Since the conversation on this topic was interesting, I thought it would be appropriate to add some more information and answer where I stand on the question. After all, I asked the question in my previous blog post, I didn’t answer it.
First, my opening comments as [GQ writer and Deadspin editor] Will Leitch and I sat down for the interview. (These come courtesy of Will in an email to me about this subject):
WL: Okay. I want to start off actually, this is going to be just a big Q&A, pretty much straight up and everything. So I want to start …
MC: This is just for GQ now.
WL: Just for GQ, not for Deadspin. No Deadspin stuff, and no … yeah, I have the journalist hat on. And I have the journalist hat on at Deadspin, too, but anyway, let’s … another debate for another time.
MC: We won’t call that journalism.
WL: Another debate for another time.
So I made it clear that I wanted no association with his blog at all.
Does his writing a piece about me with a link back to the very item that he knew I wanted nothing to do with constitute a lack of ethics? I think so. It certainly is a major f*ck you.
Does making the following comment ("Cuban was not amused and spent most of the interview accusing Deadspin of being the Inside Edition of sports. So that was fun") diminish the integrity of the interview itself? Probably not, but to some readers of Valleywag and GQ, it could. Unethical? Probably not. Stupid business? Definitely.
For the record, I certainly didn’t spend most of the interview talking about his blog, but I certainly had fun at his expense from time to time and I never said it was off the record. Although, again, this was a GQ interview. Set up and arranged with the magazine with no consideration on my part as to who would do the piece until Will showed up.
Which leads to my conclusion about all of this.
It’s my fault. I was stupid to think that the guy who runs Deadspin could stop being the guy who runs Deadspin. I should have asked for GQ to send someone else. Better yet, I should have stuck to my rules and only do interviews via email.