Thanks for that picture. I'm gonna have nightmares now.
Mike Lantry, 1972
This is totally irrelevant to football and not something I'd usually post during the season, but circumstances demand it.
Who is this woman?
I don't know. You don't know. AJ Daulerio doesn't even know ("Who? Exactly."). She turns out to be Katie Lacey, anonymous middle management at ESPN. Disliked anonymous middle management. There are no doubt thousands of men and women across the country in a similar position, at Pottery Barn and Gap and McDonald's. Lacey has the misfortune to be working for a company that does sports in an era of anonymous tips to enormous sports blogs that lack anything resembling scruples. J'accuse!
What about the big shot marketing career woman who sleeps with the senior programmer at a major cable network. Why isn't her reputation ruined? Who will speak to "out" them? I want to remain anonymous, but I want someone to dig and write about this woman. Katie Lacey holds the top post at ESPN for marketing and she even has her name mentioned in an EEOC claim which ESPN is trying to keep quiet, wouldn't someone be interested in either of these things?
Why is this newsworthy? Why did this get plastered up on Deadspin, along with a picture of this woman? Because AJ Daulerio is having a hissy fit that ESPN wouldn't confirm his tips that Steve Phillips was boinking an unattractive 22-year-old:
After a call to ESPN public relations department asking about the "rumor" I was told that "I would be wrong" to print that story because it was inaccurate. Fine. I would have been. But natural follow-up question to these types of rumors, as per give-and-take protocol, is well, what's the real story then? Was there an incident with Phillips that Baseball Tonight people are concerned about? However I was summarily nothing-to-see-here-please-dispersed. …
And since the tenuous connection between rumor and fact for accuracy's sake has been a little eroded here, well, it's probably about time to just unload the inbox of all the sordid rumors we've received over the years about various ESPN employees.
"All the sordid rumors" turn out to be some radio host you've never heard of made a pass at someone and got suspended and is allegedly having sex with someone else at the company—not sex!—and that the woman above who you've never heard of has also had sex with other people at ESPN.
At least in the other cases there are the vague justifications that the people in question are public figures, and the acts in question are obviously immoral. As Mad Men teaches, sexual harassment is not fun unless you get to marry Roger Sterling. But all this woman—who is in no way a public figure—is accused of is having sex with other consenting adults. Daulerio's got some whiny point about how ESPN's policy about these sorts of things is convoluted and unevenly applied, which is a deeply fascinating thing for lawyers, ESPN employees, and no one else. His real aim is to lash out because he failed to get the Steve Phillips fatal attraction "scoop," for all the incredible social and ethical value that has. Whatever the point is, it obviously isn't anywhere close to justifying disseminating unconfirmed, bitchy emails about an anonymous middle manager's sex life. Daulerio just compromised that woman's quality of life for his own benefit. He did this because he's a child.
This is not new. Remember that Daulerio first came to prominence by getting shipped off to the Super Bowl, spying on a text message Stuart Scott was sending, and jumping to the conclusion that Scott was setting up a booty call. That's skeezy, man. Who cares if Scott is setting up a booty call? And don't you want anything approaching proof of that? It's one thing to speculate aimlessly about who's injured or what recruit is going where and entirely another to assert nasty personal things about people who aren't exactly committing felonies.
Daulerio's an embarrassment. As someone who runs a sports blog for a living his wanton flouting of common decency* makes me look like an asshole by proxy, and I don't appreciate it. Buzz Bissinger wasn't totally wrong. If he blew up again today, he'd be mostly right. Deadspin is sleaze, and little else. The overtanned dwarf with the child-molester mustache running it is a perfect representation of its true nature.
I might publish emails suggesting that Daulerio's fetishes include, amongst many, many other things, rubbing bananas all over his body and running through the primate house at the zoo, if I get any. I might not. I ain't sayin'.
*(Not even journalistic ethics, because Deadspin has never pretended to have any except when it's trying to justify posting pictures of Josh Hamilton with bar sloots, but common decency.)
[UPDATE: some commenters have questioned the deployment of the woman's name in the post, or the aid and comfort provided the enemy in the form of extra traffic. Two things: Deadspin does 10x the traffic of this blog and the drop in the bucket that is people who read this site and don't know about Deadspin isn't significant. And searching for this poor woman on Google is always going to bring up the Deadspin post; if this post also shows up that's probably a net benefit for her. FWIW, the links here are (and always were) nofollowed.]
Thanks for that picture. I'm gonna have nightmares now.
But seriously, Daulerio cites clearly reputable sources like "samsamsmith." There's no chance that Daulerio just made this shit up; it's WAY more likely that everyone in Bristol, Connecticut knows that he's the go-to guy when it comes to tracking sexual indiscretion, and sends him accurate, unbiased updates.
here, but you know what? I don't read deadspin. Do a lot of your readers? By publishing this article you may have tried to discredit the dumbass at deadspin, and have likely accomplished that in some respect. But you also just put this poor lady's picture out there again, who is not a public figure, and caused her yet more scrutiny.
Bottom line, I read this site for the second to none Michigan reporting and insight, not for a critique about the idiots at deadspin, which will only receive more traffic after your post.
You're certainly entitled editorial opinion rights, I just wonder if maybe it would be better spent on something else.
Not that he needs one.
Brian, I feel, is entitled to moments of meta commentary on sports blogging as it is his profession and as it is still a new and developing field, one which he has a vital interest in, as should we, as his readers, in that he provides content for us, which means we benefit from his interest in how his field will develop.
If I had to generalize, I think all of us, from time to time, consider the state of our profession. Some of us do it over lunch, some of us do it over an email with a friend or colleague, and some of us, like Brian, do it in a forum where there ideas and insights will be discussed and debated, leading to further understanding of the larger issues that are at stake.
I think what Brian said "As someone who runs a sports blog for a living his wanton flouting of common decency* makes me look like an asshole by proxy, and I don't appreciate it." is the core of this. I know I get pretty pissed off when people make broad generalizations about my profession, based on impressions, whole or partial, observed or merely overheard, that they have gleaned through the years. It angers me, it frustrates me, and I look for means by which to vent it. Given the interconnected nature of the blogosphere, Brian's piece is likely not for his regular readers, but for a larger and different audience than his usual one. Which is probably why it went up at 10:14 pm and which is why it will probably get bumped down by something more to his audience's liking and expectations early tomorrow morning.
In the end, if a little meta content means that a better product across the board can, perhaps, be the end result one day, then we, the consumers of said content, will be better for it.
Or, in summary: shit like this is why people who have never even bothered to visit this site dismiss Brian as a Google Master
but, ultimately, at least to me, this site's differentiation from "bad blogs" is that is generally better researched and sourced than MSM such as Drew Sharp, Rosenberg, FREEP of late, etc. That says volumes and Brian (and others like him) are right to call out the MSM and make fun of ESPN and others for citing stories but refusing to source the blog.
On the other hand, while the point is taken above, the effect is the opposite: take a piece of crap story by a ridiculous meritless blogger and attract more readership for it while only further harming the lady who has done little, if anything, wrong here.
I agree with the premise and conclusion, but not the delivery.
Having thought about your point (and that of other commenters) I agree with your close, the delivery isn't as good as it could be.
Haven't bothered with deadspin in a very long time, but took a peek over there to see the original post. Man, deadspin comments read like 4chan minus the leetspeak and with proper capitalization. Somehow it's worse that way.
Brian, keep her picture up, but remover her name. No reason to add to any google search results for her name. Just say what she is, a mid-level executive, nobody but google is going to remember her name anyway.
of something you linked to recently:
Isn't this what Deadspin is all about?
and make a clear separation between his Deadspin and this new incarnation. But Daulerio is pretty clearly Leitch's monster. It's not like Gawker forced his underlings upon him. Just because Leitch disguised the sleaze with feelgood I'm From Mattoon Rural America pathos didn't make it worthwhile for anyone other than Leitch.
I disagree. Leitch had Delaurio work for him, sure, but it was hardly a fulltime editorial gig and when he was writing for Leitchspin he mostly followed Will's style which was decidedly less sleazy and never would have gone after a private ESPN employee's sex life like this. Delaurio was there because he was Leitch's buddy and was between jobs.
I have no doubt that Gawker selected Delaurio to replace Leitch. There is nothing to suggest that Will was in a position to designate who was going to replace him, especially not at a company like Gawker where bloggers are routinely fired. They went for continuity instead of trying to find someone who possessed the sheer talent and likability of Leitch and now it has come back to bite them in the ass severely.
was there prior to Leitch's decision to leave and was one of his buddies is the point. Leitch had no problem with the direction, but was plenty more likable (hence the pathos comment). He gave his readers an out by wrapping himself in that down home aw shucks bullshit. If that's a talent, then he's talented. If he's done anything important since leaving, I'm not aware of it.
I hope this isn't too late to get some response, but I feel this whole issue with the Rosenberg issue is really just a product of the 24 hour news cycle. The general public doesn't want to have to think. They like to find a columnist they agree with, take their talking point and run with it. This blind trust leads to blatant homer-ism and the sharp divide between liberal/conservative/whatever. This process seems to have led to the destruction of true debates.
For an example look at a show like the now deceased Crossfire. A representative from the right yells at a representative from the left. There is no deviation from talking points or acknowledgment that his counterpoint has a good point. To put it bluntly, there is no synthesis or refutation. Anyone who has ever written a paper realizes that an argument sucks if there is no acknowledgment of an opposing viewpoint followed by a well reasoned refutation.
I guess the main points I am getting at are
1. Why has the MSM gotten away from reporting both sides of issues?
2. Does this feel like the Jon Stewart crossfire moment to anyone else?
3. What can we do to show people that we actually care about making our own opinions and wish to see "true discourse"? Are we doomed to listen to infallible MSM hammering home facts that we are supposed to take as "the complete truth?" Is there some way to call for an end to the endless black/white-ism of every issue?
and finally...am I just a Michigan/mgohomer for thinking Brian has the right viewpoint on this?
"Anyone who has ever written a paper realizes that an argument sucks if there is no acknowledgment of an opposing viewpoint followed by a well reasoned refutation."
Bingo. And how many people do you know who actually know how to write a proper paper? I'm not convinced that all of my high school english teachers even knew. Certainly a large fraction of the high school kids I teach don't. I maintain that teaching people how to write equals teaching people how to think (how not in the sense of 'what', but in the sense of 'using the gray matter'). Sure, some people are just lazy and don't want to think too hard about the views they hear on TV, or read in the newspaper, or whatever. But if the question is "how can they get away with it," I think the answer isn't as much "because the audience is lazy" as it is "because the audience doesn't realize there's anything wrong with it."
It's good to see Brian all fired up again after the perpetual otterdom of last year. Get 'em!!
I am a man that, for the most part, forms his own opinions on issues. I'm not easily swayed.
Saying that, it sure seems that I agree with 99% of Brian's e-pinion pieces.
Maybe that is why I love this blog so much.
I'm just glad integrity isn't completely dead yet. Keep carrying that torch, Brian
...and I don't understand why intra-office "liasons" are considered to be "scandalous" or even anyone's business. AJ Daulerio is just a POS who is too lazy to find something relevant to write about and takes the easy way out by encouraging his "sources" to do his dirty work for him.
Then, he publishes the equivalent of trailer park gossip and throws a cyber-tantrum when it isn't deemed "relevant." I can envision Daulerio slamming his fists on his desk, screaming "I AM RELEVANT, GODDAMIT, WHY DOESN'T ANYONE GIVE A FUCK ABOUT ME!!!???"
And that is the main problem about the Daulerios, Rosenpukes, Snyders, and late-period Cartys: it's not about news anymore. It's only about them. And now, as surely as a baby can get its diapers changed and a new bottle by screaming, "writers" like these can get clicks by writing smarmy gossip and presenting it as "news."
I love evolution and I love the internet, but sometimes I miss the "old days," when writers actually wrote about the news instead of trying to create it.
The guy who wrote all this is in a HUGE vat of crap. This woman is NOT a public figure by any definition of the word. He made some claims about her and her sex life, and unless he has absolute, incontrovertible proof, every penny he ever makes can be hers.
When you're a public figure, burden of proof is on you. When you're not, the burden of proof is on those publicizing you.
My recollection of first-year Torts is that you're on point here. Maybe not with the "burden of proof" stuff (honestly not sure) but there is definitely a HUGE difference between a public figure and a non-public figure, and there isn't any way he's going to be able to claim she's a public figure. So yeah- the vEracity of his reports better be rock solid. If it IS rock solid, I'd imagine that's just a fortunate coincidence for Daulerio.
Generally libel damages are per se (presumed, no proof required of economic harm). You get into the public concern test if the defamatory statements relate to a matter of public concern. Here, the ESPN woman would need to prove falsity of the claim and negligence on Deadspin's part. If the woman was a public figure (which Brian's correct, she's not), then she would have to prove that Deadspin knew the statement was false and published it anyway.
Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole
Brian, I've been a fan of yours since long before this blog even began (specifically with the classic "Navarre responsible for the great depression etc." piece in the E3W). But here I think you're making a misstep by republishing the picture and name. You're augmenting the very invasion of privacy that you're condemning.
Cosign. The last thing you want to do is contribute further google results for her name linking back to the deadspin post. Keep the smackdown in, take out the name and the picture.
Out of respect for the frontpage and you, I read this and went to Deadspin for the first time. I don't have historical insight into this, or much perspective on Blogs in general but I don't think this is worthy of the frontpage you have given. It serves Deadspin and harms their perhaps not so innocent victims. Please take down the picture and name.
Maybe there could be a sidebar for meta blog or sports Op-Eds. It's your blog - and a great one, but this is OT IMO.
while i don't disagree with deadspin sucking, reposting the name/pic kind of undermines the point of the post.
Daulerio is not just an ass, he's an ass that applied for a job at ESPN and was rejecting, thus launching his crusade against the big, bad WWL who wouldn't hire him. Hey, it's plausible.
I hope the time spent reading his piece and then writing this didn't push UFR back that much.
Deadspin is dumb. I get it.
several months ago and am now a better person because of it.
Don't feed the pigeons.
What's classier? This bitch fit by Daulerio, or Kissing Suzy Kolber's decision to run a picture featuring Peter King's daughter's private bits until Peter King swore to stop writing about his colonoscopies?
In true Nick Bakay style, I am calling for a push, there are no winners here.
While there is something strangely intriguing about the sheer anarchy of KSK's King fiasco (aided by the fact that they claimed no real justification whatsoever) the fact remains that both KSK and Daulerio were dragging random people into the mud for selfish purposes.
KSK is a strange site - while I'm pretty sure those guys are despicable people, there is some really funny stuff there when I visit every few months (usually when I'm in full-blown procrastination mode). But for every Rex Ryan dialog (pure gold), there are a bunch of Carlos Mencia-level 'black people eat fried chicken' jokes to push me away.
This deserves a . . . .
otherwise, I agree and endorse this message 100 percent.
It's the type of thing that msm media seize on to hammer blogs, irrespective of the fact they do shit like this as well. Maybe not like this specifically, but you get the drift.
Good to see Brian stand up here and outline some solid ethical arguments for the blogging community.
Also: I have not read Deadspin in about two years. I used to think it was an alternative to the WWL. But, after reading it for a few months, and maybe its because of they change at the top, but it does not even look like they even like sports to begin with. I dont see why I should be interested in checking out a site like that.
A blog is what it does. Repeating the crime is a crime.
I support the defense of blogging, but the bar is low for the worst of the blogs. The only way to take the offensive is to direct traffic away from bad sites - we need to speak softly and carry a big click. Choose not to click on these blogs.
This treatment takes more traffic there and mentions people who are possibly innocent.
I don't read Deadspin, maybe I'm in the minority but if Brian hadn't posted this as front page news here I never would have known about Deadspin's (despicable) actions.
I appreciate Brian's watchdog nature i.e. pointing out unjust behavior (this is what journalism is SUPPOSED to be), but the call-out doesn't need to include a picture of the woman or her name. That only serves to further sully her image (though I know this is not what Brian intended). Deadspin can be blasted without mentioning this poor woman's name.
Police say 22-year-old ESPN production assistant Brooke Hundley began calling Phillips' wife, Marni, on Aug. 5 after he broke off the affair and sent her a letter graphically describing their relationship and Phillips' birthmarks. She allegedly told Phillips' wife that "we both can't have him," according to a Wilton, Conn., police report.
"I'm a real person in his life and I care deeply about his happiness," reads the letter police said is from Hundley. "I'm coming out now because I'm sick of hiding and sneaking around behind your back."
The police report was first reported Wednesday by the New York Post.
The 46-year-old Phillips is a former general manager of the New York Mets. In 1998, Phillips admitted having sex with a team employee, who sued for sexual harassment. That case was settled out of court.
Marni Phillips called police Aug. 19 when she came home to find Hundley in her driveway. "I knew instinctively that this was the woman Steve was involved with and I was terrified," she wrote in a statement to police.
Hundley's car smashed into a stone column as she backed out of the driveway and she escaped by driving across the lawn. Marni Phillips said she discovered a note describing her husband's relationship with Hundley attached to her front door.
if you think about the incident that happened with McFarlin.
There is only one thing to do when unmarried adults are having sex, and that is start up a self-righteous, sadistic, pitchfork wielding mob. Also, Bill Clinton should be impeached.
One thing those two have in common: they pretty much go after the "anything with a pulse" type of woman.
Brian called me an "insignificant drop-in-the-bucket"!
Put me on Sportscenter....preferably with Dana Jacobson.
You rock, Brian!
As others have said, probably didn't need to repost the picture/name to drive the point home, but that is neither here nor there.
As a lawyer with a background in IP, it will be interesting to see if ESPN (on behalf of the woman) takes any action against Deadspin. As stated before, she is not a public figure, and thus a claim of defamation (well, actually libel, but as a blanket term) against Deadspin would be stronger than if it was brought by someone like Steve Phillips. Blogs are in a weird state with respect to the law, but what I've heard and read points to more liability being placed on what they publish.
I used to read Deadspin about a year ago, but started to lose faith in humanity after reading some of the comment sections. Sites like that need to be careful what they post, because there is a fine line between journalism and muck-raking.
ESPN might bring an action, but even if they do it is probably fucked because 1. truth is an absolute defense to either slander or, in this case because it was printed, libel (a cruel fact Roger Clemens found out when Brian Macnamee's attorneys collectively pwned him and his attorney Rusty Hardin this past year.. notice how those claims were dropped with little fanfare?) and 2. This woman's name will undoubtedly be drug through the mud again and again in order for the defense team to prove #1 and she will lose her will to fight. I hate to admit it, but almost every time something like this shows up on Deadspin the rumor turns out to be true and, given a halfway decent attorney, Daulerio should be able to convince a jury that his claims were reasonable by a preponderance of the evidence.
However, despite any seeming disagreement above, I agree with Bronx that this would be an interesting case because for the first time in almost 30 years there is actually a well publicized plaintiff with a legitimate claim that they are not a public figure. Since Times v. Sullivan, there are precious few cases (at least that I know of) where courts have determined someone to be a private person, not subject to the almost impossible "reckless disregard for the truth and/or knowledge of statement's falsity" test.
*Note: Interesting query: Does Deadspin's presumed status as a news entity (akin to a paper or TV news) actually HELP Daulerio in defending this potential claim because it cements the "reckless disregard standard" if she's held to be a public person? Otherwise he's just some jackass painting graffiti on a bathroom wall. Curious as to anyone's thoughts on that because I think his lawyers might try to cloak what Deadspin does with a sort of legitimate by proxy argument that if Deadspin's conduct was subject to civil liability, this would chill the speech of other similar, more legitimate news outlets (probably not in those words, obviously).
For a site that has really gone down the shitter, this has to be the end of the sewer as far as Deadspin goes. I enjoyed the site with Will. I really did. Couldn't stop reading in fact. He had a pretty good staff or writers at the time, but good god, this ESPN deal is fucking pathetic. It's pathetic how obsessed AJ has become by being accepted by ESPN and "the establishment". He's gone or sent person after person to ESPN functions and Bristol. Now he just wants to take pot-shots at random people there and use his ESPN "insiders" (see the 6pm meeting line in yesterday's final post) because he can't get a confirmation that someone's suspended? I would love to see a lawsuit in this one against Gawker for libel. AJ gave the lame waiver of 'Well, these are emails we've received.'.
It was fun to see Will get denied by everyone, and even he'd play up how much work he'd have to do to get anything done. AJ was handed a silver platter and proceeded to take a huge shit on it.