Shaughnessy — “Get Off My Lawn, Bloggers”

The Boston Globe continued its series of attacks on blogging, Twitter and the internet by old-school media dinosaurs with the publication of today’s column by Dan Shaughnessy.

You’ve probably heard by now that Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel was injured on Sunday and some Kansas City fans actually cheered when he was taken off the field.

The bloggers are to blame, naturally.

It’s an issue about civility in America today. It’s about accountability. It is about angry fantasy football players who do not know how to look someone in the eye, or hold a face-to-face conversation. It is about fanboy bloggers who kill everyone and everything under the brave cloak of anonymity. It’s about instant tweets fired from the safety of your basement. It is about anonymous bullying with the World Wide Web serving as the new bathroom wall.

Those of us who write stories and do talk shows are not blameless. Winston made a good point when he said that Cassel “hasn’t done anything to the media writers who kill him . . . ”

I’ve certainly done my share of tweaking and exposing professional athletes or organizations who don’t give an honest effort to live up to their contracts or fulfill the team-fan accord. In print, on TV and radio, we contribute to a climate of anger in the stands. But at least you know who we are.

That last paragraph is mind-blowing. He only tweaks those “who don’t give an honest effort?” or who don’t  “fulfill the team-fan accord?” What does that even mean?

So has “Amos Alonzo Kraft” failed to give an honest effort, or has he not fulfilled the team-fan accord? Which is it? (By the way, Shaughnessy actually took that moniker from Mike Barnicle. If you’re stealing material from Mike Barnicle, it might be time to acknowledge that you actually do not possess a conscience.) And that is an incredibly minor Shaughnessy tweak.

And “at least you know who we are.”

OK, that makes everything better.

Guys like Shaughnessy are terrified of the internet, because while he might not be the most self-aware guy around, he at least recognizes his increasing irrelevance, as evidenced by this old-man rant.

Yes, there are nasty, vicious people on the internet. I sometimes am disgusted myself at just how angry some people are online, and the things that they say. But speaking in sweeping generalities, like Shaughnessy does, isn’t right either.

It’s easier for Shaughnessy to write a column like this now, because a lot fewer people – especially those online, who are his targets – are able to read it due to the paywall.

Which just might be the best thing about the paywall, limiting the exposure of a Dan Shaughnessy column like this one.

  • Gabe

    Great blog Bruce. Can’t get over the irony of Shank attacking people for “not looking someone in the eye.” When I met Dan about 10 or so years ago, his eyes were giving the ground a harder look than a 14 year old boy gives a Playbook magazine. His whole career has been based on bashing people safely behind the computer screen/newspaper/TV, and he has the nerve to write that? And btw most bloggers I know, have their name fully out there for the world to see.

  • Mike

    For every nasty thing Shaughnessy has said about someone, he shows up to the park, shows up in the locker room, and is there to face the people he pisses off and listen to what they have to say about it. Bloggers by and large don’t. Whether you want to believe it or not, that does matter.

    • Evil Stacey James

      It doesn’t count for anything. He’s a lazy, malicious, agenda ridden hack. How does his physical presence legitimize him exactly? Bloggers don’t go to the park because the team isn’t going to give them access anyway. Shaughnessy doesn’t really have any better insight to anything by being at the park, which is his base argument for invalidating everything anyone without a press credential says in the first place. He’s a dog. He’s a cancer in every clubhouse he enters but when he goes in he knows he has safety in numbers. It’s a lot easier to face an athlete in a group setting where everyone knows that an outburst or a punch to a weak, ruddy chin is going to only reflect poorly on the athlete and not the lying, craven, sack of garbage preening in front of him like some sort of faux tough guy.

  • bosox3054

    In fairness to Dan he has never hidden from anyone or been safe behind anything…he faces the people he bashes. Carl Everett, Henry, Lucchino, etc.

    I think he was trying to stick up for his old friend KPD but that’s just me.

    • the Dude

      There’s this mongrel dog that comes sniffing through my trash every week too. So I guess if you’re comparing The CHB to some mutt that pisses on people’s lawns and eats their garbage, I’d agree. Other than that, he’s a double douche.

      These guys have it right: http://danshaughnessy.blogspot.com/

    • WDRIII

      If anonynmous bloggers are bullies, what is someone who gets arrested for A&B on a police officer?

      • whitey b

        His son.

  • atreyujones

    Is the ‘basement’ thing concerning internet users the most cliched thing ever? It obviously doesn’t apply in this era of smartphones, tablets, and laptops; but were home desktops really kept in the basement frequently? Our basement wasn’t finished growing up, so our computer certainly didn’t go there.

    • Winning_Again

      LMAO!

    • http://twitter.com/UserGoogol UserGoogol

      The picture that basements are supposed to invoke is of nerds: specifically, the kind of dysfunctional nerds who live in their parents basements for an inordinate amount of time. Which is definitely a demographic that exists, but it’s not really a particularly representative subset of bloggers.

      • dan

        This is the kind of nerdy response that makes me think this was written in your basement. ;)

  • bosguy22

    The idea that Shank is more credible than bloggers simply because he “faces the guys he bashes” doesn’t make complete sense. I’m sure there are hundreds of say, Red Sox bloggers who would absolutely step foot in the clubhouse if the Sox would provide them a press pass. For him to say the incredibly insightful and informative bloggers (imagine actually using stats to back up opinions instead of the Tony Mazz “can we all agree”) are sitting in their basement and afraid to face players is laughable. I’m sure the guys at Overthemonster.com would disagree.

  • http://twitter.com/DryHeave1 DryHeave

    Shank obviously USED the booing in Kansas City to go on a blogger attack. Because this stuff has happened plenty of times in the past, WAY BEFORE bloggers. One of the worst cases was in 1980. The Raiders traded fan favorite Ken Stabler to the Oilers for Dan Pastorini. Pastorini got off to a poor start, when he broke his leg in week 5 Raider fans cheered wildly..(worse than what happened in KC)..for Shank to try and blame this on bloggers and “civility in America today” is ridiculous.

    • APimpNamedDaveR

      I grew up in Philly in the 70s, where the Vet Stadium crowd once booed Santa.

      I used to joke that it was such a huge coincidence that the Phillies fielded an entire roster of brothers. There was Larry BOOOOOOO, Bake McBOOOOOOOO, Manny BOOOOOOOO, Michael Jack BOOOOOOO, Steve BOOOOOOO, Greg LuBOOOOOOOOOO….. etc.

      • http://twitter.com/DryHeave1 DryHeave

        I remember Philly fans cheering when Michael Irvin of the Cowboys was injured…of course he played for opposing team but still….

  • Linda Austin

    Bruce you are far too sensitive.
    Much of what Shaughnessy had to say is right on. The personal invisibility of the internet has definitely coarsened the converation across the board. So has radio sports talk shows. Say what you want about Shaughnessy but he’s in those locker rooms and clubhouses interviewing the very poeple he writes about. Is Mike Felger ever in those locker rooms and clubhouses?? Nope!!

    • Winning_Again

      Troll On Linda! I applaud you for standing up in every post for anything and everything WEEI/Boston Globe related. At least you are consistent!

      • Linda Austin

        “Troll on”?? What are you, 11 ???
        BTW I’m very flattered that you’re tracking my every post. Thank you!! I do wish you’d be a bit more accurate when summarizing my advocacy. I call ‘em as I see ‘em. I have zero stake in any Boston media group. There are people l like and people I don’t like on every paper, every station. I compliment when called for and criticize when called for. Has nothing to do with anything WEEI/Globe related,

        • Winning_Again

          How does calling someone out as a “troll” make me 11? Trolling is common on message-boards and you seem to do a good job here of doing so

          Are you currently employeed by Entercom?

        • Linda Austin

          Calling me out for trolling is lame….very much a childish posture taken on your part. Go look up the word and tell me how it applies to what I post here. Here’s a clue – it doesn’t??
          I, like everyone else, comes here and reads what the contributors are talking about and then respond to it. How is that trolling?? Because I don’t agree with a Spawtshub fanboy like you??
          Thank God!!

        • Winning_Again

          So I’m a sportshub fanboy? Clearly you don’t pay enough attention! Based of most of my comments the last 3 years, I’d say that’s the last thing I am. I do take pride in being objective, and calling out each on their own merits. I don’t make blind, blanket statements tucked under generalities about one specific station, thread after thread.

        • FreddyK

          so says the troll

    • whitey b

      You should never compare The CHB to a douche like Felger. The CHB is not a douche. He’s a whining little bitch. But he is not a douche.

    • bsmfan

      Nice tangent to attempt to blame Felger/Mazz again on something completely unrelated..

      Is someone at ‘EEI pissed they’re not #1 in the 2-6 demo again?

      • Linda Austin

        How was I attempting to blame Felger/Mazz again??
        When did I mention them??
        All I said was Shaughnessy meets up with those he’s critical of on a regular basis.
        Felger does not.
        That’s a TRUE statement.
        I also said the influence of sports talk radio has added to the coarsening of the sporting atmosphere.
        Why would YOU think I was talking about Felger//Mazz?? Shoe fits?
        You think I’m somehow connected to ‘EEI because I offer up some observations you don’t agree with??
        Grow up.

      • Will

        For a station that’s supposedly number one, 98.5 sure talks about EEI alot. Not sure I understand.

      • FreddyK

        you are a dunce

  • http://twitter.com/DryHeave1 DryHeave
  • Frank

    I just don’t understand the whole give these guys credit for showing up the next day. Why? It sounds like some really old school newspaper unwritten rule, where back when if you ripped a guy there was a decent chance the athlete would be looking to kick the reporter’s ass the next day. Those days are so far gone it’s ridiculous. Now it’s like if there’s any kind of confrontation verbal or physical that becomes the next part of the story.
    Has there ever been an instance where a reporter ripped a player, was in the clubhouse the next day, the player and the reporter talked for a while and the reporter then writes a story that says I was wrong? None that I can think of. Big deal you showed up for work the next day, what, they should get medals? It almost seems like a form of trolling. The reporter rips a guy and then shows up and stares him in the face the next day hoping for a confrontation and a next chapter of the look at what I got myself into story.
    I guess I don’t get it.

    • http://twitter.com/DryHeave1 DryHeave

      well, I do know Will McDonough is looked upon as as a “legend” by some mediots because he got into a fist fight with Raymond Clayborn (Pats CB 70’s-80’s)……most reports are that McDonough “decked” Clayborn …but have a feeling the media might have been a little prejudiced on the actual facts of “who decked who”

      • Brianwaterslocker

        Whitey, Tell em how you and Willie Mac used to kick ass up and down the alphabet streets.

        • whitey b

          I’ll tell ya, I’d like to get a shot at Shaughnessy. Willie was at a Globe dinner where Lazy Danny had to make a speech, and he was rolling his eyes something fierce when the Curly Headed Shitbag was talking. Willie always hated those pretty-boy posers.

  • Classless

    who honestly lives in their parent’s basement anymore?

    • http://twitter.com/DryHeave1 DryHeave

      don’t knock it….the rent is great….fantastic home cooked meals

  • bsmfan

    And, CHB managed to get the attention of the Internet “bloggers”:

    http://www.awfulannouncing.com/2012-articles/october/dan-shaughnessy-blames-the-internet-and-bloggers-for-human-cruelty.html

    “What Dan Shaughnessy has done here is create a hierarchy of people who
    scare old guard sportswriters that depend on vague generalities,
    stereotypes, and blanket statements as crutches.”

  • FreddyK

    Shaughnessy , another drunk irishman