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To Be Fair, Jay Mariotti Is An Expert On The Topic…

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In his latest Fanhouse column, Jay Mariotti states that steroid guessing is bad journalism – and as mentioned above, being a world-renowned expert on bad journalism, Mariotti should be considered the go-to guy on the topic. Before he gets into his diatribe against bloggers, Will Leitch, in particular, and their pet tarantulas who also have blogs (I did not know that), he takes a moment to pat himself on the back in the introductory paragraph.

I am one of the fortunate ones. Twelve months a year, I’m paid to dispense information and opinions on a major Web site read by millions, not to mention a major TV network watched by millions. I don’t have to STRRRRRETTTTCCH THE TRUTH or make something up to be noticed as a columnist.

MILLIONS OF PEOPLE READ JAY MARIOTTI’S WORK AND WATCH HIM ON TELEVISION, PEOPLE!! BOW AND BASK IN THE GLOW OF HIS GREATNESS!!

Next, he takes a considerable amount of words to illustrate the downfall of “this changing media sphere” that degrades “all the fine work done by legitimate journalists who continue to uncover the smut in what inarguably is sport’s biggest scandal ever — T.J. Quinn, Mark Fainaru-Wada and Selena Roberts among them” (?) – and how this all started when Will Leitch wrote a post for Deadspin three years ago about Albert Pujols:

The irresponsibility began three years ago when blogger Will Leitch wrote on a Web site that he had “80 percent” faith in a source who said a Kansas City-based strength and conditioning coach was one of the redacted names in the Jason Grimsley report. “Does (the trainer’s) name sound familiar?” Leitch wrote. “If it doesn’t, he — and we assure you, this gives us no pleasure to write this — has been Albert Pujols’ personal trainer since before Pujols was drafted by the Cardinals in the 13th round of the 1999 draft.” A photo of Pujols was included in the blog item.

Here’s the problem: The trainer’s name wasn’t found anywhere in the report, meaning Leitch smeared the trainer and Pujols in one inaccurate swoop based on an “80 percent” certainty rate. I think we learn in our 11th-grade journalism class, if not out of the womb, that it’s irresponsible to tell a potentially damaging story if you’re not entirely certain it’s true. Eighty percent may as well be zero percent. The mess was exacerbated by MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, who ran with the story and caused a national feeding frenzy, and not until Pujols threatened legal action did a shamed, humiliated Leitch emerge with a correction titled, “A Deeply Regrettable Wrong,” apologizing to the trainer in the process.

A reputable Web company would have fired him on the spot. Unfortunately, Leitch worked for a company that enjoyed the attention and allowed him to spew more lies about people. He profited from his fraudulence by writing a book read by a few of his blogging buddies.

Hoo boy, Jay – it’s one thing to take shots at Will and all the mouth-breathing blogging trolls that pollute the internet, but sir, you shall NOT sully the impeccable reputation of Keith Olbermann – the liberal media elite with have your head on stake for that comment, good man!

And I should take a moment to mention that, according to the information I have received from my sources, I am almost 80% certain that Jay Mariotti is an attention-seeking, narcissistic blowhard who has sex with farm animals and 14-year-old Thai prostitutes. But only 80%, remember.

Mariotti doesn’t limit himself to bloggers, he next sets his sights on another one of his enemies, his former Chicago Sun Times colleague Rick Telander, whom Mariotti once claimed should “get out of the business” if he didn’t want to cover “the dark side of sports.”

And the problem involves more than bloggers. Recently, an ancient columnist named Rick Telander suggested in the Chicago Sun-Times Ryan Theriot’s early power burst should send up red flags. “Sorry, Ryan Theriot, you’re a suspect,” he opened his column. “Forget Manny Ramirez and Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi and Mark McGwire and all the other hulking, accused performance-enhancing drug users. You, sir, all 5-11, 175 pounds of you, are doing devious things.”

Basically, Telander was no different than blogging boy Jerod Morris — speculating based on numbers, not facts. And if he was being sarcastic, he picked the wrong topic; this one is way too sensitive. My guess is, Telander was trying too hard to get attention in a death-warmed-over newspaper.

Did you hear that, Telander? The newspaper business is dead! Dead! At least Mariotti was smart enough to escape to a new medium which he alone shall rescue  from the dregs of corruptness and immorality and raise to a level of respectability – no – greatness.

Clearly, Mariotti is once-again utlizing his columns as a means to settle scores with his perceived enemies as he hides behind the guise of a person championing the principles of integrity, honesty and ethics.

And believe me, Mariotti will enjoy any and all responses to his column, positive or negative. Remember, we’re just making Jay Mariotti more famous!

Steroid Guessing Is Bad Journalism [Fanhouse]
So … We’ve Got Some Affidavit Names [Deadspin]
Jay Mariotti rips Ozzie Guillen, Sun-Times colleagues on WTTW [Chicago Tribune]
You Need Jay Mariotti On That Wall [Deadspin]