Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Jay-Bird Hypocritically Deals With Erin Andrews & Celeb Culture

As you might remember,the JayBird writes for AOL Fanhouse now. Basically, he's a professional blogger. Here's his take on the Erin Andrews blowup. Basically, he excoriates the blogosphere for feeding the Andrews frenzy. While he has some points, he kind of misses the point. There's a lot of shit in this article, but I don't feel like Tolstoying it for this post. Here's the best selection:

A second-guess, this is not. I've been saying it for years. And sadly enough, I've feared it would involve Andrews, whose only sin is being good-looking and blond on a powerful television network watched predominantly by sports-and-female-loving males.

Well, shit. She's managed to get to the top of the pile in the sportscasting world almost surely because of her incredibly high rating on the conventional attractiveness scale. Though Erin herself didn't commit this sin, isn't it partially ESPN's fault for parading this sex object on the sidelines of famous football games? It's like Jay wants to excuse ESPN for marketing and profiting off Erin-Andrews-as-sex-symbol but then complains when someone actually treats Erin like a sex symbol.

Am I blaming sports bloggers and their commenters that a very disturbed person secretly videotaped Andrews as she was standing nude in her hotel room, then posted the five-minute video on the Internet?

It's not my fault.

No, I am not, even though the video was posted under the title "Hot naked blonde who looks a lot like a sports blogger favorite in her hotel room.'' But am I blaming bloggers for helping create the daily sex-and-objectification culture that turned Andrews into an ongoing peep show on their Web sites?

Look, Jay. Why don't you just blame masculine culture as a whole - the culture that can't look at a good-looking woman on television without objectifying her? That's not something exclusive to the sports-blogging world, that's something shared in any public sphere.

Occasionally glancing at such junk through the years, I was whisked into a cross between a frat boy's porn fantasies and a sports remake of Revenge of the Nerds. Who were these geeks? Why was the Internet, once again, giving semi-lives to people with no lives?

Hey Jay, didn't you recently and publicly abandon your print-media old-school ethics-bound news organization for an internet-only basically-a-blog gig?

Ironically, the internet (and the ESPNiverse) has given a semi-life to people like Mariotti - who should have no life.

My punishment for writing this, naturally, will be a full-scale assault on my character by these very sites,

A deserved assault, considering all the stupid things you've said and done in your entire career.

none of which are worthy of being mentioned on a respectable, globally regarded site such as this.

You're such a fucking big deal, Jay, that you have to remind us about how big a deal you are on AOL fucking Fanhouse.

See, these dweebs can dish out the criticism but can't take it.

Name-calling: way to go, Jay.

Rather than take on an almighty sports executive -- the real test of a sportswriter in an age when leagues and media are frequent bedfellows -- they go after media people.

What? Bloggers are afraid to take on sports execs? I don't even understand this point - in the whole article he complains about amoral bloggers who take advantage of people like Erin Andrews, but now he seems to complain about the media members who are cozied up to the leagues. That's NOT bloggers, who have very little connection to the inside sports world.

When a blog gets something right about me, for instance, I'll be the first to say so.

Jesus H. Christ, Jay. Save yourself a few bucks and mail the fifty-pound package of letters you owe us third-class. We've waited two years; we can wait a few more days.

To date, they're batting way under the Mendoza line, about .150.

He must not have read us.

A blog said I was with a "semi-hot blonde'' at an NBA party; she was a public-relations person for a player marketing a charity game.

So was the blog wrong?

A blog was woefully wrong about my salary, just guessing and never bothering to look into it.

How would they look into it? Is your salary public knowledge? Shit, Jay, there's a lot of things you rarely bother to look into.

A blog recklessly ran items that weren't remotely true when I left the
Chicago Sun-Times.

I hope he's referring to this epic post of ours. I think we can admit to being reckless, though.

A blog said I brag endlessly about our TV show in bars; when people ask about
Around The Horn, I'm friendly and answer all questions or else I'm called a jerk.

We've looked at a lot of your articles and you actually are kind of a jerk. You've made a career off being a jerk, at least in print. Who knows, Jay, maybe you are a nice guy in person.

A blog said I don't like to have pictures taken in bars; that's true, because I don't want some blogger running a picture and calling me drunk when I've had one beer.

That's your prerogative. That's pretty sensible actually - and it doesn't have a lot to do with blogs. Lots of people in this country don't want to be photographed drinking, only because there's a bit of a social stigma about being publicly drunk that extends to more people than you, Jay.

If this is the American Way, what happened to the truth and justice part?

The sort of truth created when you sign a three-year contract extension with your employer in mid-June, only to quit in early August?

A few years ago, after the blogs had their way with me during another Ozzie Guillen meltdown,

You mean last year? Or maybe the summer of 2007? Or all those other times you said stupid shit?

I had death threats in Chicago.

For the official record, that wasn't us. We just wanted to see him fired.

The newspaper ordered me to have a driver take me to U.S. Cellular Field so I would avoid possible violence in the stadium parking lots.

I'm sure you protested all night about being given such special treatment.

So, sure, the Erin Andrews case gives me the shivers, too. While I'm more Jim Belushi than George Clooney, I think I'll take a good, long look at the peephole the next time I'm in a hotel room.

Jay, you're not that important. Or even vaguely attractive. Notice that no male sportscasters ever get this shit happening to them.

And wonder what the hell happened to my profession.

Hey, that's why we're here, Jay. We wonder why people like you have important roles in it.


Chris W said...

Nothing like Mariotti's Messiah complex.

cs said...

It's a sin to be good-looking and blonde? Hmm. Now I know.

And I honestly didn't even know AOL still existed. What's next for Jay? A writing gig on Compuserve?

Jack M said...

Seriously, is there anyone who is more skilled at nailing themselves to the cross over a story that has nothing to do with them than Mariotti?

rich said...

What happened to Erin Andrews was/is horrible, but in more capable hands it could have led to a great discussion about blogs' responsibilities in upholding the privacy of individuals or some other topic. But no, Jay can't talk about something that doesn't center around him, so he makes himself the victim and yells about how blogs make his life suck.

That said, am I the only one who feels that Jay inferred that criticism is only valid when the person being criticized agrees with it? He said that if what blogs say is 'true' he'll acknowledge it, so it's only criticism if Jay is already aware of it. If it's not 'true,' then you're a dweeb or a geek.

He also goes on and on about how blogs acted as an enabler to some guy committing a crime, rather than basic human urges and disregard for people's privacy. The kicker is that Jay later says that he used to watch things of a similar nature... so it's okay when you were doing it, but not when someone else does?

Groggy Dundee said...

Leave it to Mariotti to find a way to twist a story about someone else into his autobiography.

Jarrett said...

And wonder what the hell happened to my profession.

You did.

Larry said...

Why is he blaming blogs for what happened to Andrews? It's been all over the MSM since it happened.

Alex said...

I've always wondered about the anatomy of what makes some bloggers more popular than others.

I really don't get how he got so big.

Tonus said...

It's always the horrifically ugly guys with no personality who whine about how men objectify women.

LincolnHawk said...

I don't understand how Jay turns this into a Jay (and MSM) versus Blogs story. For example, he accused a blog of posting his salary without looking it up. Who cares? Was I supposed to read dan-bob's post and wonder why he didn't phone Jay, Erin Andrews, or ESPN for comment?

Jay and some of the other traditional sportswriters take such offense at the level to which online readers choose to read whatever we want. It’s as if he’s afraid that readers don’t understand that some blog writing is not based on fact and some do nothing more than entertain. I would much rather read the FJayM breakdown of an Easterbrook column than read Gregg's actual column – all by choice.

Jay also doesn’t see the irony of attacking blogs in an online forum is like cursing parishioners about (insert deity) while in church. I don’t think it’ll help increase friendly viewership. It seems simpler, write better and people will read.

Dan said...

Jay is the worst. I hate him more than I hate Skip Bayless.

It's absolutely perplexing to me that he turned the "blame the bloggers for the Erin Andrews incident" into some sort of "Jay is flawless article".

I understand him having a take on the issue since Jason Whitlock ran an article blaming deadspin for the Andrews thing. But Jay's such a deuche about the whole thing. Somehow Jay seems to recognize that he's a blogger when bloggers are "in" but when a controvery occurs he's prett anti. I like how he still got a shot off at Ozzie

I would love to know what sort of discusion took place when the planning team, or whatever they're called, of ESPN first decided they had to have Jay and Woody as the anchors of a new show.