A word (give or take a thousand) about JC Corcoran…
On November 16th, a local media head known as JC Corcoran predicted that Albert Pujols would announce a long-term contract extension with the St. Louis Cardinals by the end of that week.
When it didn’t happen, Corcoran concluded that the exposure of the “news” to his massive audience must have swayed Cardinals GM John Mozeliak from announcing it until Pujols returned from a family trip to Hawaii.
Albert Pujols remains unsigned and is either soaking up rays in Maui or laughing comfortably from his couch in St. Louis. No one knows, really. Well apparently, JC Corcoran and his ominous “source” do and they’re sticking to the proclamation that an announcement is coming, well, “soon.”
For hardcore Cardinals fans, those are the details. That’s it.
As it turns out, the story doesn’t end at JC Corcoran being factually inaccurate. Allow us to shift our attention away from Albert Pujols’ travel itineraries and on to something deeper. Namely, the way JC Corcoran handled the criticism and how legacy media members aren’t suited for this industry’s evolution.
First and foremost, JC Corcoran was wrong about his report.
But who cares, really? The “news” wasn’t even relevant. Let’s say the probability of Pujols re-signing with the Cardinals is around 60%. Given his connection to the city, his salary demands and those willing to meet those requirements, that’s probably a conservative estimate. Is a prediction that hedges on the side of likelihood really that meaningful? Hardly. If you’re not going to stick to the specific announcement date that was reported, then why report anything at all? Oh, right, because throwing piles of dung against the wall with ambitions to gloat about the ones that stick, and ignore the ones that don’t, is revered in this industry. We forgot.
Now, when you’re publicly incorrect about a topic as resonating as Albert Pujols’ contract status, forthright human beings have the following three options:
(1) Ignore the criticism
(2) Bide time and and politely respond, “Eh, just wait and see.”
(3) Accept responsibility
It’s not hard. Bernie Miklasz was tremendously and publicly wrong in March about Mizzou hiring Matt Painter away from Purdue. He accepted it, apologized and everyone moved on. Then again, he’s an exception; a polite one, if you will. The following is a collection of responses sent from JC’s Twitter account to readers that questioned the legitimacy of his report over the past week.
In what industry, other than the St. Louis sports media, can someone be so rude, so abrasive, and so pompous to a collective group of existing/potential readers and listeners…and NOT lose their job? Then again, JC Corcoran has been hired and fired (and then hired again) by nearly every radio station in town. Another termination only strengthens his résumé. But currently, JC only has one employer: 550 KTRS. They seemed comfortable with his brash behavior last year, so we’re guessing his latest performance won’t cause a stink in the KTRS corporate offices. That negligence is nearly as baffling as the act itself.
Because, it’s not about the curse words. It’s about a mentality amongst the legacy media that just. doesn’t. fit. with the evolution of the industry.
Consumers are everything today, not the personal agendas of so-called “lightning rod” shock jocks. Readers, listeners, viewers: they’re everything. Our readers mean the world to us. It sounds cliché, trite, and boilerplate, but it’s true. Interacting with other sports fans is not only part of the job, but it’s probably the best part. The compliments, the insults, the criticism, and everything in between. It’s fantastic because people care. And when you respond politely, no matter how difficult, inconsequential relationships evolve into meaningful ones because people learn about you. You’re not just a column-writer, radio-voice or media-head anymore. You become a person, even in the face of disagreement or criticism.
And here’s where JC Corcoran (and a lot of other media members in this town) fall extremely short: they just don’t care about you as a person, so they have little reason to engage.
We’re not sure how or why this became a valuable asset to employers and advertisers in the St. Louis sports media, but it’s a harsh reality of the current industry. It needs to change.
Since an early age, most classically-trained journalists and broadcasters have been conditioned that their thoughts matter more than the general public’s. And it’s hard to blame them. Heck, access to a broadcast microphone or television camera is an exclusive opportunity, and for that reason, it’s also one where power is frequently abused. For a long time, being a media member was about providing opinion, and never responding to it. Up until about six years ago, the only way to voice a public opinion (as a fan) was to write a “Sound Off” letter to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and hope that they printed it in the Sunday paper.
But that was then. The rules have changed. You can’t stop social opinion like you can hang up on talk show radio callers. It’s pervasive and it’s here to stay. We all have a platform for expression, and it’s no longer limited to JC or any other media member that’s made a career out of pointing down at a collective audience. These people are slow to adapt new media engagement tools like Twitter and Facebook because they don’t want to admit to themselves that they’re on the same deck as the peasants now.
…it’s why JC has a daily YouTube video entitled, “JC’s Daily Dose“, with no description other than the date it was posted. After all, it’s JC. It says so in the title. That’s all you need to know. Now watch, dammit.
…it’s why JC can call out the Twitter users that criticized him, despite claiming that he doesn’t read any of the responses. You know, because he’s far too important to do it himself. He has an entire staff for mindless drivel like interacting with real people.
…it’s why JC labels the entire internet audience as “basement dwellers“, despite filming a daily show in what appears to be, um, a basement. But since he leads each show by informing his audience that he lives in Clayton, it’s clear that it’s really expensive basement.
…it’s why JC has a website with collage background featuring all of the celebrities that he’s met. If you haven’t heard, he’s pretty famous and hangs around other famous people. A lot.
…and it’s why JC can call readers “douchebags” for criticizing his reports – which, to-date, have zero merit.
Blogs, Twitter, and Facebook; they’re all tools to voice an opinion and we all have access to them. The recipient can choose to ignore it…or accept it and make yourself better because of it.
Or, tell people to blow themselves.
Either way in this town, apparently.