clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Bill Conlin Is a Fine, Upstanding Human Being

New, comments

And by "fine, upstanding human being," what I really mean is "galactic-level jackass."

Now, who is Bill Conlin, you might ask?  Well, Conlin. . .and you'll notice that I don't call him Mr. Conlin, as that would denote that he's worthy of respect of some kind. . .is a writer for the Philadelphia Daily News, and he's been covering professional sports in Philly since just after the surface of the earth cooled.  Why do I bring him up here, on a Vikings site?  Well, because Conlin decided that he'd offend the entire blogging community and anyone with a lick of common sense in a conversation with a Philly blogger.

Here's the scenario:  A blogger by the name of Bill B., who runs Crash Burn Alley, a Philadelphia Phillies blog, wrote Conlin an e-mail critical of an article that Conlin had written in support of Phillies' shortstop Jimmy Rollins winning the National League Most Valuable Player Award this week.  You can read the entire exchange right here.

The douchebaggery hits its peak at the very end, when Conlin said the following:

The only positive thing I can think of about Hitler's time on earth-I'm sure he would have eliminated all bloggers. In Colonial times, bloggers were called "Pamphleteers." They hung on street corners handing them out to passersby. Now, they hang out on electronic street corners, hoping somebody mouses on to their pretentious sites. Different medium, same MO. Shakespeare accidentally summed up the genre best with these words from a MacBeth soliloquy: ". . .a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. . ."

Now, a few things that need to be said here.

I first need to point out that Conlin has actually stumbled over a couple of Internet maxims, and likely doesn't even realize it.  The first thing he does is prove the accuracy of Godwin's Law, which states that "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."  (Thanks to the good folks over at The Dunciad for that little tidbit.)  Conlin didn't just cross the line here. . .what he did to the line was akin to Pete Rose and Ray Fosse in the '73 All-Star Game.

This leads into other is slightly lesser known, and is known as the "Hitler Clause."  The Hitler Clause states that when Hitler is brought into a discussion, debate pretty much ceases.  It appears as though that's what's happened here.

Second of all, I know that Bill Conlin used to be a regular on the ESPN program "The Sports Reporters."  He still might be, I don't know. . .I haven't watched The Sports Reporters since I was about 12.  But if you can find me a greater confluence of "idiot," "sound," and "fury" in one place than that show, please feel free to leave it in the comments section.  I know I sure as heck can't think of any.

Lastly, I don't see where having a blog is any more pretentious than having a newspaper column.  Sure, we don't have the scope or the readership that a major metropolitan newspaper does, but you know something?  There are a lot of bloggers that know every bit as much about what they blog about than some of the "experts" like Conlin and the rest.  Thinking they don't just because they, by and large, don't get paid to cover their teams like a "real journalist," would certainly be a great deal more pretentious than somebody like me or Bill B. or any of the fine SBNation writers with their own sites.

Conlin would be well served to take a good look around him.  Everywhere you look in pretty much every metropolitan market, newspaper circulation is dropping like a rock and more and more people are getting their news from this vast Interweb of ours.  More and more people will start getting their insights on the team from the numerous different blogs that are out there.  For crying out loud, the online site for the paper Conlin writes for has an ENTIRE BLOG SECTION!  News, sports, culture, politics. . .it's all there!  Does Conlin find these folks pretentious, too?  Probably not, what with their working for a "real newspaper" and everything.

But blogging is certainly no more pretentious than. . .say. . .being miffed that Hitler somehow managed to not do away with an entire group of people just because you don't like them or something.  Seriously, it's not.

If anyone would like to register their disgust with the folks in charge at the Philadelphia Daily News, here are some folks it might behoove you to get in contact with:

News
City Editor Gar Joseph
josephg@phillynews.com

Assistant City Editor Barbara Laker
lakerb@phillynews.com

Opinion
Sandra Shea
sshea@phillynews.com

Sports
Pat McLoone
mcloonp@phillynews.com

That's all for tonight, folks. . .have a pleasant Friday evening!