Oh how quickly the world turns. As far as fooch's question regarding the possibility Jim and CK owe them anything, the answer is yes and no. I believe the nfl requires coaches and players to give the media access to them after certain games. And if they miss these sessions they can be fined. But there is no rule on what they are required to say.
But this question misses the point entirely of what role sports media plays in sports. First, sports media for the most part is not journalism by any stretch of the imagination. It is and has always been nothing more than a marketing tool for sports organization and a means for news papers to get readers who normally wouldnt pick up a paper let alone read one.
Now the world has changed quite a bit since news papers were where people got the majority of their news. And sports have become such money makers that they have whole networks dedicated to their existence. But this hasn't changed the purpose behind sports media. They make money covering something people like to watch and the sports they cover get media exposure.
So how does this affect harbaugh or CK? Simple, the media helps shape public perception which can have a multitude of consequences on Jim and CK. Also let me add that, that is exactly what media is suppose to be doing. They are suppose to try and shape public opinion. Anyone who tells you that they are there to spit out facts only doesnt understand the role media and journalism has played in our society. All news, editorial etc comes from a point of view.
The only real dangerous change that has occurred in American journalism has been the monopolizing of media by individuals. The consequence is our news having less diversity. When a few people own the companies that are behind our media the consequences can be dangerous.
But let's end that diatribe on media in America and focus on how this affects harbaugh and CK. How many you believe that if Alex smith was perceived to be a dick, he wouldn't have lasted in SF to have success with harbaugh? If you believe that to be a real possibility, then I don't need to elaborate what effect the media can have on you. If your success and opportunity for success is dictated to an extent by others then how you are perceived can effect you.
Harbaugh and CK success with the media can be gauged by how little power they give them to shape public opinion in a way they don't want them to. Question, do you believe they are successful at doing this currently?