It was strange that readers, who took the side of truth over "truthiness," had to defend themselves. Several comments promoted the idea that it's okay for newsmakers to flavor the facts in their favor when reporting on company performance. Nick Kling, who has seen his share of good and bad media communications as a sportwriter for the Troy Record, wrote in Comment No. 11 how he viewed the current state of the art after contributing new information in Comment No. 2 that explained why attendance at Saratoga fell off considerably several years ago. Here's his "Comment of the Week," a response to the opinion of another reader, in its entirety.

Nick Kling says:
14 Sep 2010 at 10:03 am | #

I get what you are saying, but there was an obvious change in NYRA’s press releases this year. It was so egregious that anyone covering the meet would have to have been blind to miss it and derelict in their duty not to write about it.

In previous years NYRA’s announcements about attendance and handle were straightforward, with very little embellishment or spin. About the only clarifications would be: 1)inclusion of stats about how the giveaway days inflated or deflated the comparisons to previous years, and, 2) comments comparing number of rain days and off-the-turf races.

This year every release about business stats contained frippery like the following: “Wagering on races at Saratoga Race Course surpassed advance projections, decisively outpaced industry trends, and dominated handle on thoroughbred racing nationwide.”

Some of the quotes attributed to NYRA President Charley Hayward sounded so silly I would have been embarrassed to have my name attached to them.

Finally, I can tell you certain NYRA operatives felt the same way. They too were embarrassed that the press office was issuing such stupidity, as if someone would believe it. One person told me, “When I got an email from my mother (about how stupid the releases were) I knew we had gone too far.”

So, if you consider writing about that “nonsense,” you might want to reconsider. I call it doing my job.