Toronto Sports Media Ask The MSMer- Damien Cox

By TSM

Huge thanks to Bruce Arthur for the last round, so back by popular demand, this installment shall be with Damien Cox of The Fan 590 and the Toronto Star.

You know the drill, you list your questions and I put them to Damien who has promised to answer them.

In keeping with the quality of the posting on this site, I must say I’ve been impressed with the questions that have been posted, I ask that we remain true to that once again.

Happy whatever holiday you may be celebrating this weekend, if any at all.

TSM

photo from here

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Ami Angelwings
April 6, 2012 7:15 pm

cue the Jose Bautista questions xD

itchy butt
itchy butt
April 6, 2012 8:35 pm

Dear Damien:

How long do you wait till you switch from one Brian Burke teet to the other?

Thanks

alex
alex
April 6, 2012 8:41 pm

Does it bother you that you are viewed by your critics as a contrarian or provocateur? Of course, if you are those things by design, discuss that too. :>

Are people too quick these days to automatically vault Nadal and especially Novak Djokovic into the top pantheon of tennis history after such a relatively short time? They might be on pace to reach Laver/McEnroe/Sampras/Federer status, but it still seems “too early” given the injury/burnout potential in tennis.

James
James
April 6, 2012 9:56 pm

I’m curious about the separation of personal and professional lives for someone in the public eye. You generally play a devils advocate role, does this always (or ever) reflect your true opinion on a subject? Or for example would you speak about the subject in the same fashion socially as you do professionally? Lastly, it seems you enjoy or even thrive on provocation, is it ever difficult or frustrating hearing so much flak from fans, readers, listeners, etc?

Tsm, if this seems too long feel free to cut it down!

Jesse Sonier
Jesse Sonier
April 7, 2012 5:55 am

You seem to block people on twitter at the mere sign of provocation. This leaves you looking thin skinned and insecure. How do you deal with criticism in real life, out of the reach of a block button?

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
April 7, 2012 8:42 am

oh sweet merciful jesus … so many conflicting urges right now.

sam in oshawa
sam in oshawa
April 7, 2012 9:03 am

Damien, do you have an idea how our Olympic team is looking for this yrs summer games? Will you be in London covering the games? Thanks.

Raptors Devotee
Raptors Devotee
April 7, 2012 10:45 am

Damien, you are an incredibly polarizing MSM’ sports personality who has his supporters and detractors. Do you relish this and feel it is a way of keeping your name in the forefront and thus attracting ratings and eyeballs, or would you prefer to be someone who is able to carry on doing what you do with less of a stigma associated with your name.

Syn
Syn
April 7, 2012 3:23 pm

Maybe just a curiosity instead of a real question, but how do you manage to actually fit all of the things you do into a day to day routine? You’ve got a few different hats to wear when you’re in the city. Do you actually have time to read the rest of the Star? Do you poke through the sports sections of the other newspapers?

Also, you probably won’t/can’t answer this, but what is the story behind the legal thing that McCown keeps slagging you for and that you accuse him of lying about?

Paul in Hespeler
Paul in Hespeler
April 8, 2012 7:23 am

Damien,

Do you argue with your shadow? And since the answer is probably yes, do you switch your opinion and take different sides at least 3 times a day depending on whom you are sucking up to.

On that note, how is Burke paying you for all of your unwavering support for him? The guy has been a failure over the past 4 years, yet you back him 100% — there must be a handsome payoff somewhere for you. Right?

sam in oshawa
sam in oshawa
April 8, 2012 8:54 am

Damien
As you have stated the leafs have to stay the course with young player. Agreed, but i think the owners do not need to extend that to management. Any out of work GM can look at this and come up with a plan. Has Burke lost the fan base, or does he just not care about the overwhelming sentiment that he and his staff should be fired?

Kamlesh
Kamlesh
April 8, 2012 1:02 pm

Why are there so few women and minorities as columnists in the Toronto papers? I know the media like to criticise the Masters and teams for non-inclusive hiring, buy does the media get a free ride?

Another Steve
Another Steve
April 8, 2012 5:53 pm

What is your overall impression of the experiences you have had on Twitter? Is it more positve or more negative? It strikes me that a lot of time is wasted dealing with trolls (people who are just trying to start a fight).

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Don Mandrie
Don Mandrie
April 9, 2012 11:13 am

Is it true you backed out of TSN Radio at the last minute because you couldn’t get a parking spot?

Rick M.
Rick M.
April 9, 2012 1:38 pm

Damien – I have listened to you on radio for some time. You frequently question and challenge people’s claims and opinions. Is this a journalistic/personal philosophy, or simply done to be a contrarian? I find the media in general does not question people or each other thoroughly enough, or demand accountability.

Thanks.

Chris
Chris
April 9, 2012 1:40 pm

@Syn – could be wrong, but I think they’re referring to this:
http://www.torontolawyerlawfirm.com/jgh Lysko v Maxbeau.htm
http://www.torontolawyerlawfirm.com/PDFs/Graham costs endorsement.pdf

guy
guy
April 9, 2012 3:16 pm

Damien, you seem to garner a lot of attention (both negative and positive) for you articles, statements on twitter and opinions voiced on the radio. how do you deal with the critisim and is there anything you’ve written/said that you have regretted??

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
April 10, 2012 7:29 am

nice sleuthing Columbo Chris — it seems they are suing each other over legal costs related to a case Lysko has (presumably wrongful dismissal) against the CFL and Cox/McCown/York. It’s not 100% clear to me whether the original case has been heard yet since all the arguments are about securing costs now that Lysko doesn’t live in Ontario.

James
James
April 10, 2012 11:06 pm

For the women question, not sure how this applies specifically to Cox but I believe the answer is (like that one Law says) the simple one not the conspiratorial one.

There are far less women than men interested in sports, and as such interested or passionate about sports journalism. Other sections of the paper have a far different ratio and I think this is the obvious reason.

For ethnicity in a hockey market, covering a sport so…white, it’s again sort of implied that mainly white journalists will cover it, simply due to quantity who aspire to.

That being said, Rosie dimanno certainly doesn’t make a strong case for women sports writers…her stories are stereotypically female and seem mostly to be stretching what is considered “sports” writing.. I find it hard to believe there is much if any audience for the subjects she focuses on.

Mike S
Mike S
April 11, 2012 2:02 am

Damien…………you are a big fan of tennis but not golf…………I play and watch both sports quite a bit…………….whenever a lesser known tennis player wins a grand slam (the most recent example is Sam Stosur) you can’t say enough good things about it………….but when a lesser know golfer wins a major you are quick to dismiss it and say it’s not much of an accomplishment…………….why do you feel that way?

Also, is it really true that Gord Stellick defeated you in tennis in Los Angeles when you guys were covering the Leafs in the early 1990’s?

sam in oshawa
sam in oshawa
April 11, 2012 3:49 am

What ever happened to Mary Ormsby? She is as fine a sports writer as the rest.

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
April 18, 2012 8:02 am

OK, here are some questions for Mr. Cox:
.

– Wilson seemed to enjoy antagonizing the media. Is that a fair statement? If so, how does it change your approach (if at all) as someone who covers the team?

– Damien Goddard was (seemingly) fired for Tweeting his personal opinion on a company affiliated Twitter account. If he had tweeted a personal opinion about a political candidate or a lenient sentencing decision it is unlikely he would have been fired. Setting aside your own personal views about this case, was this a fair decision? Should employers hold Twitter comments to such exacting standards?

– On the subject of Twitter, your Twitter account includes a reference to your Star blog. Do you regard that account as representing the Star, or is it a personal account?

– Your writing appears in columns, on your blog, and on Twitter. How do you decide what goes where? Do you hold yourself to different journalistic standards depending on where something is being published?

– If you could write the Jose Bautista steroids story over again, would you do anything differently?

– It’s been almost a generation since female sports reporters were first let into male locker rooms, yet many female sports writers are still widely dismissed, held to higher standards than their male counterparts, or relegated to the “eye candy” category. Do you believe that equality is possible for women in sports media?

– A site like this one exists because listeners, viewers, and readers have strong opinions about sports media. “Fire Joe Morgan” was a hugely popular blog devoted to criticizing bad announcing. At the same time, credible media critics have nearly disappeared from the main daily newspapers. How do you see the role of media criticism in today’s sports world? Does it still have value? Have you personally benefited at all from such criticism or is it largely irrelevant from your perspective?

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
April 18, 2012 8:05 am

if we need a few more, some are repeats from Arthur:
.

– what is your favorite sport to cover and why?
– if you could cover any sporting event or interview any athlete from history, which one would it be?
– has an athlete ever verbally or physically assaulted you, or threatened to do so?

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