Rob Parker: Journalists Should 'Stick the Knife in, Turn it and Draw Blood'
Rob Parker, the former Detroit News writer who resigned from the paper in the wake of a controversial question to ex-Lions coach Rod Marinelli, appeared on ESPN Radio this morning to defend himself, and he stressed that he wasn't fired.
"I asked the paper for a buyout and they granted me one," Parker said.
Parker was reportedly demoted from columnist to general assignment reporter after he asked Marinelli (whose son-in-law was his defensive coordinator), "Do you wish your daughter would have married a better defensive coordinator?" But Parker said that's not the only reason he asked for the buyout.
He said there were other reasons for his departure, including the way the News is planning to cut back on home delivery of its print edition. "The newspaper's changing, it's about to make some major changes in March with delivery," Parker said.
Although Parker was harshly criticized by everyone from Terry Bradshaw to Lions fans fans to his media colleagues for the question, he claimed that the response to his question was "About 60-40 positive."
And Parker said he comes from a long tradition of hard-hitting journalism.
"I went to Columbia Journalism School," Parker said. "And I can still remember the day I got called into the office and my professor ... thought I was a good reporter but she wanted more out of me. You know what she told me? And I'll never forget these words. She said. 'Robert, I want you to stick the knife in, turn it and draw blood. That is the way you have to be a reporter. You've got to get the information, you've got to go after it. You can't be soft on it.' And that's my approach, and that's the only way I know how to do that job. I believe there's still a place out there for a reporter like me, a journalist like me, and that's where I stand."
Parker still works at ESPN, which did not take any action over his question to Marinelli.