Raheemspeak Sanitized: Exhibit A

June 27th, 2010

In response to reader e-mails, yesterday Joe gave his take on different publications cleaning up Raheem The Dream’s quotes. And Joe promised to produce a good side-by-side example the next time one appeared.

Thanks to beat writer Stephen Holder, and possibly his editors at the St. Pete Times, some sanitized Raheemspeak is in today’s newspaper and on TampaBay.com.

The quote in question comes from Raheem The Dream’s news conference to close last week’s minicamp. Anyone can watch the news conference on Buccaneers.com.(The quote in question appears at about 11:30 of the video).

Here’s the JoeBucsFan.com transcription published last week:

“I just think in Year 2 you get a better direction and sense of where you should be. You know, before this, before you become a head coach, you just think what you should do and hope it’s right,” Raheem The Dream said. “Now, I’m at a different stage. I’m at a different point. I’m like Josh Freeman, as a head coach. I’m at a different point where I got direction. I know exactly what we want to do, and now it’s up to me to demand that we execute, demand that we be accountable of it. From a players’ standpoint, a coaches’ standpoint and also a management standpoint.”

Here’s Holder’s version of the quote in today’s Times:

“In Year 2, you have a better sense of direction and where you should be,” Morris said. “Before you become a head coach, you just think you know what you should do and hope it’s right. Now, I’m at a different stage. I’m like Josh Freeman as a head coach. I’ve got a direction, and we know exactly what we want to do. Now it’s up to me to demand that we execute.”

Holder — or his editors — omits what Joe thinks is a key expression from the head coach. “Now I’m at a different point where I got direction.” … Holder — or his editors — changed that to “I’ve got a direction.”

For Joe, that’s taking way too much latitude to edit Raheem The Dream, to the point that it subtly changes the meaning of what the head coach was saying.

As Joe wrote yesterday, editing quotes is thoroughly acceptable journalism. But when it comes to Raheem The Dream, where many in the local media set the boundaries — surely not just Holder — is curious. 

Ironically, a quote identical to Holder’s appears in a TBO.com story by eye-RAH! Kaufman on June 24.

Joe can only conclude that the beat writers published this quote off a transcript provided by the Buccaneers public relations staff, versus going through the often tedious task of transcribing the fast-talking, rambling Raheem The Dream themselves. SEE UPDATE: Bucs say they did not release any transcribed quotes. 

It’s surely common for any team’s PR machine to do the tough transcribing work, cleanup quotes and spin them in the “right direction” for the media, so their job is easier.

Joe’s not casting stones here, just following up on readers asking why Joe quotes Raheem The Dream one way, and others quote him differently.

Hopefully, this example answers the question.

11 Responses to “Raheemspeak Sanitized: Exhibit A”

  1. eric Says:

    Wow, I had no idea this was going on.

    What is the history of this type of thing concerning previous Bucs Head coaches? Was similar “sanitizing” occuring with Gruden, Dungy, and Wyche?

    I guess I have been under the mistaken impression that a quote was a quote, unless it was explained parenthetically.

  2. JimBuc Says:

    Eric — I am sure it is unique to Morris 🙂 Nice catnip Joe

  3. JimBuc Says:

    Eric, Joe said this in prior article:

    “And Joe has seen the same done for other Bucs coaches”

    But, pretty sure you knew that 🙂

  4. MichiganBucsFan Says:

    I agree with you Joe,that stuff should be published word for word

  5. mpmalloy Says:


    Very interesting find.
    I imagine that it’s being done to keep people from ripping
    Coach Morris on his public speaking.

    Also, the original version is cumbersome to read,
    Which translates to less value for the SP Times.
    So it was probably done in-house at the SPT in order
    to sell more papers.

  6. JimBuc Says:

    Joe, this is why people LOVE the media. You post a story and a follow up story about the edits done by the local media. Yor second story gets picked up by a national outlet (congrats), but the story in the national outler shifts a degree or two. Classic.


    The truth is in there somewhere.

  7. justin Says:

    Acctually the original says that the management coaches and players have to exicute the new quote says the coach has to exicute

  8. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    JimBuc – No needs for congrats of ProFootballTalk picking up this story. That’s sort of their entire site — picking up stories. ….The truth is in the raw feed of Raheem’s news conference. It is what it is.

  9. JimBuc Says:

    Well, Florio doesn’t pick up everyone and he has been picking your stuff up a lot lately. I think that is a sign of your good work. Could be wrong. Congrats nonetheless

    Anyway, I know you have nothing to do with how Florio portrays your work, but note that your piece is about local editing by reporters (you mention the Bucs PR department) but Florio’s piece is about the Bucs editing Morris (no doubt because that plays with the “Morris is incompetent” theme). I understand that the truth is in the transcript, but that is the point: no normal person reads the transcript, right? We all read headlines. Some read the reporter’s take on the facts.

  10. Los Angeles Bucs Says:

    Dibba Bubba

  11. tampa2 Says:

    Eye-Rah Kaufman has been the Bucs personal propaganda machine at the trib for at least 2 years. It amazes me that anyone can quote Morris word for word in any statement.