The Oklahoman’s John Rohde got into a Twitter fight with the guy from Daily Thunder
9:25 AM EDT on April 25, 2013
Yesterday afternoon, the NBA unveiled a new commercial featuring Russell Westbrook. It's pretty cool. You should watch it here if you haven't seen it.
Since he covers the Thunder for the Oklahoman, Darnell Mayberry posted the video on his blog. And since he covers the Thunder for his site Daily Thunder, Royce Young also posted the video.
This is where John Rohde stepped in.
Rohde, who apparently does not understand how the internet works, took offense that Royce would post a YouYube video on Daily Thunder without crediting The Oklahoman.
Given that the NBA put the video on YouTube, asking Royce to give credit to The Oklahoman is a pretty weird request. As Royce himself then pointed out.
Rohde didn't like that too much, and responded with a particularly vile attack on Royce's work.
Yeah, he seriously put the word "reports" in quotation marks, like Royce just copies stuff from other people and publishes it as his own. What a jerk! The reaction was swift, and not kind to the Rohd-ster. This is a pretty representative sample:
Even the mild-mannered Ben Allen of KOSU got involved.
When you've got the NPR guy calling your behavior nasty, you know you've really stepped in it.
Not only is he wrong on the merits (Daily Thunder graciously links to other people's work all the time), but I can count on one hand the number of people who cover the Thunder who might work as hard as Royce. At least he had the decency to "talk it out" with him later, and blamed the whole thing on not being "Twitter savvy," although quite frankly it's unclear to me how not knowing how Twitter works is the problem here. He accused Daily Thunder of not crediting The Oklahoman when it didn't need to, and then accused Daily Thunder of a lack of professionalism. None of that has anything to do with Twitter and everything to do with good old-fashioned dopey behavior.
To commemorate this mini-brouhaha, I thought it would be fun to go through John Rohde's Greatest Hits. This was harder to do than I thought it would be. After all, what do you think of when you think of John Rohde's defining column? Yeah, I can't think of any either. Here is my best shot.
The "Kelvin Sampson is the low man on the totem pole" article
The former OU basketball coach was very proud of his Lumbee Indian roots, and talked about them often. No one who followed the team, even a little, would not know that he was a Native American. Knowing that, try checking out the artwork on this article without pulling a face muscle from cringing:
Get it? He's the low man on the totem pole. Because he's Native American. Woof. The Oklahoman later apologized and said it was unintentional, but it really says a lot that something like this could it to print without anyone thinking it would be problematic.
The many "John Rohde talks about how awesome Bill Self is" articles
If anyone ever wrote a prototypical John Rohde column, it would definitely involve John Rohde talking effusively about his good friend Bill Self. Did you know that six months after that A Man Of Character hagiography, John Rohde published a book he co-authored with... wait for it... Bill Self. Must be nice.
A couple years ago, after yet another story written by John Rohde that involved Bill Self, I got fed up and e-mailed Oklahoman Sports Editor Mike Sherman to ask him if they thought it might be a good idea to disclose to their readers whenever one of their reporters had written a book with one of his subjects. Very much to his credit, Mike Sherman was very gracious and said that, in retrospect, it probably would have been a good idea. Score one for the little guys!
John Rohde's Vijay Singh obsession
In the early 90's, every time a major golf tournament was starting, Rohde would recap the field and make his prediction. Without fail, there would be a snide remark about Vijay Singh. I mean every time. John Rohde cannot stand Vijay Singh. If Vijay Singh is ever killed under mysterious circumstances, I definitely know where I'm going to look first.
The John Rohde Marriage Proposal Column
I have no idea why, but this is the first John Rohde article that I can remember. I was just a kid at the time, but for some reason it's always stuck with me. Remember when The Oklahoman let Rohde have that entire left-side column on the front page of the sports section two or three times a week? Yeah, he once used the entire column to propose to his wife.
You can read the whole thing here. It's a charming column, I guess, and it worked, but I've always found public proposals really discomfiting. It feels weird, and wrong, to be involved in another person's private, intimate moment. But I'm not here to shit on someone's personal life. If that's how you roll, more power to you.
The John Rohde article that cites Bleacher Report
If you are an adult human that is aware Bleacher Report exists, you probably also know that it's basically one big content-farming site. Pretty much anyone can write for it. There are, essentially, no standards. All they care about it clicks. Citing Bleacher Report as though it is a credible authority on anything absolutely boggles the mind.
That's it! That's literally all of the John Rohde columns I can think of. Did I miss one? Let me know.
Also, follow me on Twitter here. I spent hours last night reading John Rohde articles. I deserve it.
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