The Dongbudsman is distinguished fellow in media ethics at the Deadspin Center for Excellence in Journalism and Penis Photography.
Poynter has grown from a scrappy startup media think tank to one that plays with the big dogs of Freedom Forum and the Center for Media and Democracy. It gained legitimacy almost immediately as a serious player after it got an overcaffeinated guy to post small-bore pieces of media gossip on a blog that supposedly working journalists would reload obsessively throughout the day.
Yet it may have crossed the line today when serious media person Bill Krueger posted a story in which he alleged, or appeared to allege, or quoted people in such a way that leads me to think he alleged, that Deadspin allegedly "crossed the [alleged] line" in allegedly publishing an alleged story about Brett Favre's alleged genitals.
What Krueger did not reveal, however, is that a colleague of his at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and Wasting Everyone's Damn Time is in fact related to Brett Favre: Gregory E. Favre, Poynter's distinguished fellow in journalism values [ed. note: This is a real title], is Brett's second cousin once removed.
This raises serious issues about Poynter's credibility and creates a potential conflict of interest, according to some experts I talked to through whom I will express an opinion I'm afraid to state plainly.
"This raises serious issues about Poynter's credibility and creates a potential conflict of interest," a serious media person told me via e-mail.
Some other people told me some similarly obvious things.
"For Poynter to criticize a blog's story about an athlete and not disclose that its 'distinguished fellow in journalism values' has close familial ties to that athlete is a very serious oversight," said an editor at some newspaper. "This raises serious issues about Poynter's credibility and creates a potential conflict of interest."
We're awaiting comment from Bill Krueger, mostly so we can be heavily condescending to him on the phone.
UPDATE: Poynter responds, via the comments.