Shaughnessy Blasts WBZ For Selling its Soul to Patriots

The Patriots wrap up their preseason slate tonight with a game against the New York Giants on WBZ-TV. (NFL Network nationally.)

Dan Shaughnessy (no link for this) isn’t pleased. Still bitter over a breakfast snub years and years ago, Shaughnessy blasts WBZ in his column this morning for having “officially sold its news soul to the New England Patriots.”

Dan doesn’t like that the “talent” wears shirts with Patriots logos on the broadcast, says if they make them wear those shirts, then they can’t be trusted to report anything real about the team. He then uses the fact that Ben Roethlisberger is a knucklehead and that the current news director at WBZ-TV once worked in Pittsburgh as further evidence of the stations duplicity.

He tries to pass off the Globe’s Red Sox ownership stake by referring to  “our court-mandated NESN appearances.”

These preseason games are paid for and produced by the Patriots. (Through Kraft Sports Productions) It makes sense that they would push their brand in these telecasts. These are, again, preseason games, of which, at most, there are two or three that KSP actually does. How much “real” reporting or negativity is there to be gotten out of these meaningless (score-wise) games?  Besides, with the Globe around, we know that there will never be a shortage of negative reporting about the Patriots.

Contrast that with the Red Sox-owned NESN, which broadcasts almost 162 regular-season (real) games a year, and at the same time, we’re supposed to believe that Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy are completely objective and not partial towards the Red Sox at all?

I know it was sarcastic, but Dan even managed to work in a plug for the new season of “Pocket Money” on NESN later on in the column. WBZ is by no means the only outlet or individual in the sports media who has sold out to a sports franchise or athlete.

Now to the real sports stories of the day.

Jon Lester struggled early, giving up four runs in the first inning, but settled down long enough for the Red Sox to post a 9-6 win over the Orioles last night. Lester stuck around long enough to pick up his 15th win on the season. Get all the coverage at RedSoxLinks.com.

Don’t count out Red Sox rotation yet – Gordon Edes says that we shouldn’t worry that this rotation won’t be good in 2011.

Bullish on Beckett? Why the Sox see hope in struggles – Alex Speier has the Sox optimitistic that Josh Beckett can turn things around in 2011.

Beckett sees spoils to be won – Amalie Benjamin’s notebook has Beckett still hoping to take something out of 2010.

What to watch for Thursday against the Giants – Chris Price looks at tonight’s Patriots game.

What to watch when Pats face Giants – Mike Reiss has a few things as well.

How the Patriots 53-man roster projects – Karen Guregian takes her latest crack at the roster.

Hard Knocks Diary: Rex Ryan goes Knute Rockne – Kirk Minihane with a diary of last night’s show.

Patriots hoping to head into regular season on a positive note – Glen Farley has the Patriots looking to create some momentum tonight.

Celtics bring guard Delonte West back to Boston -Jim Fenton reports on the return

BC’s offensive arsenal improves – Eric Avidon continues his series on the BC Football team.

  • Mike

    Most of your points about Shaughnessy are spot-on, but the WBZ people wearing Pats logos are really bad. You don't see Amalie Benjamin on TV wearing a Sox logo.

    • Nopointe

      You don't see it because it's tattoo'd on her lower back

    • APimpNamedDaveR

      Decorum prevents me from describing in detail what I wish I saw Amalie wearing on TV…..

  • Tony

    This is the same Dan Shaughnessy whose daughter got a coveted internship at Tom Werner's Hollywood production company back when the Globe still owned 17 percent of the Red Sox, right? It's that Dan Shaughnessy we're talking about?

    Spare us your outrage, Dan. You're a fraud and a hypocrite, and we all know your "issues" with the Patriots go back to when you took Parcells' side in the Kraft/Parcells dispute, and Kraft retaliated by not allowing you to go to his Super Bowl brunch for the media, or whatever it was, at the Super Bowl in San Diego in 1998.

    Real mature adult you are, Dan, to carry a personal grudge for that long. (Kraft, of course, should have known that he had made a media enemy for life when he snubbed Shaughnessy that time, and it probably wasn't the smartest thing he ever did, that's for sure.)

  • Jon

    Were people this bitter towards the Celtics during the Russel/Cousy/Havlicheck days? Did the media bitch and moan over Esposito, Cheevers and Orr? And was there an outpouring of hatred against Cy Young, and Babe Ruth?!?!? My heavens…

    • Classless

      Great point. What will the old hacks have to write about when the Patriots inevitably fall backwards? It's not likie Auerbach and Russell were friendly to the media back then…

  • APimpNamedDaveR

    So, in summary, Shaughnessy:

    (a) Has a very valid point, but
    (b) Dilutes his valid point by failing to recognize the inherent hypocracy of criticism coming from an organization that has precisely the same perceived conflict.

    • Tomas

      He points out the appearance of being lapdogs, but he doesn't offer a single example of it happening at WBZ. Somebody is going to air preseason games and do "All Access", whether it be CSNE, NESN, or the over the air stations.

      Further, what does it matter? Who watches local television to get their Pats fix? WBZ doesn't have the opportunity to be a Pats lapdog in the 2.5 minutes it devotes to sports each night. It's sports, they aren't reporting on the Pentagon Papers.

  • http://twitter.com/theaisleseatcom @theaisleseatcom

    Felger and Mazz are absolutely unlistenable right now, sitting on their high horse applauding Shaugnessy's "brilliant" column and pretending to the arbiters of objectivity in the media. It's absolutely unreal hearing the two of them chuckle away when their show has turned into 4-hours of Pat Bashing — rest assured whenever the team loses the two of them will be on like kids on Christmas morning to celebrate it (as they were after the pre-season loss

    It's so bad I'd rather hear Ordway, Buckley and Smerlas on EEI. It might be awful on its own, but Felger is absolutely horrible on a day like this. He really needs someone to counteract his shtick other than "You're absolutely right Mike" Mazz.

    • Tony

      Does anyone know why Felger morphed from one of the few reasonably fair Patriots scribes to being the complete anti-Patriot jerk he is today? I've heard some reasons tossed out there once in awhile, but is there any one major reason why this has happened? Or is he just trying to be contrarian for the sake of it, and "provocative," since he's now a full-time electronic media personality and no longer a writer?

      • Eddie

        I don't ever remember when Felger was anything but a complete jerk. Every word out of his mouth is some sort of contrarian schtick. And it's not just the Pats, it's all of the teams, including and especially B.C.

        His show should be re-named "The Hey Look At Me" show.

    • John

      I agree, theaisleseatcom. I tried to give Felger and Mazz a chance, would like nothing more than to stop listening to the Big Show, but Felger and Mazz are brutal and listening to them today forced me back to O. They have the same tired theme, day after day. As you say, they need a contrary voice to Felger: Mazz isn't cutting it and I get tired of hearing "you're right, Mike." It is too bad, I like the Mazz baseball show at 6.

    • Jason_Coyote

      In light of your comments @aisle I hate to say you're absolutely right, but you are. I was really hoping that Felger & Mazz would become more than they have. They really need more guests and stop sitting on one topic for four hours. Plus it wouldn't hurt if they disagreed (naturally, not contrived) with each other once in a while.

      • Paul

        The reason Felger morphed into a complete anti-Pats guy was because a while back, BB slyly insulted him during a press conference..I don't have an exact quote but I think it was something like:

        Felger – "Can I ask a stupid question?…"
        BB – "That's nothing new…"

  • http://www.bostonsportsmedia.com Bruce Allen

    A 98.5 caller actually made the good point that Globe management got World Series rings back in 2004.

    • Norwood zip

      Bruce, Did the caller get hung up on immediately?

      Didn't Shaughnessy used to appear on Channel 4 SportsExtra and their Red Sox weekly shows all the time? Did he got to Channel 7 on his own or Channel 4 have enough? (I think it was

      • http://www.bostonsportsmedia.com Bruce Allen

        He was hung up on mid-sentence.

      • Jason_Coyote

        Norwood, to try and answer what I think you were asking, Shaughnessy still appears fairly regularly on Ch. 7's Sunday SportsExtra show. He's been on that channel quite a few years now, before that I think he was a Ch. 4 semi-regular up until Lobel was let go.

        As for Dan's column, I wonder if he thinks just because he casually mentioned the 17% conflict that allows him to tear Ch. 4 a new one? It truly is hypocritical that the Globe has to be more critical of the Pats than the Sox.

        None–or most of these newspaper guys–just don't get it. All we want as fans is equal coverage and/or criticism when warranted of both the Sox and Pats. Stop regurgitating the same 'Sox v Pats' debates and just tell us what's going on with the teams…is that too much to ask?

  • MarkB

    Shaughnessy/Felger/Mazz are not 'contrarian' – they just have delusions of grandeur. They think they're Woodward and Bernstein reporting on Watergate – look it up, kiddies – instead of ENTERTAINMENT REPORTERS. Sports writers need objectivity about as much as the people following Paris Hilton and Brangelina around. Here's a clue, folks – sports is not real life – it's entertainment. Listen carefully to the three of them. They rarely criticize players – who do, after all, play the games. They criticize management, as if they were revealing scandals at the Pentagon or the White House or on Wall Street.

    • Paul

      "look it up, kiddies"

      No, tell us about it, old man.

  • kralldi

    nope, you're all missing the point..all of these tired, miserable, myopic, inbred chuckleheads want is…for all of us to comment on their shows, columns, etc…we give them their identies…'they are EDGY….you know like Gresh is THIN

  • J.R.

    Late to this discussion and what I'm about to say may be misconstrued as a "political" comment, but it's intended solely as a general media observation.

    So, Shank is outraged — OUTRAGED!! — about the Channel 4 dudes wearing the lame Pats logo'd shirts. Fair enough. But, has the Globe gone even two publishing cycles in the last few years without printing some type of over-the-top fawning "story" about the Liberal Lion in Winter, or his wife, or his kids, or his dogs, or his favorite breakfast place?

    Spare us the moral high ground act, Shank. Your industry is just as dirty and in the tank as any other. Grow up.

    As far as Mr. Underwood and Tony Spazz . . . god, do they suuuuck!!!!! I can't believe they're forcing me to go back to Fraudway and his bunch of azzz clowns. How @#$%^& hard can it be to program a sports radio station in this market that (a) has knowledgeable hosts who, you know, actually LIKE sports, (b) invite and promote intelligent discourse with a wide range of guests, and (c) don't manufacture fake controversies for the sake of being "edgy" or contrarian.

  • Sean

    I get the anti-CHB thinking here, but I think Dan is dead on with today's column and that you all are attacking it just because CHB wrote it first. I had the same thought as I watched last week's game seeing Burton interview "Mr. Big" with a Pats shirt on. How can Burton be taken seriously now? Pathetic display, and I'm suprised you all are defending it …and BTW, I hardly think CHB's comment about Pocket Money being in line for an Emmy was a 'plug', it was clearly a slam of course. I think the blind hatred for CHB is skewing judgement here. Sometimes he actually does have a good point you know.

  • RTB

    Shaughnessy may be the worst, but his comments about the pre-season telecasts are spot on. It is unwatchable. Did anyone hear Steve Burton ramble on about how Belichick is the best coach in the entire league and how he hopes he coaches this team forever. How can Steve Burton cover this team as a journalist when he says that. Did you listen to Randy Cross and Don Criqui struggle for ways to lavish praise on the 'Kraft family' during breaks in the action (stadium with no PSLs, stadium second to none for 1.3B less than NY, contributions to the medical community and on and on. I thought to myself that even Bob Kraft (sorry Robert Kraft, sorry Mr. Kraft) would be embarassed to listen to these suck-ups.

    • Tony

      While I agree that the pre-season broadcasts were awful, I think it's important to note that in this case, these guys are all basically being compensated by the Patriots for doing those games, in one way or another. Channel 4 is making money from broadcasting the games, and that will affect how their employees, like Burton, conduct themselves–it's really no different than Dale Arnold's constant, nauseating on-air defense of the Jacobs A.C. (otherwise known as the Boston Bruins) on his WEEI talk show.

      Shaughnessy's astonishing hypocrisy is the main problem I have with that column. As I pointed out before: his daughter got an internship with Werner's production company in Hollywood when Shaughnessy's employer still owned 17% of the Red Sox. Also, Shaughnessy shamelessly shilled on behalf of Larry Luchinno's baseball acumen five years ago when Epstein's contract "dispute" was ongoing, and that column was blamed (in some circles) for Epstein walking away in the gorilla suit before returning a few months later.

      He's the classic glass-house dweller throwing stones in this case.

      • Jason_Coyote

        Keep making your point, Tony – it is more than valid (I didn't even realize that nugget regarding Dan's daughter). It's not the message that's wrong but the man who delivered it. If Dan wants to legitimately rip the Pats broadcasts, he needs to mention the flaws at NESN as well. At least Kraft and the Pats don't own WBZ, just the airtime they buy for games and All-Access programming.

        As has been noted here and in the forum many times, most of the Boston sports media are a thin-skinned bunch that needs to be called out for their agendas, hypocrisy and bumbling ineptitude whenever it occurs.

  • Paul

    You guys are forgetting, sport journalists and broadcasters are about about one step away from being "Mean" Gene Okerlund.

    Who cares about "integrity" or who they're in the bag for? They cover sports!

  • Steve

    When are preseason telecasts EVER been watchable? Despite Randy Cross not knowing what the players' names are, at least they have stopped dragging out Jerry Glainville. It's also because of these inept clowns that I can't listen to any sports radio. As for Shank himself, I wonder where his article was at his outrage that he couldn't be properly negative on the Sox because the Globe was a part owner of the Sox. Imagine how negative he would have been had he not been restricted by the conflict in ownership.

  • Pete

    What people failed to notice is that generally speaking the beat writers along with play by play and color commentators have historically traveled to every away game on the team charter. They feed them and transport them to the hotels. The other media types travel commercial. Its been happening since the beginning of time.

    It may have changed recently.

    So a couple logo'd golf shirts mean nothing. The BZ' duo of Roche and Burton don't travel with team.

    Get ova it.

    • Guest

      "Recently" is a relative term . . . like half-a-century.

      Beat writers haven't traveled with or been transported by the teams — except in extraordinary cases (like the Red Sox' trip to Japan, or the Bruins' upcoming trip to Europe) — for 40 or 50 years. As for "feeding" them, it varies from club to club, but many teams charge the media for meals. And what "other media types" travel with teams EXCEPT beat writers??

  • http://mgoisman.sportsblognet.com Matt

    Interestingly, no one is talking at all about CSN's Celtics coverage. Gorman is relatively even, but Tommy Heinsohn spends 99% of his airtime either gushing over the Celtics or crying bloody murder over refereeing. He is the least objective commentator I have ever listened to.