Baltimore’s WBAL Radio, part of the Hearst group, has removed Tim Joyce’s interview on yesterday’s C4 show about the new sex abuse allegations at Michael Phelps’ North Baltimore Aquatic Club. And just to make sure the broadcaster’s cowardice gets painted a complete and bright yellow, WBAL also pulled all dozen-plus articles Joyce has written for the station website, over a period of months, on the decades-long story of molestations and the cover-ups thereof at USA Swimming.
At this point I don’t know much more about what motivated WBAL’s unexplained sneak action than you do. Joyce himself is out of town. This clinic in corporate cravenness follows the brief pulling of Joyce’s piece and initial cancellation of his on-air interview two days ago, with the later lame explanation that WBAL had been busy performing “due diligence” on material it already posted.
The obvious conclusion is that swimming honchos got to WBAL and the suits upstairs, and got them to piss on journalistic values, the way Ryan Lochte pees in the pool during competition. What an embarrassment. “Swimming honchos” … as if Joyce’s reporting were the disclosure of the locations of nuclear silos, requiring intervention from the frigging president of the United States.
I can tell you that Joyce’s work is careful and solid. As soon as I can get in touch with him again, I’m going to ask if I can reprint all of his articles at Concussion Inc. This is not because I’m under the illusion that this little site has anything like the juice of a major-market radio station, but to underscore that the story that he and I are working on will survive. Indeed, this extended hiccup of Hearst Corporation censorship now becomes part of the story and takes it to a new level of national shame.