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.]