- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 16, 2008

TODAY’S BEST BET ON TELEVISION

Are you kidding? Watch the Big Ten and ACC finals, then tune in for the Selection Show with Billy Packer and Jim Nantz. 6 p.m., Chs. 9, 13

TODAY ON WASHINGTONTIMES.COM

D1SCOURSE: Patrick Stevens will have his final bracket ruminations before the real deal is unveiled on CBS.

Chatter: Mark Zuckerman and Ben Goessling check in from spring training.

AROUND THE WEB - BANNING THE BLOGGERS

 Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban lit up the blogosphere this week by, of all things, banning bloggers from his team’s locker room.

 Cuban, as you probably know, is a blogger himself, maintaining BlogMaverick.com with his riffs on technology, money, business and basketball.

 Cuban said his issue isn’t the blogger in question (Tim MacMahon of the Dallas Morning News), but rather fairness. MacMahon doesn’t write for the dear old “Dead Tree Edition” but for DallasNews.com, the newspaper’s Web site. Cuban said if he continued to let MacMahon into the locker room, he’d have to let every fan with a Mavericks site in as well.

 And Cuban’s not ready to take that plunge; he said his locker room is too small.

 “As it is now, between reporters, photographers (both still and video), trainers and the players, it gets pretty full,” Cuban wrote on Blog Maverick.

 Not everyone buys Cuban’s line of reasoning.

 The editorial board of the Dallas Morning News called the ban “silly” and included this clever line, sure to evoke online ire:

 Note to Mavericks PR staff: Your boss doesn’t believe you have the skills to evaluate the various blogs out there and cull the journalists from the goofs-in-their-underwear types.

 McMahon also got a vote of confidence from the Society of Professional Journalists, who asked the NBA to “fully investigate” the Mavericks’ policy.

 Meanwhile, Greg Sandoval over at the CNet blog wrote exactly what I was thinking:

 Why would the founder of Broadcast.com and the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks force bloggers into a digital ghetto by limiting their access to his basketball team? Isn’t he a card-carrying member of the digerati?

 Indeed Cuban is, which makes another of his claims ring hollow. Cuban on Monday wrote he “hadn’t seen or read” McMahon’s blog, which strikes me as odd considering Cuban subscribes to news alerts about the league and his team; McMahon’s prolific output (he filed 20 posts on his blog on Friday) certainly would pop up on Cuban’s laptop.

 And now, instead of getting that content from the players themselves, McMahon will rely on quote sheets from his press row seat, pants or no pants.

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