In MEDIA SOUND BITES Leonard Shapiro on October 19, 2013 at 1:46 pm

The latest edition of Real Sports on HBO offered yet another reason to praise the anthology show as best in breed on cable or network television.

The September show began with a feature on sleazy FOX Sports NFL information guru Jay Glazier, followed with a damaging and well-reported story on the obscene amounts of money bowl games are taking in (and paying out to their chief executives) and ended with a poignant piece on Dexter Manley, the former Redskins’ defensive lineman who is still battling demons that twice sent him to prison for abusing drugs.

The Glazier piece was most revealing in terms of how he goes about getting his so-called scoops. Granted, he breaks a lot of stories on FOX, though I suspect not quite as many as HBO gave him credit for, including the announcement the recent NFL lockout was over.

But the Glazier segment definitely raised this old sportswriter’s eyebrows over the way he conducts his business.

Glazier takes great pride in being “friends” with most of his sources, a violation of every basic tenet learned in Journalism 101. I’ve always felt it was wise to be friendly with your sources, while also letting them know that you wouldn’t even think twice about going to print or on the air with information they might not particularly care for.

Watching the piece, I had to wonder how many punches the man has pulled over the years, holding back on so-called negative information to protect his pals.

There was Glazier being filmed by HBO cameras as he made his way around training camps earlier this summer, slapping hands, bumping fists, hugging and mugging with players, coaches and team executives to let the audience know he’s more than just a reporter, he’s really their best bud, as well.

During an interview with a properly skeptical Bryant Gumbel, Glazier was asked if his reportorial tactics, not to mention his side business in training NFL and other athletes in mixed martial arts, didn’t break all the rules about fraternizing with the people he covers.

Glazier essentially insisted that as far as he was concerned — hey, it’s just sports — and the rules have changed. Says who?

Sadly, as long as his employers at FOX don’t seem to have a problem with his multiple conflicts of interest (he even does commercials for Subway sandwiches), I suppose he’ll continue to get away with some of the most egregious breaches of journalistic ethics ever witnessed on network television.

Nice job by HBO in exposing him for exactly what he shouldn’t be.

This Just In — In a recent post on this site, I speculated that Brett Haber’s decision to leave his sports anchor post at the CBS affiliate in Washington, DC (WUSA Channel 9) to pursue other opportunities may actually have been a case of the the station deciding not to renew his contract. According to the web site, his boss at Channel 9 shot down that premise.

WUSA News Director Fred D’Ambrosi told “Brett’s departure is voluntary and was initiated by him. As he explained in the Washington Post when he announced his departure August 1, Brett finds the night-side schedule of a local sportscaster tough on his family, and he intends to move into doing more live sports.”

D’Ambrosi added, “Brett was under contract to WUSA through 2013, and we would have been happy to have him stay. He is a great writer, sportscaster and journalist, and we are proud to have him on our staff. The claim that we were not planning on renewing his contract is also completely false.”

As for sports budget cuts at Channel 9, D’Ambrosi told his station recently added another full-time producer. “We will continue to improve our sports coverage and are looking at a options, including adding additional personnel,” he said.

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