Wednesday, October 21, 2009

At Gawker Media, you'll lose way more points for being scooped on a story you had in your hands.

This was the ending of a missive from Gawker Media head, Nick Denton. It went to the heads of all the blogs under the Gawker aegis. Now, if you're here for some other reason? Let me explain why this is important.

This is Steve Phillips seen with production assistant Brooke Hundley. And it seems as if he was engaging in the strange with Miss Hundley. And while the vagaries and the mishagoes of this affair have been well hewn? Here is the important fact to the tale I'm trying to tell.

The editor of Deadspin had it first. And he sat on it.

And I quote A.J. himself...
"On September 9, we received a tip. Subject: 'S. Phillips.' The contents? 'Rumor winding it's way around the hallowed halls of the WWL is that Steve Phillips is getting canned tomorrow for an offense on par with Harold Reynold's misdeed.'

After a call to ESPN public relations department asking about the 'rumor' I was told that 'I would be wrong' to print that story because it was inaccurate. Fine. I would have been. But natural follow-up question to these types of rumors, as per give-and-take protocol, is well, what's the real story then? Was there an incident with Phillips that Baseball Tonight people are concerned about? However I was summarily nothing-to-see-here-please-dispersed."
He sat on a scoop! And after his publisher specifically told him not to!
We should publish anyway, making clear what we know to be true and what remains up in the air...We can always update. We can always write a second post when we've established more of the facts.-Nick Denton
So can we figure that in the most English way possible, young Mister Daulerio got chewed out from his boss?


So, this leaves you with two schools of thought, either A.J. acted unprofessionally because he was burned by ESPN after making a cursory phone call? Or A.J. acted unprofessionally because he was only following orders.

Either way? This is what we're going to see from Deadspin. A lot more hearsay and conjecture, and a downward spiral in quality. A sports TMZ is our new leader.


UPDATE: I did e-mail AJ Daulerio and ask him for a comment. He was nice enough to respond.

"I was pissed that espn played the semantic game on that particular story and then proceeded to dick around on it today."

Read the complete text of the memo at The Awl

Hat Tip: Brian

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