Bucks Diary

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Exonerating Stern on one point

During his press conference today, David Stern was asked, in essence, how he could be so certain that no other referees were involved in the scandal. To which Stern replied "I feel like I was just asked when I stopped beating my wife."

Stern is drawing a lot of criticism for that response, but I think some of it comes from the fact that he didn't properly reference what he was talking about. But it does sort of play up what I referred to in my earlier post: he was way off his game today. Because I cringed when I heard that response, and I knew exactly what he was trying to say.

Stern was not accusing the questioner of alleging that he, Stern, had beaten his wife. What Stern was doing was clumsily accusing the questioner of asking him a loaded question, or, as lawyers would say, a question that assumes facts that are not in evidence. The classic law school example of that is the prosecutor who asks the defendant: "So, when did you stop beating your wife?" You see, the question implies that at one point the defendant had beaten his wife, which is unfair and prejudicial unless already proven.

Of course, the question Stern was asked was actually not an example of a loaded question, but rather was an example of a question that required him to prove a negative. So Stern's whole response was inapt, but not as bizarre and politically incorrect as some are making it out to be.

7 Comments:

At July 24, 2007 at 6:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You would have to be pretty stupid to take offense to his statement. As you reported, it was clear to anyone with a brain what he was alluding to.

 
At July 24, 2007 at 6:33 PM, Blogger Blogmaster said...

That said, the female panelist on Rome is Burning from ESPN the magazine took offense to it, as did others on blogs I've read.

 
At July 24, 2007 at 6:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now if he'd said, "I feel like you just asked me when I stopped skullfucking the female panelist on Rome is Burning..."

 
At July 24, 2007 at 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blogmaster - I almost added a sexist statement about feminists in the first comment, but didn't, because I didn't want to assume it was just some female talking-head type trying to make a name. I guess I could have.

 
At July 24, 2007 at 9:48 PM, Blogger Blogmaster said...

You lost me, but that's nothing new. I appreciate the comments.

 
At July 25, 2007 at 12:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i believe stern's comment was less than thoughtful to say the least; however, i don't believe he was in anyway trying to espouse any offensive remarks. the guy is dealing with a shitstorm that none of us could even envision. part of it is his fault by making the nba such a star driven league in the past 20+ years, which has lead to the subsequent rigging allegations. i'm not going to blame the guy for a slip of the tongue during, what i believe, will be the most troublesome event during his tenure as commissioner.

 
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