Tuesday, August 26, 2008

There Certainly Will Be Some Car Doors Slamming In The Streets Of Kensington Tonight!

Sun-Times columinst Jay Mariotti resigns

By Jim Kirk | Tribune staff reporter
9:39 PM CDT, August 26, 2008

Jay Mariotti, the opinionated and polarizing sports columnist (and smart, thoughtful and assholish, except leave out the smart and thoughtful parts) for the Chicago Sun-Times, told the Chicago Tribune he resigned on Tuesday after 17 years with the paper.

Just back from Beijing where he wrote about the Summer Olympics, Mariotti said in a phone interview Tuesday night that he decided to quit after it became clear while in China (uh huh, I'm sure it was a spiritual moment for him) that sports journalism had become "entirely a Web site business. There were not many newspapers there.'' He added that most of the journalists covering the Games were "there writing for Web sites.'' (This is such BULLSHIT!  Every fuckin' newspaper in the country was there.  Jay, you lost the battle that's been brewing at the paper for the last year.  You called out your fellow sportswriters by name for being shills and hacks and found that you no longer had anyone in your corner.  Spin how you want.  Everybody knows the poop.)

Mariotti, whose public battles with fellow staffers, team owners, and rival columnists are legendary, didn't disclose any specific plans except to say he will continue doing his regular stint on ESPN's "Around the Horn.'' (Something to truly hang your hat on.  I see a Woody Paige and Jay Mariotti circus act coming to a town near you.)

He said that he "is talking with a lot of Web sites'' and added that the future of his business "sadly is not in newspapers.'' (He's spent a great portion of his column and in interviews railing against the influence of the web and blogs, talking about loss of  integrity in the field of sports journalism.  Hey, let's join 'em!)  Mariotti said that he sent a resignation letter to Cyrus Freidheim, Sun-Times Media Group Chief Executive and Sun-Times Publisher. When asked via email by the Tribune whether Mariotti had resigned, Sun-Times Editor Michael Cooke responded, "You're kidding?''

Cooke didn't reply to further requests for comment.

"They accepted it,'' Mariotti said of his resignation. "It was my call entirely.'' (I smell something fishy goin' on.  I think there's going to be more to the story and I bet it involves a threatened mutiny headed by Telander.)

In a city with a strong sports journalism tradition, Mariotti is thought of as one of its premier columnists. With a style that relied on being contrarian no matter the topic, readers turned to him as much to disagree with what he had to say than agree. He added to his reputation with the scrapes he got in with the subjects he covered.  (He did have a pretty consistent string on being wrong and spiteful.)

The highly-paid Mariotti quits after just signing a three-year contract extension in June. At that time, Cooke said that Mariotti was a "focal point'' of the Sun-Times sports section, praising his "pull no punches'' approach.  (He's like sports fans from Philadelphia.  "Look at me!  I'm rude!")

Commenting on his 17 years at the paper, Mariotti said he loved every minute of it. But he said that with the troubled times newspapers face, it was time to consider a new future. (Did these troubles just come to the newspaper field in the last three months?  Seems like the ink's barely dry on that three-year contract he signed in June.)

"I'm a competitor and I get the sense this marketplace doesn't compete,'' he said. "Everyone is hanging on for dear life at both papers. I think probably the days of high stakes competition in Chicago are over. (These next two weeks are going to be AWESOME!  All the sordid shit on Mariotti is going to come out.  Boy, all the real dipshits in Chicago sports talk are droppin' like flies lately.  )

"To see what's happened in this business...I don't want to go down with it.'' (Keep pushin' that line, Jay.  Keep pushin' it.  It's what assholes say when they've backed themselves into a corner and have no more cards to play.  Just go to Foxsports.com and, after a couple years, fade into oblivion.)

For Jay's interview with John Calloway on June 16 of this year, click here.  Watch him push this shit and watch how disingenuous it all is.  Best of all, watch how much he defends the newspaper business, in particular the Sun-Times, in the first five minutes!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Jay has become the Ghost of Business Future! Wow. What foresight.

I can't think of a bigger dickwad in the world of sports journalism, can you?

There is SO much more to this story and it's so goddammed transparent, it's actually funny.


Christo P. Ney said...

I really think he's 100% effectively managing his image. As if this bullshit's going to stick to the wall.

It's akin to watching a habitual liar trying yet again to weasel out of an embarrassing episode. It's sadly funny.