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Mark Cuban

Is This Ethical? Part II

Mark Cuban Editorial - 01/25/2008-17:54 PM

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.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: There's been a lively debate regarding this issue on Mark Cuban's blog. Check out and join the debate here, or in the comments section below.]

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Mark Cuban

Is This Ethical for a Blogger/Journalist?

Mark Cuban Editorial - 01/25/2008-14:40 PM

A couple months ago I agreed to do an interview with a major national magazine that I enjoy and respect. I rarely do face-to-face interviews because I have significant trust issues with how an interview can be reflected in a story.

I try to stick exclusively to email for all my interviews. In this case I made an exception because I had developed a good relationship with the magazine.

The interview process was unexceptional. Meaning that it went well. The writer and I got along and I thought it was a fun interview to do.

The article came out last week and I liked it. No problems at all.

Then the person who interviewed me, who is also a blogger, decided to blog about our interview. The blog ran on a site that he is associated with, but is not affiliated at all with the magazine the interview was for. He never asked, nor told me that our interview would be blogged about. While I respect the magazine, I am not a fan of the site he works for, or of its affiliated site that the blog ran on. A point I let him know. I would not have done the interview had I known he would blog about it for this site.

As it turns out, he did not clear the blog with the magazine either.

So he traveled on their dime to do an interview for their magazine and then used the interview to generate a blog for his site from a subject that was not expecting to be blogged about.

Ethical or not?

[EDITOR’S NOTE: There's been a lively debate regarding this issue on Mark Cuban's blog. Check out and join the debate here, or in the comments section below. And see Mark's answer to the question here.]

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