What a dick.
…. “I understand with newspapers struggling and hoping to hold on to, or possibly expand their audiences, I understand why they do what they do,” Costas said. “But it’s one thing if somebody just sets up a blog from their mother’s basement in Albuquerque and they are who they are, and they’re a pathetic get-a-life loser, but now that pathetic get-a-life loser can piggyback onto someone who actually has some level of professional accountability and they can be comment No. 17 on Dan Le Batard’s column or Bernie Miklasz’ column in St. Louis. That, in most cases, grants a forum to somebody who has no particular insight or responsibility. Most of it is a combination of ignorance or invective.”
What bothers Costas—and he’s not alone—is Internet and talk radio commentary that “confuses simple mean-spiritedness and stupidity with edginess. Just because I can call someone a name doesn’t mean I’m insightful or tough and edgy. It means I’m an idiot. It’s just a high-tech place for idiots to do what they used to do on bar stools or in school yards, if they were school yard bullies, or on men’s room walls in gas stations. That doesn’t mean that anyone with half a brain should respect it.”
Yeah, we should respect assholes like Costas, who spends all of his time inflaming sports controversies, and none of it informing the debate. Really, Bob, go fuck yourself.
Hat tip to my Muse.
UPDATE: Costas ‘splains himself to Will over at Deadspin:
So, feel free to clarify.
I don’t have any problem at all with the mainstream media being challenged or supplemented by new media. No entity has a monopoly over good writing from a valid point of view. In that sense, the more the merrier. In fact, many bloggers, on numerous subjects, sports included, are talented, humorous and bring fresh perspectives.
My commentary was aimed solely at a portion of Internet sports discourse, an unfortunately large portion, that consists of nothing more than potshots, ad hominem arguments, ignorance and invective. No one who is familiar with the general tone of public discourse, whether it be sports, politics, whatever, can honestly deny that much. It comes from that direction.
I was absolutely not saying that most or all bloggers were losers. It just seems so often that commenters use insults in the place of arguments. Is there a lot out there that’s also well-written? Or course. But forgive me for not placing the exact same value on an comment on a political blog that I would to something said by Ted Koppel. Sure, they have the equal value in a voting booth. But you have to assume that if you’ve done something reasonable well for an extended period of time, you have some notion of what you’re talking about.
So you don’t think anyone who writes a blog or comments online is a “get-a-life loser?”
Some have inferred that I have this elitist view, and that I think only people who have been somehow “certified” have the right to comment on sports. It shouldn’t be confused with somehow being superior. If you opened up anything to large numbers of participants, you’d find some real gems in there. But you’d have a lot of muck to sift through.
So, fine. I take it back. You don’t need to go fuck yourself.
That said, I just watched Costas on Bill Maher’s show, talking about Clemens and Bonds. First off, he completely mischaracterizes the difference between the two situations, stating that there is a mountain of evidence against Bonds and only a he-said, she-said play going on between Clemens and McNamee. This was from a couple of weeks ago, but even so, he was wrong from the get-go.
So, where is Costas’ notion of what he’s talking about? Perhaps the number one baseball coverage guy in the entire world, and he can’t find the time to learn the facts about what he’s gonna spout off about on HBO? But, he’s got the gall to run on about how people like me aren’t worth reading because we haven’t been on TV?
Here’s something even an idiot like me knows:
Good writing is good writing. Being informed, and writing well go hand in hand. Anyone can add to the dialogue if the take the time to KNOW what they are talking about. I’d love to go head to head with Costas on steroids and baseball in any format. He’s smart, no doubt. But he’s toeing the party line, and he should be above that.