Herald, Massarotti Continue Alienation of Readers

There will be no approval ratings today. Instead, we’re going with this analysis of the Boston Herald’s ongoing apology.

Has the Boston Herald been carefully orchestrating this whole walkthrough apology in order to generate the most attention (and revenue)?

It would appear so.

Yes, I certainly wanted more from the paper than simply the statement that was issued retracting the story and apologizing to the Patriots, but in addition to the apology, I would also expect some humility, contriteness, and sincerity to be a part of that package.

Dan Kennedy wonders how anyone could doubt the Herald’s sincerity, but he also admits that he believes Curt Schilling’s shoulder is a bigger story than the Super Bowl…

Herald editor Kevin R. Convey issued the following statement in regards to the episode.

A newspaper’s bond with its readers rests on credibility and accountability. When a mistake is made in reporting a story, that bond can remain intact, but only if the mistake is acknowledged, and acknowledged boldly, clearly and unequivocally.

The Herald did just that yesterday with its unprecedented front-page apology to the New England Patriots. We thought our story was solid. It wasn’t. And we owned up to it.

Nevertheless, I continue to stand behind the work of the Herald sports department and John Tomase, a talented journalist who has dealt with this difficult matter professionally while continuing to do his job under intense pressure.

In the end, as editor in chief of the Herald, I take full responsibility for the publication of this story, and I offer my own apology to our readers and our staff.

In tomorrow’s Herald, you’ll hear from John Tomase directly. And I hope that you’ll see, as our coverage of this story and others goes forward, that our dedication to accuracy remains unchanged, and that our first priority will always be maintaining that bond of trust with our readers.

I might be a bit too sensitive here, but his line about the “unprecedented front-page apology” strikes me as just a tad self-congratulatory. Look at us! We shouted it from the rooftops! Why couldn’t he have called it their “sincere” front page apology? Or just said “our apology?” Now is not the time to bask in your deeds.

He praises John Tomase for dealing with this “difficult matter professionally.” I’m just glad he didn’t laud John for his courage under “intense pressure.” Tomase brought this “difficult matter” and “intense pressure” upon himself by his lack of professionalism. We can’t forget that.

How about that last line: “our first priority will always be maintaining that bond of trust with our readers.” A little late for that, I’m afraid. Rather than maintaining, you’re going to have to build it first.

One sure way not to build a bond and trust with your readers is to publish pure garbage and hate like that spewed by Tony Massarotti this morning.

Not in New England, now the official home of yahoos, hero worshipers and gutless suck-ups. To this entire group, it was all about whether there was a tape; anything else doesn’t matter so much.

I don’t know about you, but reading that in the Herald gives me the warm fuzzies. I’m feeling a warm bond of trust building between the Boston Herald and all Patriots fans. Not that Tony is very specific. He says “this entire group” can’t see that the Patriots broke the rules. That means YOU.

Now let’s get to the stories behind the story, the stuff nobody wants to talk about for fear of being exposed. The media is a sordid business. Professional and personal relationships frequently collide. Patriots coach Bill Belichick gives Christmas gifts and holiday cards to some members of the media, cyanide-tipped glares to others. You’re either a Belichicklet or you are not, and there is no base-level membership.

If you’re going to buy in, you have to sell out.

Thanks but no thanks.

Right. Tony’s not going to sell out. I said Tony’s not going to sell out. Really. He’s above all of that material bullsh*t. He would never allow his personal and professional relationships to collide or get involved with a subject he covers. Never.

Whoops. I guess it really is a material world and Tony is a material girl.

As you are a member of the public, we strongly urge you to review all media stories (particularly this continuously developing one) with a cynical and skeptical eye. Try to discern which members of the media show up to work wearing Patriots Super Bowl jackets, and which of your pathetic, repressed middle-aged neighbors wear their Tedy Bruschi jerseys on Sundays.

I think he’s writing about my friend Matt here, but I can’t be sure. Oh wait, Matt has a Vrabel jersey. Can’t be him. Again though, the Herald is just cuddling me in a warm blanket of trust. A pathetic, repressed blanket of truth.

Oh, I see, he’s talking about Glenn Ordway, Pete Sheppard and Fred Smerlas. Do they also qualify as “pathetic, repressed” and “middle-aged?” Check. (according to Tony.)

Meanwhile, take time to wonder if those same neighbors are blogging and posting on message boards while spending hours on hold so they might hear their voices on the radio.

Listen, mom!

Just like karaoke!

Ah…now we’re into it. It’s the bloggers fault!

By the way, Tony would sell his firstborn child for a permanent co-host position on WEEI. When Eddie Andelman left the station, Tony badly wanted the job which eventually went to Bob Neumeier. He was so disgruntled, that he abandoned WEEI and jumped over to 1510 because they would give him more hours. Eventually when 1510 started to go South, he came back to the WEEI fold. I guess Tony likes to hear his voice on the radio too.

If WEEI calls and wants him on the Big Show this afternoon to capitalize on this story, he’ll gladly take the $75/hour (or whatever they’re paying Big Show co-hosts these days) and sit right next to those media members “wearing Patriots Super Bowl jackets.”

Also, isn’t it just amazing how much these bloggers and message board posters get under skin of these media types?

These are the people who preserve the sports fantasy world that justifies their own sorry existence.

Tony goes to the games, watches the athletes play sports, eats well, gets quotes from the athletes, writes snide columns, and gets paid. Who’s living in the sports fantasy world here? For most people sports is a fun subset of their life. They work in the real world. Sports are an escape. For Tony, it is his life. Does Tony feel he leads a sorry existence? Is that what this is about?

Somewhere along the line during this Golden Era of Boston sports, maybe we all went soft. In the past year or so, the Pats have been fined and stripped of a first-round draft pick, had two players arrested for drug possession and another suspended for the use of human growth hormone. Then the Pats went out and lost one of the biggest games in the history of professional sports against a team they were favored to beat by two touchdowns.

How dare anyone criticize them?

Let’s move the goalposts on what the subject is this week. Who said the Patriots couldn’t be criticized? That’s not remotely what this is all about. This outcry is about the fact that Tony’s paper ran a story that wasn’t true…and one they didn’t check their facts on. This isn’t about criticizing the Patriots, it’s about shoddy journalism.

Speaking of which, Convey emphasized the “dedication to accuracy” at the Herald. So much for that. The Patriots didn’t have two players arrested for drug possession this offseason. Kevin Faulk was not arrested. Small point, yes, as Faulk did get in trouble, but this “dedication to accuracy” should dictate that Massarotti and the Herald get their facts straight.

What was the point of this column?

My instinct tells me it’s the Herald capitalizing on the publicity that this whole incident has generated. Tony writes angry column. Fans can’t help but read it. They respond by commenting and talking about it with others. More papers are purchased. More ads are shown online as more pageviews are generated. The comments fly in on the page. People return again and again to read them, creating even more page views and thus ad views. The column gets analyzed on blogs and on sports radio.

Get ready for groundhog day, as the same thing is going to happen tomorrow. Tomase’s explanation of what happened and where the story went wrong is on tap. The paper is teasing it, getting people talking about it, building anticipation.

I’m looking forward to seeing what he has to say. It should be interesting, seeing as how he’s still been playing the antagonist with his reporting this week, even having a post removed from the Point After blog -(the one with the lede about Walsh admitting to spying on the Rams) either by himself or by the higher-ups at the paper. We’re supposed to believe he’s suddenly contrite and humble about the whole thing? I’d like to see Tomase address the issues laid out by Scott Benson. We also should see the source named. We will be waiting to see what he has to say.

Which is exactly what the Herald wants.

Yes, the Herald is orchestrating this whole event so as to capitalize on the publicity. I guess you can’t blame them. If they’re going to get all this attention they might as well make some money off it, right?

  • Jared

    Bruce, once again I beg of you, stop linking to the Herald website. It’s clear they aren’t sorry at all about publishing a false, damaging story and seem to be getting some perverse pleasure in attacking the Patriots and their fans. You run a media watch website, you know what they are doing is wrong, stop supporting their behavior. Boycott the Herald, they are the prime example of what is wrong with American media today.

  • Sluggo

    Bravo. I personally don’t give any credibility to what Massarotti has to say, even about baseball, the only sport he has claimed to know anything about. When the Herald goes down, and it will, it will take Mazz with it. Yawn.

  • JES

    Very well said. I cannot believe what Tony puts in his column today. I am a Red Sox fan and Patriots fan and if the team does something wrong, the criticism is deserved. The fans are angry because the Herald rushed a false story to the papers on the eve of the Superbowl.
    If the story was true, there could have been some comments about timing, but publishing it would not have been criticized by the ‘fans’ as harshly.

    You did not mention that the Herald also has Callahan trying to protect the Herald all morning on WEEI. I mention that because they(Callahan and Massaroti) seem to be siding with Arlen Spector on the fact that Walsh was asked what he happened saw while he was there by someone no longer with the team(Daboll). I think they believe that blurb will vindicate their publishing of the story in the first place. It will not.

    Finally, I don’t see why two players being arrested for drugs on their own time and one player using HGH (probably without team’s knowledge) has anything to do with the the Pat’s getting criticize and I don’t think that Pat’s fans find that criticism for those players is unwarranted if the criticism is not excessive for the infraction. He is so wrong in that assumption. What we wonder is how much the fact that these false allegations put out by the Herald affected their play in the Superbowl. The Pats can be criticized, the the Herald cannot, I guess.

  • John

    I think Tony is just sick and tired of all the Yahoo’s. Can’t say I blame him. The fans can be Yahoo’s but that gang on the Big Show is an embarrassment.

    • George

      ..and the yahooism can be attributed to the handful of WEEI “celebrity” callers and the twelve oafs who line up daily to get on the Whiner Line.

  • http://medianation.blogspot.com Dan Kennedy

    Hey, Bruce, what do you mean “admits”? The entire sports universe rests on Schilling’s shoulder. The Super Bowl is only about … football. Heh, heh.

    • Bruce

      Just teasin’ Dan. Just teasin’…

  • Corner Blitz

    Massarotti is a DISGRACE!!!! Bruce, you have undressed him as a fraud and it plain to all with an objective mind that the Herald is a sinking ship with not a shred of journalistic ethics remaining. I look forward to the day we are a one newspaper town. Excellent job, as usual.

  • heironymous

    For the record, only one Patriots player was “arrested” on drug charges. Kevin Faulk was cited, but not arrested. Props to someone who pointed this out in a Herald comment.

  • Bill Q

    It’s amazing that I began to feel some sympathy for Tomase and the Herald when the Tomase “I Screwed Up” piece came out.

    I began to feel that maybe, given some goodwill, the Patriots really should hold back on going after the Herald in a lawsuit.

    Then came the next day. Wow! Who makes the judgement calls at that paper?

    • rrsafety

      Excellent comment, Bill Q.

      I agree. I thought Tomase made a good start last night, but they threw it all out the window with Mazz’s piece today.

  • KF

    You can just picture Tony talking to himself in his Soprano voice as he gets all worked up writing the column.

  • NAOP

    I loved this line from Mazz regarding the Patriots: “How dare anyone criticize them?” Because that’s exactly how Mazz and his fellow blog hating media ilk feel. How dare you boorish readers express disapproval of how they (the local sports media) do their business! They are the media! Only their opinion matters! Sorry Tony, that’s not how it works in the 21st century.

  • judi

    Excellent! I am sick to death of writers putting down the fan base that pays their salaries. Calling his readers pathetic??? Way to go, Mazz. And when no one reads your drivel, and you have to go out in the real world to work, I hope your repressed, pathetic coworkers welcome you in the way you deserve!

  • dd lang

    I stopped paying attention to Tony Maz after he defended Grady for not yanking Pedro in the 2003 final game. At first I thought it was an act to draw attention but after he kept it up for weeks I decided he was that dumb.

  • Scott

    Massarotti missed the chance to throw in a Springsteen reference this morning. I figure since he was stealing Dan’s act, he might as well steal the whole thing.

  • STI

    “It’s amazing that I began to feel some sympathy for Tomase and the Herald when the Tomase “I Screwed Up” piece came out.

    I began to feel that maybe, given some goodwill, the Patriots really should hold back on going after the Herald in a lawsuit.”

    Luckily for all of us, while Bob Kraft may be a teddy bear of an owner, his son Jonathan is more the bulldog type. *He* didn’t rule out a lawsuit. . . .

  • Wilson

    The beautiful thing of all this is, that none of the WEEIdiots, or writers like CHB and fraud Mazz would ever admit to reading all that is posted on this board, but somehow, someway, however it is done, boy! it sure does get under their very thin skin!!
    Just curious why Buckley hasn’t chimed in on this as yet!
    Then again, he may have, I don’t read the Herald.
    Well done Bruce!!

  • Nopointe

    Dear Tony Mazz, in the immortal words of Ralph Wiggum ‘tastes like burning’

  • Beaker

    …squeaky-voiced tough guy with limited range…shops at GapKids…growth hormone shots proved ineffective…oh, wait. Sorry.

    Nice work, Bruce.

  • Chris

    That was an excellent dissection of Massarotti’s ‘bitter’ article. I absolutely LOVED the part about how blogs and comments and message boards just frost these gray-hair media types to no end. You see it in Shaughnessy, Massarotti, and numerous others. Theirs should be a private domain when it comes to thought and discourse. We are the ‘little children that should be seen and not heard,’ according to Massarrotti. He is the Boston sports media equivalent of Oh-bomba while Shaughnessy is Reverend Wright. Both are ‘bitter’ beyond all reason because the lines of sports discourse and conversation are now clearly a two-way street. In Ye Olde Days, a newspaper would print two or three ‘Letter to the Editor.’ Such was the extent of ‘public discourse.’ Now, blogs and message boards have usurped the very NEED for almost EVERYONE in the Boston sports media cabal. Look at how twisted into a pretzel Shaughnessy gets when the topic of blogs comes up. ‘How DARE an athlete like Schilling communicate directly with MY audience!’ He’s got a ‘Don’t-You-Know-Who-I-Am?’ attitude, just like that tootsie from Channel 7.

    Blogs and message boards and comments sections are here to stay, Little Boy Blue. Get used to it.

  • Tony

    Absolutely, positively, NO ONE comes out of this “spygate” nonsense looking very good.

    Belichick comes out of it looking bad and he’s forever handed Patriot haters in the media and among rival fanbases a permanent hammer with the word “cheaters” written on it, all because he simply had to have videotape of some information that he could have gathered by less technological and perhaps more cumbersome means.

    Goodell comes out of it looking like, in the famous words of Kevin Mannix regarding a certain Patriots’ coach, “duplicitous pond scum”. Not only that, but he comes off as spotlight-craving duplicitous pond scum. He laid down the “tough guy” act back in Week 1 with the unprecedented fines and penalties, then he foolishly destroyed the tapes and notes–but not before he somehow allowed them to be leaked to Fox and shown on national TV (the results of THAT investigation are still eagerly awaited by the way). The destruction of the tapes and notes served only to fuel the fire of “conspiracy” theories for months on end–and Goodell has only himself to blame for that. Then he emerged before the Super Bowl to say, basically, “this really wasn’t that big a deal; teams steal signals all the time” (I’m paraphrasing, not quoting directly). THEN, in the wake of the Herald’s false walkthrough story, he goes on XM radio the day of the Super Bowl and threatens more penalties and even suspensions if the allegations about the walkthrough turn out to be true–even though there was absolutely no proof that it was true. THEN after he met with Walsh, he reverted back to his “this was no big deal; signal stealing is OK, you just can’t film them” line, but not before he publicly sneered at Belichick’s explanation of “misinterpreting” the rule. (Look, I don’t believe BB misinterpreted it either; I believe he thought he’d found a loophole in the rule that he could use in his defense if he ever got caught. I can guarantee that there’s no way that BB ever imagined that $750K in fines and a 1st round draft pick would be the penalty for taking signals with a videocamera as opposed to taking them with binoculars, especially when the going “rate” for winning two Super Bowls while playing with an illegal roster, like the 97-98 Broncos, was only about $900K in total fines and a 3rd round pick).

    Sen. Specter comes out of this looking like a complete fool with nothing but the special interests of his top campaign donors on his mind.

    Walsh didn’t quite turn out to be the “heroic whistleblower” that everyone with a vested interest in this story hoped that he would be. And ultimately, when the 5-year clause in the indemnification agreement that he signed with the NFL expires, and he’s finally allowed to profit from this, most people will have long-since moved on from the Spygate story (we can only hope).

    ESPN comes out of this looking less like “the worldwide leader in sports” and more like “the National Enquirer of sports journalism”.

    The Herald, obviously, comes out of this looking very badly, and my God, to hear Felger say “they only used improper wording to describe what happened at the Rams’ walkthrough”; to hear Callahan try to defend them in pretty much the same manner; and then to have Masserotti print this bile-filled hate piece today, in which he pretty much defecates all over the people who pay his salary–the readers–well, let’s just say that it gives this journalism degree-holder an upset stomach to think about how far journalistic standards have fallen.

    Am I missing anyone or anything else here??

    • http://masshysteriasports.blogger.com DaveR

      You missed the tidbit — which, to now, I’ve only seen in the Hashmarks blog (and the one I write for, because I wrote about the Hashmarks bit) — that Walsh told Specter that he saw the Jets taping the Patriots during at least one game. Which I think would fall under both your Goodell (don’t ask, don’t tell) and ESPN (don’t care because it’s not the Pats) analysis.

      Other than that, perfect.

      • Tony

        Yes, it was very interesting how the media seemed to completely ignore that little tidbit about Herm Edwards’ Jets taping the Pats’ sideline in 2001. There’s very little doubt in my mind that Goodell wanted this thing to go away immediately out of fear that it would explode into a league-wide inquiry about other teams’ questionable practices, but he pretty much guaranteed that it would NOT go away when he destroyed the tapes and then refused to discuss the subject again for the entire regular season. He totally bungled this whole thing, and created a complete monster for no reason.

        That’s the real problem here….the media has treated this “scandal” pretty much as if the Patriots are the only team to ever have engaged in any type of subterfuge. Reports–even substantiated reports–of other teams “cheating” have been largely ignored…like the “telescope” seen sticking out of a hotel window overlooking the Pats’ practice field the day before Super Bowl XXXVI. In fact, whenever a Pats’ fan brings up the Broncos and 49ers salary cap violations; Jimmy Johnson’s comments about how common the videotaping practices were in his coaching days; the Jets being caught filming the Patriots sideline on more than one occasion; or the Dolphins stealing Brady’s audible calls in 2006; the stock response always has been…”you Patriots’ fans have to accept the fact that your team cheated and stop pointing the fingers at everyone else.”

        OK, we’ll all stop pointing fingers as long as other people stop doing it too, and stop pretending that the Pats are the only team guilty of “pushing the rules envelope” as far as it will go.

        Thanks for the response.

        • Nopointe

          Sheriff Goodell made a similar “mistake” during his press conference.
          paraphrasing:
          Taping coaching signals only happens on a limited basis, most of the coaches we spoke to said they tried it but stopped because it didn’t work.

          Ooops a misstep by quickdraw admitting it is both common, and doesn’t mean much.

  • J.R.

    If you’ve ever sent any of these frauds and blowhards an e-mail pointing out factual mistakes in their written work you’ll see how quick they get VERY defensive. Talk about having thin skins! Yet, they do the exact same thing to athletes, politicians, etc. on a regular basis and it’s OK. And they wonder why they are so reviled. Tony Mazz . . . just go away.

  • NASCL

    Mazz-

    You’re tip-toeing the very fine line between writing a column for the Herald and being the person giving it away for free at South Station.

    You, sir, are without honor.

  • Big Fat O

    There are only a handful of Kool-Aid drinkers that think Belicheck did nothing wrong. Most fans realize he pushed the envelope and got bagged. Mazz insinuating that anyone who roots for the team must be hitting the Kool-Aid

    Funny how Mazz and Shank have been able to throw slings and arrows at the players they cover but now the tables are turned and the “unwashed” are able to throw those same arrows back.

    Heres a message to Mazz and Shank, the bloggers are only reporting the facts just like you guys always say.

  • rick

    I feel bad for Silverman, Bradford, and Guregian. A lot of people won’t be reading their good work in the Herald.

  • Tony

    Guys like Massarotti, the CHB and others confirm the one undeniable truth about most journalists working in America today (most, not all): it’s all about THEM.

  • NASCL

    Just in case I die before Tony Mazz is eventually rated:

    “Disapprove!”

  • MarkB

    Massarotti is the guy who goes on the radio and says that “People around the leage tell me that everyone hates Curt Schilling.” Let’s see… Schilling blasts sports reporters, Schilling talks straight to the people on his blog, bypassing reporters, and Massarotti reports that “unnamed sources” who we can never check, badmouth Schlling? So how would Schilling fight that claim? Of course, Mazz has to “protect his sources”, right? So much for fact-checking in “real” journalism. There is no fact-checking in sports writing – they make it up as they go, and hid behind invented “unnamed sources” when ever it suits them.

  • MJ

    I have never seen anything like this in sports and I’ve been watching and buying tickets for over 30 years. Up until now it’s been an ongoing indictment of Bill Belichick’s personality and the Patriots’ success as a football team. If the coach spoke at fundamentalist Christian rallies,one has to wonder how different things would be. We are witnessing a systematic Crucifiction of a football franchise-on a daily basis. Now the fans of this team are evidently to be included in the assault.

    It’s absolutely astonishing.

    • Chris M

      Wait, don’t say that. Tony Dungy wants to die for your sins!

  • Sean a.k.a Shizz

    Massarotti: “If you are going to buy-in, you have to sell out. By the way, my new Red Sox book comes out on the 25th!”

    I have always had the contention some of these guys are on the take. Massarotti is clearly baised for the Red ox for a reason. I am sure some in the Red Sox camp are gleefully reading Tony rip Pats Nation a new one. All just so he can get a bit more access from players after games.

    Shameful.

  • Bob

    What has happened to Boston Sports’ Newspapers? We use to be considered the best in the country. Now it is so pathetic. Massarotti, has been moronic with his positions/takes for a long time. He has been and is such a bitter man. Ditto Shaunnessy, who hates Schilling, and writes many of his articles based on this personal hatred. We all know Borges did the exact same thing, only with Bellichick as the evil one. Thomase writes a made up story the day before the Super Bowl. Felger is the most cynical of all of them, and his takes on most things are so completely negative, on issues that should be fun and positive. This has just become so pathetic around here. It’s rather sad indeed. The worst part is that they all look like such fools, but don’t understand that fact. Give me back the 1970′s.

  • John

    It’s nice that Massarotti called the Pats out for having two players caught using drugs. I’m sure any day now he will write an article criticizing Mike Adams’ history with drugs and quit his gig on WEEI because he doesn’t want to sell out and be a part of something that he doesn’t morally approve of.

    • George

      Ironic that I’d rather listen to Adams talking baseball over Maz any day…

  • Lance

    Interesting. I smell a witch hunt. But unlike any other witch hunt in history this one has real witches.

    Love the audacity of the Herald. They continuously try to stir the pot of local sports fans and it was inevitable it was eventually going to bite them in the a$$. The sports editor, Hank Hryniewicz, must have seen Tony’s article and told him he smelled Pulitzer – hey, only real pros insult the very people who provide them their living.

    Good writing is where you find it. Reiss appears to be the only local writer for a daily newspaper one can trust regarding the Patriots. If the Herald doesn’t revamp their sports section soon then it’s bound to drag the entire paper down with it. Doubt anyone would notice as the on-line content continues to outshine it’s written counterparts.

  • Fank

    Man, I like what Bob said. Sports should about the fun and positive. That is clearly why I cheer for the Boston sports teams, because it is so much fun to be in on it when those teams win. That doesn’t mean I can’t be intellectually honest about the teams and their mistakes. Belichick clearly f’ed up here, he has been RAKED over the coals for it and had some portion of his legacy tainted by his sin. That sucks. My continued appreciation of him being coach of the Patriots does not mean I am blind to the facts of what he did. Just that the whole picture calls for a nuanced, multifarious viewpoint that accounts for the whole landscape, not just the Spygate sliver. Massarotti does not appreciate that this blanket criticism of fans causes so many of the really reasonable fans to tune him completely out. He is supposed to bring eyes to the Herald paper and website. Instead he actively seeks to humiliate them and drive them away. That is shockingly backwards, obtuse and bizarre.

  • Denise

    Well said, Bruce. Nice job.

  • Steve From Yellowstone

    RAMONE!!!!!!!! LET’S ALL TAKE SOLACE IN THE FACT THAT THREE YEARS FROM NOW THE HERALD WILL BE OUT OF BUSINESS AND MASSAROTTI WILL BE UNEMPLOYED!!!!!!!!

  • Mike in Southie

    Once again, great job.
    What makes Tony and others like him in the media think that because they can put a few sentences together using correct grammar, they are better than we are when it comes to what we consider good sports? Their opinions are no better than ours. Going to Tufts is no big deal Tony. It only makes you a journalist, not a sports expert or expert on humanity.
    If Tony were writing about the flower show, I doubt Tony would know more about flowers than my wife. What makes media members like Tony experts on what they cover. All Tony or any other media member has is more access to what we follow or are interested in than we do.
    Tony sounds like he hates what he does and hates the poeple he serves.

  • Scott

    That’s good, because I hate him too.

  • late to dinner

    Normally I would just write Bruce and move on but it seems to me even Bruce sometimes misses the big picture. I thought Bruce did a wonderful job deconstructing Tony Mazzarotti’s column, missive, hatchet job, adolescent whine…pick one…from this mornings paper. However I think Bruce and a bunch of others missed the glaring reason for Mazz’s anger and the reason why he is such an incompetent fool. On multiple occasions on WEEI and in print since Mazz moved over to being part of the Pats coverage for the Herald he has complained publicly about the lack of access some reporters get compared to others. In the piece published today he talks about how some beat writers (I am assuming Mike Reiss, Tom Curran and probably the late Alan Greenberg) received cards or holiday gifts from Bill Belichick while others (Tony Mazzarotti has stated very publicly he is one of this group) cannot get the coach to give him the time of day. His lack of access has turned into bitterness because it is not something he is used to as he has carte blanche with the Red Sox.

    In reality Mazzarotti is just another in a long line of lazy journalists who would rather kvetch and moan about a lack of access than put in hard work, look at events with as unbiased eyes as you can, and then hope to be reqarded. The lesson lost on Mazz and others of his ilk (but surprisingly not lost on John Tomasse) is that the Pats organization is a meritocracy. You work hard inside you get ahead. You work hard covering the team, you are fair, you gain the coaches trust, you get ahead. Its not complicated. Yet Mazzarotti, Borges, the late Will McDonough and others have never understood how the organization would not open its doors and be inviting to them.

    When I read Mazz’s article this morning, all I could think about is my 8 year old and how when she is tired and frustrated everything is someone else’s fault. He does not seem to understand that paying public (both the sports fans and the consumers of sports news) are neither stupid nor lemmings. We are demanding, insightful and worse of all intolerant of laziness. This of course scares a guy like Mazzarotti, because he believes that he is somehow privy to inside info which makes him more knowledgeable which in turns makes him unquestionable. You have to be pretty insecure to be this self affected.

  • LAR

    Tony Mas ought to be ashamed of himself, but it appears he’s not intelligent enough to recognize his own stupidity. It’s not that we fans are obsessed and blind hero-worshippers. It’s that we’re not going to accept him or any other misinformed (or flat-out dishonest?) lunkhead who tries to sell us a load of fecal matter and then fails to back it up. Tony Mas and Tomase are standing under the spotlight, sweaty and empty-handed. Instead of accepting this, Mas is spewing his venom our way? Nice try.

    And this quote is laughable: These are the people who preserve the sports fantasy world that justifies their own sorry existence.

    If it weren’t for sports, Tony would be emptying the trash can in my office for a living.

  • ron

    GO CELTICS!!! It is about the games right?? All these guys are overexposed, and not talented enough to handle all the interaction with the fans. I am amazed at how many of these media members are getting disapproval ratings, though i have agrees with all of them. Strange relationship between fans (yahoos??) and the media that covers the sports and teams we love. Good job Mazz shitting all over the very people who put food on your table.

  • gifferd

    Poor Maz – I hope he doesn’t cross paths with a middle aged nut wearing a Tedy Bruschi jersey

    • George

      I hope he does!

  • unclegizmo

    The Herald has had a nice week for revenue:

    Wednesday: I’m sorry headlines
    Thursday: Maz’s Screed
    Tomorrow: Tomase’s “story”

    On top of this, they have Callahan selling the paper in the morning on radio, and Felger selling it on the afternoon on radio and night on TV.

    There ain’t no dummies over at the Herald. Complain about the articles all you want, but the Herald is there for one thing and one thing only: to make money. By reading the articles in the newspaper and online, by leaving comments on the website, by talking about tomorrows story about Tomase, they’re making the revenue that they haven’t made in a while. They can point out to their advertisers that their paper is spoken about nationally and read online throughout the country. Ad guys love that.

    In the end, the weekend will come, this will blowover, and then in a few months, it will crank up all over again.

    Just remember, it’s all about the cash. Nothing else.

  • Glenn

    After that column of venom today, I have only one thing to say:

    RON BORGES, ALL IS FORGIVEN.

  • Pingback: internet128.com » Blog Archive » Did we say “apologize”? We meant to say F— you!

  • Seuss, M.D.

    The sad thing is that Tony raised two issues which actually do deserve serious, thoughtful discussion — but did so in such a ham-handed, spiteful way that polarizes any discussion of the issues:

    _ The relationship between the sports media and the athletes, coaches and teams they cover has been a worthy topic of discussion since the games were played for money, and it still is.

    _ Whether the positives of the interactive electronic media (insight that improves reporting and offers new perspectives) outweigh the negatives of the format (sarcasm, crude insults, bullying, etc.) is absolutely a ripe topic for discussion.

    But Thursday’s Boston Herald was not the time or place for those conversations. It was time to man up and say “this is a tough, high-pressure job and we all make mistakes.” It was not time to be Angry Man.

    It certainly wasn’t time for sweeping generalizations and angry putdowns aimed at blog commenters and reporters who don’t meet some arbitrary standard of ideological purity.

    • George

      I don’t get it. sarcasm? crude insults? bullying? Which media format are you referring to? The one that is open to anyone with a computer or the one that prints and distributes crap to the masses?

  • Bob

    Bruce – The best piece I have ever read. Ever. I have had the pleasure of emailing you before, I am the long time Ray Fitzgerald fan. People like yourself and David Scott are awesome and make this my very first stop on the net every day.

    Loved your point about Maz not getting the mid-day gig at ‘EEI. Cannot believe he writes his Red Sox book and then absolutely destroys the people who would be the ones buying the book. I read his column today and was sick and insulted. Knowing him he is probably getting off on all the publicity.

    Reading his column also made me sad and long for the days of my youth. Maybe I am just getting old because as a kid I remember rushing home and turning into the old ‘HDH and listening to “Voice of Sports” with Leo Egan.

    He would have guys on like Tim Horgan, Jake Liston and a very young Peter Gammons. They talked sports and didn’t have all the agendas these guys have.

    Hard to believe how incestous the media in Boston has become with all of their part-time high paying gigs.

    Once again Bruce, awesome job!

  • Tony

    Did anyone happen to catch Felger on the Comcast Sports Net show tonight?

    In light of Matt Walsh going on HBO and giving the NY Times an interview, in which he seemingly contradicted some of the things that he told Goodell in his testimony, Felger, who is STILL insisting that the Herald’s false walkthrough story is merely a question of “poor word choice” and “semantics”, rather than being a completely false smear, proclaimed Matt Walsh to be “believable” as he spins his “Patriots Tales from the Darkside” to the national media. Within 10 seconds of pronouncing Walsh “believable”, Felger then flatly stated that “Belichick and the Patriots have been lying about this for 8 months”.

    Well, let’s see, if you want to call Belichick’s “rules misinterpretation” explanation a lie, OK…I’ll let that one slide. I think it was more disengenous than a lie, but whatever.

    But can Felger please explain to all of us what ELSE the Pats have been lying about for the last 8 months? The Pats have hardly spoken a word about this since the story broke last September. He was apparently trying to call them out about Belichick’s “I couldn’t even pick him out of a lineup” statement regarding Walsh when contrasted with Walsh’s “he was in three team photos with me” statement to the NY Times.

    Does Felger KNOW that Belichick was lying about that? Doesn’t it seem plausible that a guy who was fired 5 years ago, and who was a relatively low-level and obscure member of the staff to begin with, may very well have left Belichick’s memory?

    Seems that Mike Martz also came out tonight and questioned Walsh’s contention that he was in the Superdome in Pats’ gear during the walkthrough….saying that “they would have noticed” people milling around their walkthrough in Pats’ gear.

    So who’s lying Felger? Matt Walsh…who lied about having a confidentiality agreement with the Pats and also most likely fed Tomase the false walkthrough taping story…or Mike Martz, who was actually IN the Superdome on the day of the walkthrough?

    This is a complete joke.

    The Herald, and all of its writers, editors and part-time correspondents like Felger and Callahan should be totally ashamed of themselves for their conduct.

    I can’t wait to hear how Tomase tries to spin this in Friday’s paper.

    The conduct of Felger, Massarotti and Callahan these last couple of days serves as a stinging indictment of the media culture in America today. It’s a culture that screams “We can write and say whatever the hell we want about anyone, but don’t any of you even DARE to question us, or we’ll all band together like the pack rats that we are and bury you, both in print and from our TV/radio pulpits.”

    I need a shower now…..I need to wash away the stench of this whole sordid affair.

    • Chris

      Hear! hear! It’s a media cabal we’ve got, and they are twisted like pretzels over how ‘their’ business is collapsing and coming under scrutiny by bloggers and other Internet commenters. Their ‘world order’ has simply collapsed, and they are mad.

  • Chris M

    Mazz is a sad human being. He is one of the primary reasons I don’t read the Herald anymore, nor do I tune into WEEI from March-September. Pissing on the Patriots, fans, readers, and other media members is pretty pathetic. Maybe that column was his professional death knell; he had to rattle the cages one last time or else face extinction.

    I look forward to seeing his fascinating pieces on Nerve.com in the future.

  • George

    My first inclination was to write to Massarotti and explain how interest in team sports provides temporary relief to many who are having serious issues in their lives; and many more who otherwise do not have much to look forward to. But he lacks the maturity to understand that.

    I remember this guy from years ago, when he was an eager pup dazzled by the spotlight and in search of an agenda. now he’s right where he wanted to be, giving Shaunessey a run for his money.

    Well, Borges is gone, and Shaunessey is marginalized and pathetically irrelevant. Let’s hope Maz follows them.

  • http://confessionalpoet.typepad.com/cursed_to_first beth

    Tony Mazz – the same man who vociferously defended Grady Little on Oct. 17, 2003. I rest my case.

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