By Dan Bernstein-
CBSChicago.com senior columnist
(CBS) We tried, yesterday. Really, we did.
After Illinois football coach Tim Beckman challenged the media to become his public relations team and help sell his moribund program, we had him on the Boers and Bernstein Show to explain why this was a really bad idea -- that a flat-out demand that reporters drop their objectivity betrayed his fundamental lack of understanding of their most important professional commitment.
It didn't work.
He continued to place responsibility on the media to say and write nice things about him and his team to aid in recruiting, explaining, "We're all in this together."
I responded "The media isn't 'We,'" but Beckman wasn't having any of that.
"I disagree," he said. "I mean, I know you want the state of Illinois to be the best state in this country, and we all have parts in doing that."
First there was the assumption that media members have a vested interest in pulling the entire state of Illinois to the top of some mythical rankings on an imaginary top-50 scoreboard, and then the actual belief that the total measure of the overall quality of the state is one college football team's ability to recruit.
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