England in India 2008-09 November 22, 2008

Selection-meeting leaks 'disgusting' - Dhoni

Cricinfo staff
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Mahendra Singh Dhoni: "It should not be a case where RP feels he is not wanted and left out" © Getty Images
 

Mahendra Singh Dhoni has described as "disgusting and disrespectful" the fact that matters discussed in selection meetings are leaked and reported in the media. India's selectors chose Irfan Pathan over RP Singh for the next two ODIs against England, and reports of a serious disagreement over the choice cast a cloud over India's preparations for the fourth ODI against England in Bangalore.

"I don't know where the report came from. What happens inside a meeting where the selectors, the captain and the coaches are there, when it comes out it is disgusting and disrespectful," Dhoni said, after India's training session at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. "Things like this should not be happening. I'm not saying something happened at the meeting, but over the years we have seen things being leaked from meetings."

The Kolkata-based Anandabazar Patrika reported on Saturday that Dhoni favoured the inclusion of RP in the squad for the next two ODIs, and offered to step down when the selectors insisted on replacing him with Pathan. The report said Shashank Manohar, the board president, had been informed of the argument.

BCCI officials, however, have denied the report. "I don't talk about selection meetings. In any case it is all rubbish," N Srinivisan, the board secretary, told Cricinfo.

"This is the pinnacle of the sport. We are selecting 15 guys for the Indian team," said Dhoni. "There will be debates inside, and that information should not be put out in the media. If it is meant to come out, then I can say we might as well have the whole meeting telecast live on television. Nobody knows what was discussed except the eight guys in the meeting. And only they know whether it's the truth or not."

Dhoni said he did not speak to the BCCI because he felt it was not important. In his view, matters of selection should be made public only by the BCCI, the chairman of selectors, or one of the individuals on the selection panel. "We have an important match coming up, and we chose instead to focus on that match," he said. "This is a selection thing and personally I don't discuss anything outside. To some extent it does distract us. The good part is that we trust each other - every player in the team trusts the other."

Dhoni pledged his support to both RP and Pathan, who he said had faith in his abilities. "There might be a scenario where all of a sudden we might want to get in touch with RP Singh and Irfan Pathan. And you don't want RP to feel that I will go out of the way and stand and defend him and Irfan should not feel I don't want him in the team. I will stand and defend both these players and both of them trust me. My talks with them went off well."

"We do not have players in this team with outstanding talent, which can win every game. But as a team we are outstanding. So for us the mantra is being a team, and these things will not break the trust we have in each other. It's important for us to be a team."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SHANTIRATNAM on November 25, 2008, 6:42 GMT

    The simplest solution I can think of is to reduce the number of selection meetings so that if at all anything leaks, its reduced. I don't understand the rational behind why a team cannot be selcted at once for the whole series. Its very short-termism that selectors canot think long-term atleast for the whole series at once. Multiple selection meetings for one series keeps the captain, the players, pulic and the media unsure of the future. A palyer needs to feel confident he has the whole series to experience himself wit the challenge, a doubt whether he will exsist after the first 2 games will only demotivate him.

  • biju on November 24, 2008, 8:51 GMT

    If one of the selectors has leaked out the information, he should be sacked with immediate effect.He will not be suitable for that job for sure if he is unable to keep highly confidential decisions in his mind.He is a cancer in the system and before it is spread to others please Bcci should sack him.

  • ajaydesai on November 24, 2008, 7:44 GMT

    I respect Dhoni as captain of Indian Cricket Team. R P Singh was preferred to Irfan Pathan eventhough he did not perform well in domestic cricket.On other hand Pathan has improved his performance in domestic cricket and also selectors should keep in mind he has good record in ODI and Test Cricket. This is clear case of regionalism which should not interfere while selecting National team

  • Jas.Kalsi on November 23, 2008, 15:13 GMT

    Dhoni is a great captain but I don't know why he said the team does not have players with outstanding talent, Sehwag, Tendulkar, Yuvraj etc are among the most talented in the world easily.

  • CiMP on November 23, 2008, 14:36 GMT

    A free media is welcome in a democracy like India. The flip side is when media sensationalize an issue. It does bcz it sees that its patrons react and make it big. If the cricket followers do not fall into this trap the 'sensational' reporting would soon become rare.

    Cricket lovers should understand captains and selectors are human beings and would have their pet theories and preferences. To smell conspiracy and favoritism in each of their selections would make these men even more cagey and economical with truth.

    Once you have entrusted a job to a group let them do their job. Accept there would be errors and some preferences. That would happen with any set of persons.

    Relax, this is just a game in the end!!!

  • Dubby49 on November 23, 2008, 12:45 GMT

    Does Dhoni as Captain have a vote in selection committee meetings or is he only an observer? What he definitely does not have is a veto. However, he should refuse to attend any furher meetings until the source of the leak is identified and dismissed. A selection committee is like an appraisal review and there are always tough decisions to take. Whoever is left out is bound to be disappointed. Unless all members of the committee are assured that the proceedings remain confidential, they will not voice their honest opinions and act without fear or favour, which at times may mean tossing out friends.

    The source of the leak should be sacked and if he cannot be identified, the entire committee should be dismissed and a new committee constituted.

  • SLNSC on November 23, 2008, 8:25 GMT

    The leaks from such important meetings shall be severely punished and the magazine/media agency brought under certain discipline to protect decency and ethics. Readers get carried away reading such news items which prompt the journalists to indulge in more such prodding from so called 'unconfirmed sources'. People who actually perform and deliver seldom engage themselves in such cheap behaviour. Speculative journalism shall be shown its due place in the society. The media that promote such practices shall be viewed with suspect by readers who care for code of conduct, decency and decor.

  • bar_stud on November 23, 2008, 7:28 GMT

    Dhoni has time and again showed a calm and rational cricketing mind as well as that of a fantastic strategian and a respected leader. If he is the poster boy of $1 billion dollar enterprise called the BCCI then he deserves like any other corporate leader to have a say in his own team. His last comment about not having outstanding players but as a unit an outstanding team is fitting. A team is chosen with a definate strategy n definately the captain knows best.Zaheer has bowled his heart out in da last 2 monhts, Ishant is nursing an injury, dont we need a genuine bowler like R.P. now, and if he was included earlier, y is he being taken off now based on 2 performances?Its high time that the credentials of the selectors be reaffirmed if they are to be given all encompassing power to override the decisions of the captain of the playing eleven. None of these present so called selectors boast of amazing on field heriocs especially not as captains of the national test or ODI side.

  • switchgrind68 on November 23, 2008, 6:57 GMT

    Well, we probably know why Irfan Pathan has been in out of the squad off late, he's just not got the long and consistent run. While RP Singh has been in the Test and ODI squad. Despite being mediocre, and out of form even in the Irani Trophy game, he found a place in Test Squad against the Aussies. RP Singh deserves to be dropped.

  • TornadoKid on November 23, 2008, 6:04 GMT

    Selectors should certainly consult the captain in selecting the squad because he is the one who is going to lead them on field. But at the same time I don't know why Dhoni is giving so much importance to RP. He is out of touch and needs to play some domestic cricket to regain his form. But we can only get to know whether it's a right move after watching Irfan's performance.

  • SHANTIRATNAM on November 25, 2008, 6:42 GMT

    The simplest solution I can think of is to reduce the number of selection meetings so that if at all anything leaks, its reduced. I don't understand the rational behind why a team cannot be selcted at once for the whole series. Its very short-termism that selectors canot think long-term atleast for the whole series at once. Multiple selection meetings for one series keeps the captain, the players, pulic and the media unsure of the future. A palyer needs to feel confident he has the whole series to experience himself wit the challenge, a doubt whether he will exsist after the first 2 games will only demotivate him.

  • biju on November 24, 2008, 8:51 GMT

    If one of the selectors has leaked out the information, he should be sacked with immediate effect.He will not be suitable for that job for sure if he is unable to keep highly confidential decisions in his mind.He is a cancer in the system and before it is spread to others please Bcci should sack him.

  • ajaydesai on November 24, 2008, 7:44 GMT

    I respect Dhoni as captain of Indian Cricket Team. R P Singh was preferred to Irfan Pathan eventhough he did not perform well in domestic cricket.On other hand Pathan has improved his performance in domestic cricket and also selectors should keep in mind he has good record in ODI and Test Cricket. This is clear case of regionalism which should not interfere while selecting National team

  • Jas.Kalsi on November 23, 2008, 15:13 GMT

    Dhoni is a great captain but I don't know why he said the team does not have players with outstanding talent, Sehwag, Tendulkar, Yuvraj etc are among the most talented in the world easily.

  • CiMP on November 23, 2008, 14:36 GMT

    A free media is welcome in a democracy like India. The flip side is when media sensationalize an issue. It does bcz it sees that its patrons react and make it big. If the cricket followers do not fall into this trap the 'sensational' reporting would soon become rare.

    Cricket lovers should understand captains and selectors are human beings and would have their pet theories and preferences. To smell conspiracy and favoritism in each of their selections would make these men even more cagey and economical with truth.

    Once you have entrusted a job to a group let them do their job. Accept there would be errors and some preferences. That would happen with any set of persons.

    Relax, this is just a game in the end!!!

  • Dubby49 on November 23, 2008, 12:45 GMT

    Does Dhoni as Captain have a vote in selection committee meetings or is he only an observer? What he definitely does not have is a veto. However, he should refuse to attend any furher meetings until the source of the leak is identified and dismissed. A selection committee is like an appraisal review and there are always tough decisions to take. Whoever is left out is bound to be disappointed. Unless all members of the committee are assured that the proceedings remain confidential, they will not voice their honest opinions and act without fear or favour, which at times may mean tossing out friends.

    The source of the leak should be sacked and if he cannot be identified, the entire committee should be dismissed and a new committee constituted.

  • SLNSC on November 23, 2008, 8:25 GMT

    The leaks from such important meetings shall be severely punished and the magazine/media agency brought under certain discipline to protect decency and ethics. Readers get carried away reading such news items which prompt the journalists to indulge in more such prodding from so called 'unconfirmed sources'. People who actually perform and deliver seldom engage themselves in such cheap behaviour. Speculative journalism shall be shown its due place in the society. The media that promote such practices shall be viewed with suspect by readers who care for code of conduct, decency and decor.

  • bar_stud on November 23, 2008, 7:28 GMT

    Dhoni has time and again showed a calm and rational cricketing mind as well as that of a fantastic strategian and a respected leader. If he is the poster boy of $1 billion dollar enterprise called the BCCI then he deserves like any other corporate leader to have a say in his own team. His last comment about not having outstanding players but as a unit an outstanding team is fitting. A team is chosen with a definate strategy n definately the captain knows best.Zaheer has bowled his heart out in da last 2 monhts, Ishant is nursing an injury, dont we need a genuine bowler like R.P. now, and if he was included earlier, y is he being taken off now based on 2 performances?Its high time that the credentials of the selectors be reaffirmed if they are to be given all encompassing power to override the decisions of the captain of the playing eleven. None of these present so called selectors boast of amazing on field heriocs especially not as captains of the national test or ODI side.

  • switchgrind68 on November 23, 2008, 6:57 GMT

    Well, we probably know why Irfan Pathan has been in out of the squad off late, he's just not got the long and consistent run. While RP Singh has been in the Test and ODI squad. Despite being mediocre, and out of form even in the Irani Trophy game, he found a place in Test Squad against the Aussies. RP Singh deserves to be dropped.

  • TornadoKid on November 23, 2008, 6:04 GMT

    Selectors should certainly consult the captain in selecting the squad because he is the one who is going to lead them on field. But at the same time I don't know why Dhoni is giving so much importance to RP. He is out of touch and needs to play some domestic cricket to regain his form. But we can only get to know whether it's a right move after watching Irfan's performance.

  • himelPH on November 23, 2008, 6:03 GMT

    well, 'Team India' is on high spirits n its the last thing one would want to have distrust among players. So, the committee should be accountable for these leaks. n this is now a test of character for Dhoni. He should guide the players and control the in n off the field incidents with cool. n also maintain the excellent environment in d team for which 'dada' was so famous.

  • Biso on November 23, 2008, 5:21 GMT

    I feel sad for Dhoni. The selectors must now understand that enough damage had been done to Indian cricket by one mr Chappel selectively leaking to the media. It seems the lessons have not been learnt. It is the selectors, now, who have to show some discipline, professionalism and ethical conduct.As for the so called journalists who also colluded to bring it out in the open, I should reserve my comments. All I can say is that yellow journalism sells more -perhaps.Is there no space for a captain to have a free and frank discussion with the selectors. Can't there be some ethics.This is pathetic. It is time journalists show some maturity,draw the line and refrain from making themselves as cheap as some uncouth elements among the selectors. It really STINKS.

  • Percy_Fender on November 23, 2008, 4:45 GMT

    Dhoni has had a fair measure of success in his short term as captain of team India in all forms of the game.He is a fairly good wicketkeeper and a brutal batsman on his day, apart from having an unflappable temperament. The problem is that he seems to consider it necessary to overelaborate his point to the media. I suppose that is what he did with the selectors, causing someone who attended the meeting to infer that he was willing to resign over the dropping of R P Singh. Viewed objectively, I do not think anyone would have a quarrel at the selectors' decision. Even Dhoni will agree on this score. But his compulsion to explain every situation is probably at the root of this problem. I think his communication skills are what he needs to address. Perhaps he could start with short answers. With this strategy he is unlikely to provide grist for the media mill. English is a great language where one can express so much by saying very little. That is what Dhoni needs to understand immediately

  • SajinVarghese on November 23, 2008, 4:38 GMT

    The pride should not exceed over somebody's head then the downfall begins. Selectors are doing their duty and their policy of 'in-form' players should be immediately get a chance has worked so well.Irfan Pathan,an allrounder,who is in tremendous form in domestic cricket suitable than out of form RP Singh.His performance has to be revived in domestic matches where his state team is more required his service.I don't want to immaturely to point out that Dhoni is being ruled by overpride, however, he should think that selectors are pushing Virender Sehwag to the front-runner post of captain by elevating him as vice captain. Ravi Shastri has once said and now swallowed that Sehwag is the right choice for the captain considering his tremendous form in all forms of games,whereas,Dhoni has to establish himself as a test batsman.But now the scene is different,he proved as good captain,but no captain is bigger than the team India.Nobody is irreplaceable as told to dhoni by BCCI President

  • The_other_side on November 23, 2008, 2:28 GMT

    Well life is difficult in the fast lane. The sooner Dhoni learns the better. Media will not change, Dhoni should stop reacting. Media should realise that private meeetings are called so because they are meant to be private for God sake. What ever happens the media have not done Team India any favours. Dhoni can take a leaf out of Ganguly's rule book of captaincy here because I think Ganguly was tops when it came to handling the media.

  • Skywalker1977 on November 22, 2008, 21:50 GMT

    It seems nothing has been learnt from Dalmiyagate (a.k.a. the Chapell-Ganguly fiasco). Its surprising that the BCCI is still carrying its 'glorious' legacy of board-room backstabbing. The selectors should be given a stern warning about such leaks else they should relinquish their posts for not doing their duties in a professional manner. The grouse that the captain should 'respect' the selectors is comical to say the least, respect their point of view is a different matter altogether. The newspaper in question should be asked to name their source and appropriate action should be taken against him or the newspaper itself if its a false report.

  • YesWeCan on November 22, 2008, 21:32 GMT

    Dhoni has ushered in a new era of cricketing competence, camraderie and professionalism. Looks like the BCCI and the immature aspects of sensationalist media needs a similar shake up.

    Heads should roll for the spilt beans. The captain should be boss. Don't like him? Resign from the damn selection panel.

  • Babbi on November 22, 2008, 21:07 GMT

    This is the gross difference between reporting and journalism. Even at school level, we used to come up with "strategies" on who should constitute the batting and bowling. If enough faith were not invested in both RP and Irfan, the reporter should realise that they'd not be in the chosen 12 or 15 in the first place. Indian media has crucified, killed and cremated journalism of all forms long ago. These two by four reporters merely eke out a living by creating such sensationalism.

  • Arizona_Cricket on November 22, 2008, 20:30 GMT

    Dhoni did not call the selectors "disgusting" - the act of leaking meeting proceedings was what he called disgusting. Obviously that is an internal matter, and a matter that those privileged to attend the meeting should hold close to their heart - and if for whatever reason is someone were to disclose the details - they are acting below their call of duty.

    As supporters of this game, we should express to newspapers that publish such news articles that we are not interested in internal matters of a selection committee meeting. By doing so they let their newspaper reputation to be as low as the rat that squeals.

    What happens behind closed stays behind closed doors, please don't bring it out in public!

  • _IndianCricketFan on November 22, 2008, 19:57 GMT

    Media related disruptions are so common in Indian cricket, the captain should probably receive some coaching on how to handle such situations before taking the throne. Ganguly-Chappel was one and the other that I can think of was the text message Sachin Tendulkar sent to the BCCI during the Harbhajan controversy in Australia, that was out in the open for all to see. In my opinion things like that should not be out in the public. All it does is distracts the players from the game and shifts their focus from the real deal which is the series at hand.

  • bonaku on November 22, 2008, 18:29 GMT

    May be we need some code of conduct for administration as well. It will make them accountable. In india BCCI officials are never accountable. It is time to bring the change.

  • krish45 on November 22, 2008, 17:39 GMT

    The way the news get leaked often to the media from the BCCI meetings,especially selection committee meetings, about things happening there ( and which is expected to remain in camera) is really disgusting and shows, in ample measure, the utter lack of professionalism on the part of the BCCI officials/selectors. This is not the first time such leakage is happening. If the trend continues, we may, in future, lock all the selectors/officials connected with team selection to be confined in a room (till the matches are over) without any outside connection. They may be provided with television facilities for viewing the matches, to assess the players. krish.

  • prashnottz on November 22, 2008, 15:58 GMT

    Non-issue for me. Proverbial storm in the tea-cup. Dhoni has matured and seen enough of the way BCCI functions to lose sleep over such a trivial issue.

  • BONG_IN_CHENNAI on November 22, 2008, 15:55 GMT

    A great cricketer just said sometime back: The real test of Dhoni starts now.

    Let him walk into some unknown territory, as a captain - both ON and OFF the field. Mind you that results have never been so positive (for the last 6-7 months) for any takeover captain, ever in the history of Indian cricket (1983 World cup being the only exceptional short spike)

    Also thanx circinfo, for acknowledging the power of the largest selling daily newspaper in India. For the time being blame it on them and wait.

  • cowcornered on November 22, 2008, 15:43 GMT

    The Indian Media,as always,hunts for stuff like this to get the board and players in a tangle...And they want some food for argument and discussion...But its heartening to see how the captain has responded,despite being under so much pressure from various sides..You wouldn't have believed that an Indian captain had said...."We do not have players in this team with outstanding talent, which can win every game. But as a team we are outstanding"...two years ago..Times are a-changin'...and for the better..Hope the media starts focussing on the game and doesnt eavesdrop at private meetings or hunt for cheap info from authorities...

  • sitaram58 on November 22, 2008, 15:01 GMT

    Now the selectors and the admonistrators have the honor to defend. Dhoni hs called them disgusting. Dhoni should start refreshing his resume and look for another career. maybe he should consider retiring from test and ODI cricket while he is in on top. He can play out his IPL contract and then become an administrator or selector.

    No way India will become the number one cricket nation. The team may beat the best in the world but they cannot win against the set up.

  • Nampally on November 22, 2008, 14:20 GMT

    This is not the first time that things that were supposed to be confidential and behind closed doors came out in the media. Ganguly-Chappell e-mail is one such example. We want the administrators & Selectors to be responsible individual with integrity of character. When such things come out in the media, it breaks up the team spirit.It must be noted that it is the Captain who is responsible in getting the best out of the 11 on the field NOT the Selectors. Let us see some integrity from the selectors for once if India is to be the Cricket Champions. India always won when they played as a team as evident in the test series against Aussies. Although in the 3 ODI's against England, Yuvraj, Sehwag and Gambhir were the principal batting heroes. I am sure the chance will come for others to show their talent before the 7 ODI's are completed. Indian team motto should be United we stand and divided we fall. Dhoni appears to embrace this Philosophy. Will the Selectors/media Pl. follow the leader?

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  • Nampally on November 22, 2008, 14:20 GMT

    This is not the first time that things that were supposed to be confidential and behind closed doors came out in the media. Ganguly-Chappell e-mail is one such example. We want the administrators & Selectors to be responsible individual with integrity of character. When such things come out in the media, it breaks up the team spirit.It must be noted that it is the Captain who is responsible in getting the best out of the 11 on the field NOT the Selectors. Let us see some integrity from the selectors for once if India is to be the Cricket Champions. India always won when they played as a team as evident in the test series against Aussies. Although in the 3 ODI's against England, Yuvraj, Sehwag and Gambhir were the principal batting heroes. I am sure the chance will come for others to show their talent before the 7 ODI's are completed. Indian team motto should be United we stand and divided we fall. Dhoni appears to embrace this Philosophy. Will the Selectors/media Pl. follow the leader?

  • sitaram58 on November 22, 2008, 15:01 GMT

    Now the selectors and the admonistrators have the honor to defend. Dhoni hs called them disgusting. Dhoni should start refreshing his resume and look for another career. maybe he should consider retiring from test and ODI cricket while he is in on top. He can play out his IPL contract and then become an administrator or selector.

    No way India will become the number one cricket nation. The team may beat the best in the world but they cannot win against the set up.

  • cowcornered on November 22, 2008, 15:43 GMT

    The Indian Media,as always,hunts for stuff like this to get the board and players in a tangle...And they want some food for argument and discussion...But its heartening to see how the captain has responded,despite being under so much pressure from various sides..You wouldn't have believed that an Indian captain had said...."We do not have players in this team with outstanding talent, which can win every game. But as a team we are outstanding"...two years ago..Times are a-changin'...and for the better..Hope the media starts focussing on the game and doesnt eavesdrop at private meetings or hunt for cheap info from authorities...

  • BONG_IN_CHENNAI on November 22, 2008, 15:55 GMT

    A great cricketer just said sometime back: The real test of Dhoni starts now.

    Let him walk into some unknown territory, as a captain - both ON and OFF the field. Mind you that results have never been so positive (for the last 6-7 months) for any takeover captain, ever in the history of Indian cricket (1983 World cup being the only exceptional short spike)

    Also thanx circinfo, for acknowledging the power of the largest selling daily newspaper in India. For the time being blame it on them and wait.

  • prashnottz on November 22, 2008, 15:58 GMT

    Non-issue for me. Proverbial storm in the tea-cup. Dhoni has matured and seen enough of the way BCCI functions to lose sleep over such a trivial issue.

  • krish45 on November 22, 2008, 17:39 GMT

    The way the news get leaked often to the media from the BCCI meetings,especially selection committee meetings, about things happening there ( and which is expected to remain in camera) is really disgusting and shows, in ample measure, the utter lack of professionalism on the part of the BCCI officials/selectors. This is not the first time such leakage is happening. If the trend continues, we may, in future, lock all the selectors/officials connected with team selection to be confined in a room (till the matches are over) without any outside connection. They may be provided with television facilities for viewing the matches, to assess the players. krish.

  • bonaku on November 22, 2008, 18:29 GMT

    May be we need some code of conduct for administration as well. It will make them accountable. In india BCCI officials are never accountable. It is time to bring the change.

  • _IndianCricketFan on November 22, 2008, 19:57 GMT

    Media related disruptions are so common in Indian cricket, the captain should probably receive some coaching on how to handle such situations before taking the throne. Ganguly-Chappel was one and the other that I can think of was the text message Sachin Tendulkar sent to the BCCI during the Harbhajan controversy in Australia, that was out in the open for all to see. In my opinion things like that should not be out in the public. All it does is distracts the players from the game and shifts their focus from the real deal which is the series at hand.

  • Arizona_Cricket on November 22, 2008, 20:30 GMT

    Dhoni did not call the selectors "disgusting" - the act of leaking meeting proceedings was what he called disgusting. Obviously that is an internal matter, and a matter that those privileged to attend the meeting should hold close to their heart - and if for whatever reason is someone were to disclose the details - they are acting below their call of duty.

    As supporters of this game, we should express to newspapers that publish such news articles that we are not interested in internal matters of a selection committee meeting. By doing so they let their newspaper reputation to be as low as the rat that squeals.

    What happens behind closed stays behind closed doors, please don't bring it out in public!

  • Babbi on November 22, 2008, 21:07 GMT

    This is the gross difference between reporting and journalism. Even at school level, we used to come up with "strategies" on who should constitute the batting and bowling. If enough faith were not invested in both RP and Irfan, the reporter should realise that they'd not be in the chosen 12 or 15 in the first place. Indian media has crucified, killed and cremated journalism of all forms long ago. These two by four reporters merely eke out a living by creating such sensationalism.