AJ Daulerio Is An Asshole

Submitted by Brian on October 21st, 2009 at 10:14 PM

This is totally irrelevant to football and not something I'd usually post during the season, but circumstances demand it.

Who is this woman?

katie-lacey 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.]



October 21st, 2009 at 10:25 PM ^

"The overtanned dwarf with the child-molester mustache running it is a perfect representation of its true nature."

This guy has to be an OSU fan.


October 22nd, 2009 at 9:40 AM ^

They live with their parents, in the basement, and spend the day in their boxer shorts, unshowered, never having kissed a (flesh and blood) girl, pissed at the world because their miserable lives can't be their own fault, damn it.


October 21st, 2009 at 10:30 PM ^

I never liked this guy either. Total douche. And this move? Douchey. Best not to read Deadspin. Nothing but douchey commentary by a bunch of douchey douchebags. That is all.

Heisman Epstein

October 21st, 2009 at 10:39 PM ^

I've read the site once since Leitch left (and even before then I don't know why I read it), and that was when the Fire Joe Morgan guys took over for a day. Other than that, it's a completely worthless TMZ-sports blog mashup.


October 21st, 2009 at 10:42 PM ^

Blegh. What happened to this "decency" you speak of? It's a problem with the internet I suppose.

Also, I have heard, from a very trusted source, that Daulerio likes to choke himself with live snakes while staring at pictures of his idol, Perez Hilton.


October 21st, 2009 at 10:45 PM ^

Since Leitch left, Deadspin is like Season 5 of NewsRadio, initially watched out of loyalty for something that you loved and meant a lot to you, occasional moments of brilliance, but never the same because its heart and soul was gone and is now just a long pale shadow of its former glory.

"Enjoy the world as it is, Margaret. They'll change it and never give you a reason."


October 22nd, 2009 at 12:18 AM ^

It really has gone downhill. Leitch hit the perfect tone with that site. It was the anti-ESPN in that it refused to take sports, or itself, seriously. It was funny, irreverant, sometimes a little sleazy, but always with a "sweet" edge to it.

Now AJ and "Tommy Craggs" (is that his real name?) seem to be on a crusade to destroy their subjects. They have replaced "sweet" with "mean". The Erin Andrews and Sean Salisbury episodes were straight up disturbing. AJ ended a post today with somethig like "How was the 6pm meeting, ESPN??" Am I supposed to be impressed that some intern e-mailed him with a "tip" that ESPN was having some sort of internal meeting? Who cares? We don't need another TMZ - I would like to see a fresh perspective and some quality writing.

Anyway, thanks for posting this, Brian. You'll get shit for it, but you should take comfort in the fact that a lot of us think you are right. Keep up the good work.


October 21st, 2009 at 10:53 PM ^

You can sense it in most of what Brian writes. The putrid drivel by Daulerio at Deadspin discredits the blogs as an emerging(and eventually dominant?) news media source. Please continue to succeed with your blog, Brian. We need the trend of decency to go in your direction rather than Daulerio's.

Maximinus Thrax

October 21st, 2009 at 10:57 PM ^

I like what Deadspin is doing. He's saying "Look, these people who act so nice and upright in their nice suits are really sleazy fucks who go sniffing after what appear to be relatively nasty pieces of tail when they are married." It's like an old boss of mine who was outwardly respectable, but who would maintain these relationships on the DL with these dumpy young chicks with low self-esteem (he too was married). He would send them dirty texts and shit. Meanwhile, he maintained this whitebread exterior air of respectability and would act dissaprovingly of me when I would call somebody a bad name behind closed doors. Meanwhile, he was a bigger sleazebag than I would ever consider being. I love to see these kind of people taken down.

Maximinus Thrax

October 21st, 2009 at 11:16 PM ^

There is all of this sleaze that these people (big timers in entertainment) get to engage in due to their position. I don't get to do it in my position, and that is probably a blessing. But these guys prance around in their little suits pontificating and issuing opinions and they look so nice and they are so respectable (Steve Phillips specifically, who is always offering the General manager's viewpoint on things). Meanwhile these guys (we all know some, some of us may be them) pay little attention to their own marital vows. They try to fuck other guys wives. Then they take a shower, shave, and put on a $2,500 suit and go on TV, and in many instances take the moral high ground on the contentious issues of the day. I mean I'd like to see one of these guys go on TV and say "Jeeze. I mean, I've kept tons of tail on the side. But I never dreamed that one of these girls would kill me a la Steve McNair. I better staighten my life out a little." They could never say that. Deadspin really is the only source that has brought this philandering out to the mainstream. I guarantee Josh Hamilton will not be trotting out any of that Christian verbiage anytime soon, unless it is in a very contrite manner.


October 21st, 2009 at 11:37 PM ^

The world is filled with people with flaws. Some of them are "big timers" "prancing around in nice suits" and some are ordinary joes. I could give a rat's ass about this behavior. It is between them, their spouse and their god if they choose to believe in one.

It matters in the work place, however. It can alter power relationships, create a hostile environment and can leave an employer vulnerable to lawsuits.

All of those issues can be sorted out by the lawyers and usually those in the know are privy to much more information than those on the outside will ever know. Tossing grenades and publishing rumors about people and situations without full knowledge of the circumstances is despicable and I hope there is something here that will leave Daulerio vulnerable to lawsuit, the little prick.


October 21st, 2009 at 10:59 PM ^

Wow. I considered posting something about this on the board today, but never thought Brian himself would tackle this.
But seriously, what is this, junior high?
I imagine the thought process behind today's posts went something like this: "BAWWW I didn't get the scoop on this story... I know, let me just air out all the unsubstantiated rumors I've heard about these people/this company! Who cares if they're true/have any truth to them whatsoever! Wheee look at google trends I'm popular!"
TMZ-sports blog mashup indeed. At least the place had something approaching respectability when Leitch was around.

turbo cool

October 21st, 2009 at 11:03 PM ^

doing my own scientific research i found out what deadspin was. i've never heard of it before. Anyway i read a few articles and honestly thought to myself that this is the type of writing that only the dumbest people you could ever imagine would actually read.

that site is garbage. i'm going to stick with my 5 websites that i ever go to.


October 21st, 2009 at 11:09 PM ^

Leitch had a good thing going while he ran the ship. Semi decent stories were posted, there was a good commentariat, etc, etc.

Then Leitch left and things went to shit. The stupid "Deleted Scenes" addition was pure crap. Let's air unsubstantiated wild rumors we get in the email for no apparent reason!

Deadspin wasn't all bad though. Remember, it popularized Marques Slocum's Fuck Lion, Ned, Barbaro, and Run you F****** Dinosaur, Run.


October 22nd, 2009 at 10:17 AM ^

A lot of people did. Deadspin was the king of sports blogs, the only one you needed to go to in the morning. Leitch's link dumps and guest writers would open up the rest of the blogosphere to you... I found Free Darko, EDSBS, Jim Mirtle, KSK and Fire Joe Morgan through Leitchspin. When the link dumps stopped, I stopped reading.

STW P. Brabbs

October 22nd, 2009 at 10:10 AM ^

There's been a few times when Deadspin "breaks" a really funny story that Orson had already put his own spin on. The site was way better under Leitch, but he still couldn't hold a candle to EDSBS.

It's like the difference between Leno and Colbert.

A Case of Blue

October 22nd, 2009 at 2:04 AM ^

is definitely something that has appeared on Gawker for quite some time, mainly as an excuse for them to cut and paste semi-hilarious and poorly targeted PR pitches they get in their e-mail.

I've only been a hit or miss reader of Deadspin, but in general I think that Denton's media empire is going down the tubes in a big way. I've been reading Gawker regularly for four years now, and there is a marked difference in quality between now and, say, two years ago. The posts are littered with mistakes constantly, and they aren't even funny most of the time. They used to have some really good editors, funny people, like Ian Spiegelman and Choire Sicha and even Emily Gould was pretty good, but the ones they have now are terrible.

And then there's Jezebel, which has lots of interesting stuff (if you're a chick) but the commenters are super-cliquey, the writers can be really defensive, and it doesn't have quite the same scrappy, outsider-ish view it did in the beginning.

Plus Denton's redesigns are really, really user-unfriendly.

In short: Deadspin not being as good as it used to be is par for the course, as I understand it.

matty blue

October 21st, 2009 at 11:16 PM ^

...of soon-extinct media?" or something to that effect, when discussing newspapers?

these are the death throes of a once-vital website. deadspin hasn't been anything more than a haven for mouthbreathing morons (and their commenters!) for quite a while now.

gawker media is propping up a dead horse.