10.22.09

Has Steve Phillips’ Cock Written A Check ESPN Cannot Cash?

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, Sports Journalism, Sports TV at 1:12 am by

OK, I actually have no idea what the above headline really means.  One of the joys of writing a sports blog as opposed to being Neil Best, however, is that I can publish such a thing. Just because I can do something, however, is flimsy justification for doing so…at first glance, anyway.

The only thing more precarious this morning than the state of Steve Phillips’ broadcasting career might be his marriage. Hours after the New York Post revealed the alleged affair between ESPN’s Phillips and a twenty-something production assistant, Deadspin’s A.J. Daulerio claimed to have sought commentary from the WWL several weeks ago. Upon being stonewalled by a P.R. flack, Daulerio declared Wednesday open season on ESPN’s long list of persons with overactive libidos (“since the tenuous connection between rumor and fact for accuracy’s sake has been a little eroded here, well, it’s probably about time to just unload the inbox of all the sordid rumors we’ve received over the years about various ESPN employees”).

After the lowly Erik Kuselias and network V.P. Katie Lacey (who apparently, slept her way to the middle) were named and shamed, the uncredited Stupid Sports Blog had seen enough, opining, “it’s just a sad state of affairs over there for a blog that used to be one funny dick joke after another, and now it’s run by a guy who has a vendetta against ESPN because the New York Post did its job better than him.”

Basically, someone sent Deadspin an e-mail accusing someone at ESPN of having some sexual indiscretions, and Deadspin printed it. And they only printed them because Daulerio was upset with his treatment by ESPN. The timeline:

1) 2006-2009: Inbox flooded with rumors about ESPN employees’ sexcapades.
2) 2006-2009: Company policy is never delete them, never do any investigating into them, but don’t publish them, because we’re not going to do that to those people.
3) August 2009: “Hello, ESPN? Hey, it’s A.J. Is Steve Phillips getting fired for doing Harold Reynolds-esque stuff? No? Anything else? No? Kthanksbye!”
4) October 2009: Daulerio spits out his pumpkin latte when he reads the Phillips story in the New York Post. He arrives at work and decides it is now OK to print those old rumors since the one about Steve Phillips, which actually wasn’t true if you recall, since ESPN didn’t tell him about the real Steve Phillips story.

If you’re looking to ruin someone’s life, I suggest you set up a fake e-mail account and e-mail Deadspin with a tasty sex rumor about whoever you like at ESPN. Get your friends to do it too so it seems more credible. Tell them Stuart Scott tried to work a three-way with Cindy Brunson and the corpse of Tom Mees. They’ll print it and be right to do so since they didn’t get the Steve Phillips story.

SSB might have a point about whether mere e-mail tips oughta be enough to publicly embarrass the (semi) high and mighty.  But if you’re wondering why the public’s right to know includes digging into the sex lives of persons who barely register as public figures, perhaps this case is about more than smearing celebs.  SSB inadvertently made the point mentioning “Harold Reynolds-esque stuff”, much as Daulerio raised the same issue at the end of the Lacie post in questioning an apparent double standard (“so for your notes: ESPN Corporate Ladder-Fucking: Good. ESPN On-Air Talent Production Assistant-Fucking: Not Good.”).   Were Harold Reynolds’ hugging hands any more or less busy than those of Phillips, Kuselias and Lacie?  Toss in Sean Salisbury’s Phone Cam Penis Gallery, and we start to see a work environment that seems exploitative at the very least, if not downright hostile towards those unwilling to help the on-air talent get off.   Do such things occur at many other businesses?  Fucking right they do, however not every business has a stranglehold on the sports media scene, nor are many businesses as effective in shaping dialogue and pop culture as ESPN.

So yeah, if  true (and that’s a big “if”)  this stuff is very newsworthy . Reynolds and Salisbury probably found it highly interesting reading.   None of that, however, excuses the sickening treatment afforded to Phillips’ production assistant by readers of the WEEI.com website.  Seriously, what sort of twisted individual followed this story, looked at the frosted-tip, Hilfiger-wearing Phillips and said to themselves, “he could do so much better”?

4 Responses to “Has Steve Phillips’ Cock Written A Check ESPN Cannot Cash?”

  1. Rog says:

    Hmmm, good points about the double standard and the HR Case Study in how not to behave around your co-workers. I think SBS didn’t take any of that into account because he was only trying to point out what we already know about Deadspin: they’re the journalistic version of a baby who throws a tantrum when his diaper is wet. That doesn’t mean that the stories are not worth covering for the harassment angle alone, just that Deadspin still sucks at what they do.

  2. cp says:

    In the first paragraph, Deadspin quoted correspondence they received that read “”Rumor winding it’s way around the hallowed halls of the WWL….” Say what you will about Leitch, I doubt he’d have missed the chance to prove Mattoon has an AP English class by omitting the “[sic]” after their anonymous tipster wrote “it’s” for “its.”

  3. NICK says:

    Does this go on in other industries? No, not all. Remember, this company is LOADED with ex jocks. Ex jocks who were once….jocks. Remember MOST jocks in hs? Or college? Well these rocks are now all jammed into one company…in Bristol. Tag on all the EX PRO jocks that visit the campus, and the bimbos who work there dressed like a 2$ whores. (NOT dressed in what would be considered “business attire”. You have a bubbling cauldron there. Its only a matter of time someone writes a best seller about the “horns” that jump around there.

  4. GC says:

    “Does this go on in other industries?”

    Of course it does.

    I really don’t think it’s fair to say Eric Kuselias dressed like a $2 whore.

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