Gus Johnson Doesn't Appreciate Press Sending E-Mails To His Boss

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"Scott Coker forwarded me your email. Where do you get off saying that to my boss? Writing it on your website is one thing, but you contacted my boss to ask him about it. Now it's personal and you need to be accountable."

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"I take a lot of criticism, but I try my best to try to help promote this fucking sport, when nobody else, including television executives could give two shits because they think it’s barbaric and it’s filled with a bunch of hoodlums, which is exactly how it looked to everyone watching the show Saturday night. I don’t really care about the 'growing opinion', because there’s another side that isn’t going to feel that way [about me], There are certain messageboards and websites where people don’t feel that way at all. The problem with MMA is that these Internet guys ruin the sport because they’re negative 90 percent of the time. I’ve looked at them. if we give everyone a voice, we wouldn’t get anything accomplished. I try to say as many good things about these athletes in this sport on a network level — not on an underground level or a Spike TV cable level or a pay-per-view level. This is actual television and nobody knows if they’re going to pull the plug on this thing. If that happens, then everyone will lose money"

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- Gus Johnson to Cage Potato's Mike Russell, in response an email Russell sent to Scott Coker, in which he questioned Johnson's MMA commentating abilities.

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I share most people's problems with Johnson's ability to call MMA; he's prone to extreme hyperbole, speaks incorrectly about technical aspects of fighting rather than leaving it to the experts he shares the desk with, and is genuinely annoying in his approach to commentary.  I also think it's a really lame move for Johnson to call a media member complain at 11:00pm at night.  But there is more to this than simply Johnson acting out of line.

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Mainly my issue is with the fact that Russell acted inappropriately with his e-mail to Scott Coker.  Here is the e-mail as posted on Cage Potato:

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Hi Scott,

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I hope this email finds you well. It was disappointing to see the otherwise great show marred by the incident Saturday night. I hope it doesn't affect the CBS deal.

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I was hoping you would comment on Gus Johnson's comments Saturday night that "Strikeforce disrespected Shields" and "continually brought in guys to beat him" and that you "counted him out over and over."

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Also, what do you think of his off the cuff remark that brawling and scuffles break out all the time during MMA events?

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Will he be working future Strikeforce events on CBS after badmouthing you and your company, or can we expect to see someone more familiar with MMA and who behaves more professionally?

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He didn't seem to know the difference between an armbar and a kimura.

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Thanks in advance.

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Mike Russell

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Senior Editor
CagePotato.com

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This is not a professionally worded e-mail that is looking for a legitimate response from a promotion head.  This is a fan-ish attacking e-mail sent with the intention of shit stirring and nothing more.

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I know no one of any reputation in the media who would expect to get an honest response to a question from a promotion's CEO with phrasing like that which Russell used.  Rather than e-mailing Coker and asking for a statement on concerns held by the MMA community and allowing the answer to come organically Mike changes the game by making it clear that the e-mails intention is to state that Johnson should be fired, not to open up a discussion on Coker's feelings about the job Johnson does.  The wording pre-establishes what Coker's responses mean.  If he defends Johnson, he is defending a guy who "badmouthed" him and if he expresses concern he has now sided with the idea that Gus must go.

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Unfortunately Gus' reaction gave CP all the story they were hoping for with the e-mail and much, much more.  And now Russell can sit back and enjoy a situation where his unprofessional behavior gets overlooked because of a poor reaction by Johnson.

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