparently a snapshot of a preview piece Sportsnet is doing with Eklund - minus the digitized dots.


If they do decide to show the piece unadulterated and unfiltered on trade deadline day, I take back everything I said about Sportsnet and perhaps my faith in the mainstream media can be restored

[postscript#1: 02/16/07, 6:31 PM]

I've decided to respond to some of the comments here so it's a bit more visible where I'm coming from.

Like I mentioned in this blog and in Alanah's thread, I firmly believe that the mainstream media have to be held to a higher standard of accountability. I believe that they have to adhere to certain journalistic guidelines and ethics, and this lends to their credibility. Some of you may be okay with having anonymous persons in the mainstream media, but I'm not. The sooner we allow anonymous journalists and reporters and the like, the sooner we may as well resort to random people giving us the news. This isn't just about Eklund because I would react the same way if another unknown shadow started delivering information on CKNW or CTV or Sportsnet or TSN.

Does showing his face change my perception of Sportsnet's accountability? It does a little. If they show Eklund unadulterated and unfiltered on trade deadline day, it at least gives the perception that they are willing to put a face to the information they are giving. At the very least, it doesn't lend to the idea that they are trying to hide something.

Which brings me to my next point.

Part of why this particular instance caught my attention is because of what I - and others - see as inconsistencies in Eklund's story. Even putting aside the debate on whether or not he has reliable sources, there are some glaring inconsistencies in his bio that make me question Sportsnet's decision to keep him anonymous.

When he first started his site, he claimed to be an NHL Insider. He charged people $10 a head to sign up on his site under that pretense. In fact, here is what his bio said:


Look at what his bio says now:


Spot the difference?

Seeing the two bios gives the impression that Eklund is two different people with two different backgrounds.

That's why it's hard for me to take Sportsnet at their word, that the unseen and unknown Eklund is, in fact, an NHL insider or perhaps some random guy who plays in a band. I'm sure there's an explanation out there somewhere, but I haven't seen it yet.

[postscript#2: 02/16/07, 6:49 PM]

It looks like the HF Boards thread I linked to has magically been deleted for "immature" content. Thanks to Eric for the tip.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 8:21 PM

11 Comments:

At February 16, 2007 1:13 PM, Blogger McLea said...

I scrolled through the thread you linked to, and I don't think you've provided a sufficient response to this question:

Let me ask you this… if he started his blog way back when under the name of “Jim Watson” and still used that fake name today would you be complaining as much? Or is the real issue the name that he does go by is obviously an internet moniker? Because, there are writers and radio personalities all over this country that don’t user their real name. Are they less accountable too?

Especially now that he is working for Sportsnet, what difference does it make whether we know his real name or not? If he says something outrageous, it's going to come back to Sportsnet and, eventually, back to whoever is behind the Eklund name. The accountability exists, whether he goes by his real name, Eklund, or Joe the Rabbit.


If they do decide to show the piece unadulterated and unfiltered on trade deadline day, I take back everything I said about Sportsnet and perhaps my faith in the mainstream media can be restored.

Why? Because now we have some random dude's face? Correct me if I'm wrong but, from your vantage point, has anything really changed until we get his real name? Or do you expect that, given we're going to see his face, we're going to get his name too?

 
At February 16, 2007 1:16 PM, Blogger McLea said...

JJ, why are you so fixated on the fact that he is anonymous? It doesn’t change the fact that if he isn’t truthful, accurate, objective, impartial, fair, and accountable that he won’t succeed in this business. He has the following that he does have because he has gotten quite a few things right… at least as many things as any other rumor reporter in the world of hockey.

And I echo these thoughts as well.

Mad shout out to Chris DeGroaat.

 
At February 16, 2007 1:49 PM, Blogger Jordi said...

Man someone needs to tell that guy that those hats still aren't back in style yet.

 
At February 16, 2007 2:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

His real name is Dwayne Keith. Google his name in images and it's a picture of him playing a harp. He plays in a band called Grey Eye Glances.

 
At February 16, 2007 4:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was never about being anonymous, it was about using that anonymity to lie about a past that didn't exist.

 
At February 16, 2007 10:32 PM, Blogger Zanstorm said...

Don't sucker into that commercial JJ. It's not him. They are just playing up to the audience

 
At February 18, 2007 10:37 AM, Blogger TMLsundin said...

Hello, I'm the one who put the pic on the net and started the HFboards thread.

Since there was a previous theory a year+ ago that he was indeed Dwayne Keith, I believe that it is him, and not a ploy by Sportsnet.

I still haven't figured out why Sportsnet would be so lax on their distortion though.. I mean come on.. they must preview what is going on the air before-hand. Maybe whomever is incharge of this wanted his identity revealed.. I just wish Eklund would address this, it isn't really something you should be able to ignore.

 
At February 19, 2007 8:00 PM, Blogger hoopsjunky said...

tmlsundin - Thanks for passing by and quick thinking on getting the pic.

No, it's not something you should be able to ignore. Now that he is a public figure working for a mainstream media outlet, some clarification is in order.

I wonder if Sportsnet is even aware of the inconsistencies. I'd like to give them credit and hope that they are responsible enough to do their due diligence. I hope that they are responsible enough to adhere to their journalistic guidelines and ethics.

 
At February 24, 2007 12:00 PM, Blogger Azaroth said...

Sportsnet is a complete joke for having Eklund on. I don't personally know anyone who would argue that fact with me.

Quite frankly, Sportsnet is a pretty big joke in general though. Is it their aim to become the WWE of Sports networks? They seem to have been throwing professionalism out the window since their inception, and now they're throwing every last bit of dignity, class, and integrity out with it for their trade deadline show.

 
At February 25, 2007 12:19 PM, Blogger NorOnt said...

I have to agree with Azaroth. Sportsnet is a joke. They are the WWE of hockey already! They are looking for a quick ratings boost by promoting Eklund. Eklund is right on par with the rest of the cast that should be unemployed. It's a shame that they actually get contracts to televise games.

 
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