Richard Deitsch is one of the preeminent media reporters in the country, and he’s actually one of my most important follows on Twitter. His Monday column for SI.com is a must-read, both for the news he reports and for the standout stories he aggregates from the week before. In our chat, we talk about what it’s like to cover an Olympic Games, how difficult it used to be to get a byline in Sports Illustrated when he was coming up the ranks, and whether he worries about burning bridges as a media reporter/critic.
Plus, we get into the Twitter wars he’s had with such luminaries as ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Outkick the Coverage’s Clay Travis, and Jason Whitlock. Basically: other than entertainment — and my god, it is entertaining — what’s the point? Also, Deitsch explains why he hopes never, ever to write a screed.
One of the reasons I started following John Walters on Twitter — maybe the main reason — is because I loved that this former Sports Illustrated writer was tweeting about how he was waiting tables at a New York City steakhouse. Well, Walters has accomplished much more in his life than serving food for a big-ass tip. Instead, the two-time Sports Emmy winner recently landed a job at Newsweek, and he still writes daily for his own site, HappyMedium.com.
During our chat, we discuss how much easier it is to get interviews or call-backs from people when they know ESPN.com or the New York Times is calling and the cache those publications bring, what it was like clawing his way up from the bottom at Sports Illustrated, and why the iPad-only newspaper — The Daily — was a little ahead of its time.
Plus, we talk about his feelings on SI’s Oklahoma State college football story that caused such a controversy last September, and Walters tells me about why he went into the restaurant business as a waiter and why he loves it so much.