Bloggers 1 Sportswriters 0
Earlier this month I posted my theory on why the hot stove was so full of misinformation this winter — something to do with the “professional” sportswriters losing eyeballers to the great fan-driven blogs such as MetsBlog.
Well it appears that at least one longtime “professional” sports reporter is feeling the heat, and is getting remarkably defensive and downright rude when the topic of bloggers enters his atmosphere.
A few days ago, Philadelphia Daily News writer Bill Conlin wrote an article discussing how wonderful it was for Jimmy Rollins to have won the NL MVP. Ironically, a PHILLIES FAN and blogger emailed Mr. Conlin with the argument that DAVID WRIGHT was a better choice for the award (see, those Philly guys aren’t so bad after all!). Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley posted both his initial email — which was both polite and intelligent — to Mr. Conlin, as well as Conlin’s rude response, which was,
“Know what, pal? Bash this. . .Tell your bloggers, my career against theirs. . .”
Huh. It gets better … or worse, depending on your perspective. Baer responded with his disappointment, as well as letting Conlin know that purchasing a Philadelphia Daily News in the future would not be happening. Conlin fired back with a vulgar email that seemed to be built around the assumption that Baer was a Mets fan, which concluded,
“. . . One question: When a Mets team chokes in a forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a gagging sound? Next time bring more to the table than wishful fan numbers that bear no semblance to reality. I wonder how it feels to be the Phillies bitch”
Apparently Conlin didn’t get the fact that Baer was a Phillies fan in the first two emails. And as if he hadn’t already stuck his foot in his mouth, Conlin purportedly sent another email, stating:
The only positive thing I can think of about Hitler’s time on earthâ€“I’m sure he would have eliminated all bloggers. In Colonial times, bloggers were called “Pamphleteers.” They hung on street corners handing them out to passersby. Now, they hang out on electronic street corners, hoping somebody mouses on to their pretentious sites. Different medium, same MO. Shakespeare accidentally summed up the genre best with these words from a MacBeth soliloquy: “. . .a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. . .”
Now, I didn’t think I’d ever give the former German dictator space in my blog, and don’t intend to at any point in the future. If the correspondence posted on Crashburnalley — which you can read in full here — is in fact legitimate and not some blogger looking for cheap inbound links, then either Conlin is a) incredibly paranoid; b) a total jerk; c) a stupid jerk; or d) all of the above.
I tend to believe that this is a factual electronic discussion between blogger and sportswriter, and it makes me wonder just what in the heck is going on in the minds of not only some immovable dinosaurs reporting sports these days but also the editors and publishers who continue to pay them. Could a man who makes his living thanks to the Constitutional right of the “freedom of the press” also have the audacity and stupidity to spit on the “freedom of speech”? Because that is essentially what he is doing by stating that bloggers would have been “eliminated” and by comparing us to idiots.
Obviously, Conlin thinks he’s above us because he gets a paycheck to do the same thing we bloggers do for free. After this firestorm, though, he might be forced to join the “pamphleteers” — and I’m pretty sure there will be few “passersby” to take his handouts.