Tuesday, November 13, 2007

RE: THE ISRAEL BASEBALL LEAGUE SCANDAL: An open letter to the sports journalists who are allowing us-- forcing us-- to do your jobs for you!

Tabloid Baby is a news, commentary and satirical watchdog site that focuses on the media and pop culture. We usually don’t do sports. But in the past quarter of a year, we’ve become the focal point for the investigation into and criticism of the Israel Baseball League, a professional sports venture into the Promised Land headed up by a man who invented a bagel with no hole and a cream cheese center.

Our Man Elli in Israel, the respected print and broadcast journalist from New York City who has made his home in Jerusalem for more than fifteen years (and wrote the IBL Opening Day preview story for the New York Times), led off the with an investigative report (and sidebar story) that detailed the ups and downs and disturbing complaints about the league’s first season-- from safety issues to complaints that the league, financed with American dollars, was not marketed to the Israeli audience.

That was followed by attacks on Elli Wohlgelernter as a journalist, Israeli and Jew.

Larry Baras and his friends began spin-- and Nixonian whispering-- campaigns against Elli—never once disputing what he had written.

Players, some anonymously and some very public, posted comments here about of bounced checks and broken promises.

A reporter for the Chicago Tribune plagiarized parts of Elli’s stories and passed off the work as his own.

Stories and rumours began to fly about new problems, financial improprieties and illegalities behind the scenes of the IBL.

The signing of two IBL players by the New York Yankees, neither of whom seemed destined to make it to the Big Game, was seen to be a a ploy for good press and faster fundraising.

Baras authorized a book to counter Elli’s own to tell the official version of the IBL story.

Elli wrote, again here, again exclusively, about the rumours that the IBL will not be returning for a second season.

Yesterday, we reported exclusively about a federal lawsuit that accuses Boston-based bagelmaker Baras of securities fraud linked directly to his start-up of the IBL.

And now, IBL players are using this site to air their grievances!

Hey, this ain’t our playing field!

So we now turn it over to you, the bigtime sports reporters for papers like the New York Times, Boston Globe and Jerusalem Post, investigative reporters for the many Jewish weeklies across America-- all of you who get paid to do more than copy scores and statistics:

Do your f-cking jobs and follow up!

We’ve handed you everything you need.

The rest of you... stay tuned here. It’s probably the only place you’ll get the story.
Readers! Do you know a big time sports report—or a smalltime sports or investigative reporter who’d like to win an award or two and possibly even his own office! Send them this link!

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