With the Red Sox off last night, (playing a doubleheader today) I’m taking this opportunity to respond to some comments made by Glenn Ordway on WEEI yesterday afternoon.
It was with interest that I listened to your comments yesterday afternoon, regarding “those media websites” and the things that were stated on “them” about The Big Show and WEEI’s extended discussion of the pictures posted by Barstool Sports last week of Tom Brady’s young son.
I can only assume you were talking about this site, and my comments. I haven’t seen much on all those other “media websites” about the topic. In fact, I don’t know of many other sports “media websites” in the Boston area, period, although at least one other blog seems to agree with me.
Let me clear some things up for you. You seemed to insinuate that the criticism here of you and your station was simply because you were condemning the posting of the pictures and the commentary that went with them. If that is what you really think, I fear for your comprehension level. To the contrary, I actually agree with you that the posting of the pictures was a bad idea, and irresponsible.
What WEEI should have done, in my opinion, was condemn David Portnoy for the incident, release a statement that he would no longer be appearing on the station, and then drop the subject. Instead, WEEI went pretty much wall-to-wall with the topic, stirring things up, getting people agitated, driving more traffic to the posts of the pictures, and generally benefiting Barstool Sports with the added attention. It has even resulted in Portnoy making an appearance on the Howard Stern show. You can largely thank yourself for this. Instead of appearing on WEEI, now Portnoy got to go on the national Stern show. Well done.
Had WEEI just condemned and moved on, would this story have gotten as much attention as it did? While plenty of other media outlets did pick up on the story, there is no doubt that WEEI’s incessant banging of the drum increased the visibility of the story.
I heard you state that the extended discussion of the topic had nothing to do with ratings. That is a boldface lie. Everything done at WEEI is for ratings. Are you claiming that this was some sort of selfless public service you were performing here?
The way I see it, you knew this was going to be a slow day for the show in the ratings with the Patriots pregame show starting on 98.5 FM at 4:00 pm that afternoon. You saw this topic, and jumped aboard in hopes of drawing people in. It is a hot-button topic no doubt about it. I’ve gotten people posting comments on this site claiming that I must be a member of NAMBLA because of my post last week about your take on things. People are fired up, one way or the other about this, and you knew they would be. You couldn’t compete with 98.5 just talking about the Patriots, you needed another hot topic to discuss, and this was practically spoon-fed to you. So you jumped on it, hoping for the ratings (and attention) boost. It worked, as evidenced by this post, and the one I made last week, as well as the attention from other people talking about your discussion.
I also heard you reference comments made on Portnoy’s website, and saying that “even the stoolies” were turning against him. Again the insinuation seemed to be that you believed you were being criticized simply for condemning the actions of Barstool, and used this as an example to show how everyone thought this was a bad idea, trying to muddy the waters and further indicate that I was hammering you simply for being critical of the pictures being posted.
You are aware of course, that just because someone posts a comment on a website it doesn’t mean that they “belong” to that site? I’m guessing that a lot of people making those comments were not hard-core “stoolies,” but rather “drive-by” visitors, likely brought there after hearing you talk about the site. While some of the so-called “stoolies” no doubt did disagree with the posting of the photos, you can’t take comments from Barstool as ironclad evidence of that.
Finally, you made a comments along the lines of “these media websites have an agenda, they hate WEEI, and that’s fine, they’re welcome to go somewhere else.” That’s the type of arrogant comment that WEEI hosts could make in the past. Now? You are aware of how the ratings have been going, right? Keep pushing people away, and the ratings will continue to drop like a stone.
As far as “hating” WEEI, that’s an easy generalization to make. Anyone who is critical of the great multiple-Marconi-Award-nominated Glenn Ordway must simply be a hater, right? I’m pretty sure I must be doing a pretty good job here, because I’ve had supporters and staffers at both sports radio stations convinced that I hate their station and have an agenda against them, and are in the bag for the other station. A Tweet not too long ago accused me of being a “WEEI fanboy.” On the other hand, I get angry Tweets and creepy Facebook messages from your buddy Mikey Adams telling me to keep sucking up to Felger. (That’s the edited, family-rated version.)
The funny thing is, that growing up in NH, Glenn, you were someone I admired greatly. We didn’t get many of the Celtics telecasts on TV, so I listened to every game on the radio that you and Johnny Most did. Those are some of my fondest, and earliest sports media memories. To get to this point, where the word “hate” is being tossed around, saddens me.
My hope Glenn, is that this letter clears up any confusion you may have had over what I was actually criticising you for last week, and to ensure you that I am not supporting or defending the actions of Barstool Sports in any way, shape or form. I do believe however, that you are responsible for bringing even more attention to this matter than it deserved, and exposed those pictures to even more people than would’ve seen them had you simply condemned and moved on.
Repeat after me – condemn and move on.