The Deadspin Backlash

We chose to ignore the Steve Phillips scandal here yesterday because, well, who cares? Really? I don’t know, maybe former-GMs having sex with 22-year-olds is interesting to you. It doesn’t do much for us.

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But over at Deadspin, they used the story as a roundabout excuse to post various unconfirmed rumors of sexual exploits in Bristol. As Deadspin editor AJ Daulerio explained himself, he was angry that a) he had the Phillips story on September 9th via an email tip; b) ESPN denied the allegations when contacted by AJ (SHOCKING!); c) AJ decided not to run with the Phillips allegations, which I guess — in his mind — turned out to be a mistake because Deadspin got scooped by the NY Post yesterday.

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So, as I said, this was an excuse to go all scorched earth and post various rumors that have popped up in the Deadspin inbox without confirming them. They included people’s real, full names and details of the sexual allegations. Of course, this isn't really Daulerio's fault -- he's simply doing what his boss told him to do.

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Regardless, bloggers aren’t thrilled about this. (Note: Not necessarily agreeing with all of the opinions that follow. Only most of them.)

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From Stupid Sports Blog:

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If you’re looking to ruin someone’s life, I suggest you set up a fake e-mail account and e-mail Deadspin with a tasty sex rumor about whoever you like at ESPN. Get your friends to do it too so it seems more credible. Tell them Stuart Scott tried to work a three-way with Cindy Brunson and the corpse of Tom Mees. They’ll print it and be right to do so since they didn’t get the Steve Phillips story.

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No one tries to get the best of A.J. Daulerio by telling him the story he’s calling about isn’t true! He’ll learn ya real good!

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I’m not going to sit here and tell you that Deadspin set back journalism 50 years or anything like that. I mean, it’s not like they invented Around the Horn. But it’s just a sad state of affairs over there for a blog that used to be one funny dick joke after another, and now it’s run by a guy who has a vendetta against ESPN because the New York Post did its job better than him.

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And Brian Cook at MGoBlue:

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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.

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I’m yet to come across a post defending Deadspin’s actions, which doesn’t mean they aren’t out there. If you find one, I’d be happy to share the other perspective here, too.

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UPDATE: And here's your counterpoint: Punte at With Leather says Deadspin is "doing the lord's work" by outing ESPN employees.

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