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McClain Ward Article on COTH

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  • #21
    The article I wrote was about McLain Ward—his accomplishment and his emotion. Period. It doesn't matter who McLain's father was for the point of the story. The point is his incredible loss and his determination to overcome it, regardless of who his father was.

    I think it's in horrifically bad taste to suggest turning a story about that triumph of human spirit over loss into a rehash of a negative topic. It's disrespectful to McLain, for whom I have the utmost respect.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #22
      I never said it should be turned into something all about his dad, but omitting details that explain why his father was not in attendance at past events should have been included ONLY because it was brought up in the article. If that point had not been made, then I would not have brought it up.

      If it had truly been to only talk about his triumph, then just talking about the loss he suffered and not what his father missed in the past would have avoided this conversation and would have been more respectful of Mclain's achievement that you were writing about.
      "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

      Comment


      • #23
        I wasn't going to reply to this thread, but I think I need to, Velvet.

        I think it is extremely disrespectful to McLain Ward to bring that up. He has obviously forgiven his father for his horrible past. And sometimes, parents do things that we're ashamed of. But as McLain said, they're still parents and they do an awful lot for us. And it was referenced in the article because it was a quote from McLain, one tiny quote. Yes, it's a true statement. No one can deny that Barney Ward did terrible, terrible thing. And him dying does not make it any better. But it is disrespectful to the family and to McLain to come in here and turn his amazing win into bashing his dad, who has had his share of haters. The article wasn't about turning Barney Ward into a great guy, but it was about an amazing rider, who had just lost a parent, overcoming grief to put out an amazing round.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #24
          It never was about bashing him. Did you read the initial post? It was more to the author of the article and stating that they never should have omitted a fact that was alluded to in the article.

          It was a disservice by the author to the audience/readers. My reason for bringing up the details was about the facts behind the statement about McLain's father not being present at some of his greatest achievements.

          To say that Barney's family forgave him, well that's fine. That also is not the point of the article, based upon the authors post out here in response. The article was about his triumph at an show while also dealing with the passing of his father.

          There was no need to go into the details of Barney's nasty past IF the author had not been so close to rider in the article that they had felt the need to make a statement and then not follow it up with facts, but rather gloss over them and leave reader's to make incorrect assumptions (such as that his father had been too ill to attend those events, etc.).

          It's a disservice to the reader. And if mentioned, it's a disservice to the horse community that suffered as a whole from the actions that lead to his being bannished when they are not mentioned as a warning to others who are considering behaving in a similar fashion as the one that lead to his being banned from all USEF competitions.

          The comment made was about the author and their article. It was not an attack on the subject of the story. Re-read what was stated. It was about the omission of facts alluded to in the article. It's that simple.
          "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

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          • #25
            Yikes. I can't believe I'm reading this.

            It's not about Barney Ward, it's about McLain Ward and his win after losing his father. What the hell is wrong with you people?

            I hope for the sake of the people around you, that you aren't as hateful, especially to people who are grieving, in person as you are in print.

            ETA Velvet, there is a direct link in the article to the obituary of Barney Ward and if that doesn't satisfy you then obviously nothing will.

            Comment


            • #26
              I agree with the OP that this phrase:

              despite being unable to witness most of McLain’s biggest triumphs
              was not the best idea. Had that one phrase been left out I think it would have been better. Its inclusion opens up a line of discussion that was not the intent of the article, and leaving that phrase out would not have diminished the emotional aspects of the story.

              It's certainly a shame that the article can't be taken at face value, but there's just so much history it's impossible.

              Comment


              • #27
                The biggest questions are: Are we supposed to treat this article like a work of "objective journalism"(*)? Or is this more of a fluffy human-interest story or even a blog entry?

                If COTH wanted to be taken seriously as a "mainstream media source"(*) then something like this would have been appropriate:

                "McLain was incredibly close with his father. Due to pleading guilty to killing horses for insurance money in 1996, even though Barney Ward was unable to witness most of his son's triumphs he was the touchstone for McLain's career, personally and professionally."

                But I interpreted it as a feel-good story, so the commentary wasn't necessary.

                (*)- Both phrases are put into quotes because the lines between the different mass media forms have become blurred enough that I'm not precisely sure which is which.
                Last edited by armchair_Quaterback; Nov. 5, 2012, 08:04 PM. Reason: (Tattoo's voice): "McLain! McLain!" Thank you, Renn/aissance! :)

                Comment


                • #28
                  While I will not mourn Barney's death, I respect that McClain lost his father. I would have left Barney out entirely. I do not think it was a wise choice to even write an article about it because it is (rightfully) a very controversial topic. To write an article about how much heartbreak McClain must be feeling opens the can of worms. Barney was not just McClain's dad in the horse world and to include him as such is to ignore a huge side of him which many would argue defines him. If COTH wanted to keep the topic closed, the answer would have been to not make an article about him, simple. If they are going to state all the news, they would have to dive into Barney's scandal.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by armchair_Quaterback View Post

                    "McClain was incredibly close with his father. Due to pleading guilty to killing horses for insurance money in 1996, even though Barney Ward was unable to witness most of his son's triumphs he was the touchstone for McClain's career, personally and professionally."
                    There is a reason why Molly gets to write articles and we don't...
                    Sorry but this sentence doesn't make any sense, I read it 3 times and gave up... "due to pleading guilty... he was the touchstone"? Is that what you meant? Very bad choice of words and comas at all the wrong places.

                    Molly, I think you do and have always done a great job. You know that many posters were waiting at the first occasion to jump at somebody's throat and spread all they think they know about Barney's past... you know, just in case it hasn't been discussed enough... pretty sad IMO


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                    Comment


                    • #30
                      This thread went from being disrespectful to McLain to being disrespectful and rude to Molly. I thought the article was perfectly appropriate for the occasion. As someone posted above, it included a link to Barney's obituary that should've satisfied everyone. The fact that this is being discussed is ridiculous. This thread should be closed.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        I lost all respect for McClain Ward when he decided to repeatedly put pins in his horses boots so they wouldnt hit the rails...and then he got caught. Followed in his father's sleezy footsteps. Don't get me wrong, McClain and his father are great riders with great talent. I am constantly left in awe by the people who continue to idolize these two because of their winning success and yet continue to look the other way when they are also known criminals/animal abuses for the sake of their wins.

                        I'm sure the two of them have done a lot of good for young riders and fellow equestrians but that should not outweigh the tremendous wrong-doings that they have done to this entire sport.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          This entire thread is in extremely poor taste, IMO.
                          http://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628
                          Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Losing a parent is a huge life event and out of a sense of humanity we should all send our thoughts or comments of support to McClain. And if we feel like we can't do that then we should just be quiet during this time.
                            McClain has said that he was very close to his father and he appreciates what his father gave him and taught him. If each of us steps back and considers the complications in that father/son relationship...wow. A friend of mine told me that when we lose a parent we grieve the parent we had, but we also grieve the parent we didn't have. I'm several years out from losing one of my parents and that statement is so true. So just as a fellow human, the equestrian side apart, let's give McClain and the rest of the Ward family a bit of a break.
                            Isn't it fair to allude to the conviction but out of respect for McClain and his loss to not dredge up every detail? The man that committed the crime has died. The man that didn't commit the crime is grieving. And in the midst of that grief pulled out a really big win.
                            A simple 'congratulations and I'm sorry for your loss' is probably sufficient right now.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Does anyone HONESTLY think that the audience for this article, COTH readers, don't know how to fill in the blanks for themself? Geez. Velvet's judgement just threw in a huge buck and landed her far on the wrong side of the line of good taste.

                              Molly, the article was just very well done.
                              "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                              Spay and neuter. Please.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                While we're talking about journalism, and how people can do it better than Molly, how about we start by spelling McLain Ward's name right?
                                "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

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                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #36
                                  My bad on the spelling. I see it was perpetuated.
                                  "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
                                    What I mean is, what was the author to do? Either she has to explain the entire story (assuming readers don't know, because some don't), not mention it at all-- which is weird in the context of Mclain's comments-- or do what she did, give it a gloss.
                                    Why would she have had "to explain the entire story"? That wouldn't have been necessary at all if a mention was made. Facts are facts. Doesn't do any good to pretend they didn't happen.

                                    I didn't have a problem with the article, though. That particular article was on McLain, and right in the article itself was a link to Barney Ward's passing and that contained the information.

                                    Love is love. It's hard to lose a loved one. I'm sad for the younger Mr. Ward, losing a parent is a milestone event, but I also understand that not many are shedding tears.
                                    Last edited by Anne FS; Nov. 5, 2012, 04:44 PM. Reason: fixed typo

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      I'm with Super Shorty. I find this to be in very poor taste and am slightly appalled that it's still open. Let it go. The man is dead. IS THAT NOT ENOUGH TO MAKE YOU HAPPY?

                                      McLain lost his dad. And amid having to bury his father came out to win a Grand Prix. That's a big accomplishment without the distraction of planning a funeral of a loved one.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by armchair_Quaterback View Post
                                        The biggest questions are: Are we supposed to treat this article like a work of "objective journalism"(*)? Or is this more of a fluffy human-interest story or even a blog entry?

                                        If COTH wanted to be taken seriously as a "mainstream media source"(*) then something like this would have been appropriate:

                                        "McClain was incredibly close with his father. Due to pleading guilty to killing horses for insurance money in 1996, even though Barney Ward was unable to witness most of his son's triumphs he was the touchstone for McClain's career, personally and professionally."

                                        But I interpreted it as a feel-good story, so the commentary wasn't necessary.

                                        (*)- Both phrases are put into quotes because the lines between the different mass media forms have become blurred enough that I'm not precisely sure which is which.

                                        Good thing you don't write for the Chronicle or (I hope!) work in media.

                                        The Chronicle will never be a mainstream media source. Don't you know what that means? It has never been their goal to compete with the New York Times, CNN, or NBC.

                                        I've worked for the Chronicle, but I've also worked for NBC, Hearst, and currently work for the publisher of Vogue. I can tell you that the Chronicle strives to be as objective and factually accurate as any other magazine—and they succeed.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by Anne FS View Post
                                          Why would she have had "to explain the entire story"? That wouldn't have been necessary at all if a mention was made. Facts are facts. Doesn't do any good to pretend they didn't happen.
                                          Because, if you pull aside 10 riders of varying ages today and ask them "Why couldn't Barney Ward go to USEF shows" you'd probably get "Who is Barney Ward?" and "I don't know" from at least half of them. A segment of people who were not old enough in the 80s to be REALLY aware of what was happening simply DO NOT KNOW. People who are in disciplines other than H/J do not know. So in mentioning that Barney Ward was not able to see McLain compete, the author had two choices-- gloss it and let it go (which she selected) or launch into a side topic that would have taken the story into a direction it wasn't intended to go. I tend to side with those who say it makes a "cleaner" story not to mention Barney's absence at shows AT ALL... but given that she mentioned it, I think the gloss is the better choice from a journalism POV than delving into the sordid history. I take no stand on which is a better decision from an ethical POV-- but I think the author made the right choice in terms of writing a cohesive article, knowing her readership and keeping her eye on the point of the article.
                                          ~Veronica
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