Overheard

Is there a time when it is acceptable to publish overheard comments?

Friday’s Pardon the Interruption show on ESPN brought up a nifty tie in to my daily discourse of the future of journalism.

In response to K.G.’s alleged unacceptable taunting on the basketball court, Tony Kornheiser remarked the “new reality” is that nothing is off the record.

Think YouTube celebrity rants and all manner of minutiae published on blogs and social networks that would have previously been private.

Co-host Michael Wilbon’s response was an anecdote.  He has, in the recent past, sat behind NBA benches with his press pass and overheard players say things that they probably wouldn’t expect to show up in the Washington Post the next morning.  Wilbon said he didn’t report those exchanges, or if they were funny, he would approach the player to clear the idea with him.

The question that wasn’t directly brought up is the existence of a line that could or should be crossed.

Or are we to a point in our society where there is a total lack of any definitive boundary between public and private affairs, especially concerning sports stars or celebrities?

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