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schmuck

What we have here is yet another example of why sometimes, it isn’t the best idea for those trained in the dark arts of journalism to blog. They are simply not accustomed to reading instantaneous, often spiteful, reactions to their writing.

For your consideration, one Peter Schmuck – and yes, that appears to be his real name –  a longtime columnist for the Baltimore Sun who has been trying his hand at the blogging game since July of 2008.

Mr. Schmuck raised the ire of some of his readers yesterday in a post entitled, “Orioles: Filling the Vacuum” where Schmuck cracks a joke about the debated age of one of his colleagues,  Roch Kubatko, which went as follows:

Roch Kubatko will be there, too, but this year I’ll have two excuses for not being able to outsprint him to the impromptu Scott Boras press huddles. The Achilles is still a little sore and Roch claims he’s 22 years younger than I am. I’d like to get a look at that birth certificate, but I’d probably have an easier time getting hold of Barack Obama’s.

Pretty innocuous joke, right? Not so fast. Apparently, a joke about President Obama’s birth certificate, even one as innocent as this one, is a big no-no, as it ruffled the feathers of a few overly-sensitive readers, as a minor political flame war erupted in the comments section.

It’s a shame you chose to pepper your usually clever writing with an inane comment about Obama’s birth certificate. These “birther” nuts (which I guess you may be) don’t need more encouragement from a Sun sports columnist to spread flat out lies.

Posted by: BFree | November 24, 2009 4:12 PM

Pete, you have a better chance of seeing Roch’s U.S. birth certificate than Obama’s because Roch’s actually exists.

Even Latin American ballplayers trying to reinvent their age eventually have their real birth certificates uncovered; most of the time by investigative journalists.

If sportswriters can find authentic birth certificates in a banana republic city like San Pedro de Macoris, why hasn’t anyone, including Obama, been able to produce his? Someone ought to do a little snooping around in Kenya….

You can’t even get a DoD job as a janitor without a U.S. birth certificate. How can you be president without one?

Posted by: easywriter01 | November 24, 2009 10:08 PM

Pete,

You may be a Republican, but this is a sports blog, your birth certificate slight was completely uncalled for. Trust me, you wouldn’t be talking about Bush this way, even though he was quite possibly the most unfit man ever to sit in the Oval Office.

Please, get off your high horse and keep the political garbage out of the blog. Thanks.

………………………………………………………………………………..
Pete’s reply: My high horse? I didn’t say a word about Obama or his fitness. I made a joke. I’ve made many a joke about Bush and Palin and whoever. You just didn’t notice because you agreed with them. Lighten up a little bit.

Posted by: Ilana in DC | November 24, 2009 11:11 PM

Why the snide remark about
president Obama’s birth certificate?

………………………………………………………………………………….
Pete’s reply: To paraphrase Sir Edmund Hillary, sir, “because it was there.”

Posted by: A Fan with delusions of Grandeur | November 25, 2009 4:57 AM

And it goes on from there. You get the point. Mr. Schmuck, the muckraker that he is, wasn’t going to allow this bullshit to take place in the comments section of his blog. He took matters into his own hands and wrote another post essentially telling those who were offended by a little bit of political humor to take a hike. Here is that post, in its entirety:

Sorry, if you’re that sensitive, you don’t belong here

You know what. There’s a time to take yourself seriously and a time when it’s okay to joke around about stuff. I took a sideways poke at the Obama “birther” thing yesterday and a lot of people came out the woodwork to complain about how inappropriate it was to make a “snide” comment about the whole Obama birth certificate controversy in a sports blog.

Lighten up.

I’ve seen the Honolulu newspaper birth annoucement for President Obama. I know the birth certificate thing is silly. I was basically saying that with that wise crack, but there are a lot of people out there who are so consumed with their politics that they assume everything has some greater meaning or some evil intent. And there are a few who just don’t have the gene that allows them to filter sarcasm.

It was a joke. There are going to be more. Laugh or don’t laugh. Read this blog or don’t. I’ll also poke at Sarah Palin and Nancy Pelosi if I think I can get a quick laugh. If you can’t handle that, you have my permission to move on.

I don’t think politics or baseball is a religion and I’m not going to tiptoe around people who are too sensitive for their own good. I watched the Saturday Night Live skit the other night that was brutal to Obama and thought it was very funny. I also watched months of brutal SNL stuff on Sarah Palin and thought it was hilarious. It’s great to see the humor on both sides of the aisle. You get double the fun. Some of you — and you know who you are — ought to try it some time.

Bravo, Peter Schmuck. Bravo. It was a throwaway line at the end of a post, for Christ’s sake. Loosen up, people. If you are reading something that uses the tagline, “Some say it’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt. I disagree,” you should expect some of this kind of stuff.

I do imagine it is strange for “old school” journalists who have grown accustomed to typing up a column, submitting it to the editor and forgetting about it feeling like they have to defend their work to a bunch of mouth-breathers who often inhabit anonymous comment sections. As we peon, untrained bloggers have learned, you can’t fight every battle with people who disagree with your work and have the ability to promptly let you know about it. But in this instance, I applaud Schmuck’s actions. He had to take these morons to task for overreacting and put them in their place.

Orioles: Filling the vacuum [The Schmuck Stops Here]
Sorry, if you’re that sensitive, you don’t belong here [The Schmuck Stops Here]