I read Peter King's column with annoyance today. He had clearly decided to give his column a strong "Belichick is Bad" slant. One could easily accuse him of failing to maintain journalistic objectivity. However, I don't think the question of objectivity is as simple as it is sometimes made out to be. Even the most superficially objective narrative can be shown to reflect bias via choices made in selection of information, and to be underpinned by various unspoken, even unformulated moral assumptions, all of which cast objectivity into doubt. All of this notwithstanding, many sportswriters seem to think that they are arbiters of morality, and think they are qualified to determine who the "bad people" are. I personally find this tendency repugnant. There are many other factors which conspire to create what I consider to be widespread idiocy in the culture of contemporary sports journalism, but I won't go into all that now. My point is this: even if we forgive all the assinine moralizing of people like King, and acknowledge the difficulties of objectivity generally, the journalistic hysteria surrounding the current scandal reflects an even deeper failure by the media. I will consider what is perhaps the most disturbing charge that is being thrown around: that the pats past superbowl victories are now "tainted". Under what circumstances can we legitimately claim the preceding to be the case? It seems to me that one would have to establish three things: 1) The patriots practiced illegal taping during their sb victories. 2) the pats gained an unfair advantage over other teams because other teams did not practice illegal taping or any equivalent procedures. 3) taping of signals gave the pats a competitive advantage sufficient to prove decisive in the victories of the sb years. There has been a chorus of voices of former and current coaches and players that have refuted 2 and 3 decisively. I don't know about 1. Now I am not saying that the failure to establish the above three facts means Belichick's actions are excusable. It seems to me the question of their moral significance is a complex one, requiring as it does one to consider the competitive context in which Belichick acted,the practices of other teams, the ambiguities in the rules, inconsistencies in NFL enforcement of those rules, etc. A complex question requires carefulness of thought impossible to come by in a media feeding-frenzy. So the media has failed us by getting far too carried away in its moralizing, and far too reckless in its pronouncements. They have failed to provide balanced views that meaningfully reflect the realities of NFL football. They have let the satisfaction of speaking loudly override that of thinking clearly. They have also failed themselves, because I think history will place this whole sequence of events in a perspective far different from that expressed in the sermonizing of most of these blowhards, and I think they'll eventually be a bit embarrassed by it all. What has caused this failure? As I suggested above, there are many interrelated reasons. Certainly a lot of journalists just don't like Belichick. And that's for a variety of reasons as well. I simply wish the media would take a long look at itself, and stop thinking that it is performing a heroic act by attacking anyone they think they are in a position to morally judge.