Did Poynter Go Too Far In Publishing Story Alleging That Deadspin Went Too Far?S

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.

Reportedly.

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.