Ever have one of those times when you can’t tell if you’re in the minority or the majority? This is one of them for me.
Deadspin’s story (and I use that word in the same sense as fish stories and children’s books) about New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez having somewhat casual sex with a 17-year-old girl during “a big storm” isn’t actually a “story” (in the newspaper sense of the word). There’s no news here. Just tee-heeing about the Jets quarterback getting some booty from a girl he met on New Year’s Eve and a narrative about how she backed out (and even didn’t want them using a particular picture of her) and Daulerio said screw it and did it anyway. Spitefully, even.
There is nothing in this story about Sanchez that doesn’t make Daulerio and Deadspin look like smarmy, condescending dicks.
To wit: there was no crime committed, Mark Sanchez isn’t married or in a relationship and neither is the girl, the only drama happens when she backs out, and the girl only emailed Deadspin in the first place because she thought they were already writing a story about her.
Deadspin created this story. They caused all the drama and then hyped it for three days and expected everyone else to genuflect at their “scoop.” Where have you gone, Will Leitch?
Maybe this is just performance art. Deadspin being “meta” and having some fun with all the people who think Daulerio sucks because of that whole bathroom sex video scandal. There’s no way they would do something this brazenly pointless without some sort of ulterior motive, right? Right? RIGHT? Crap.
I don’t know what other people’s reaction to this is going to be, but the increasing frequency with which Deadspin does these things is making everyone else look bad. They’re practically making Buzz Bissinger’s point for him now. Sports blogs finally got a toe hold in mainstream culture and respect from all over and instead Deadspin starts breaking non-news and telling people “This is a story. It’s going to run.”
Wait, I have to get into that short quote from above. Those are a part of a final email Daulerio sent to the girl in question. Here’s the whole thing:
And, no, we won’t use your name. But this is a story, and this is a bigger problem than you think it is. The bottom line is, you talked to me, you talked to me on the record. You then went back on that. Then you went back on again but told me to say a “friend betrayed you”. If you want to go through the entire process of where the legal lines are here, I’d be more than happy to go over them with you. But the reality is, this is a story.
Like I said, we don’t have to use your name. But this story is going to run. I’d like more cooperation from you but it’s not going to change the fact that this story is in the process of being done.
I’m not trying to ruin your life, I’m trying to do my job. If you’d been a little more upfront with me from the get-go, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Instead, we’ve had several which were ones that I told you I was going to use for this story.
Just think about it. I’ll let you know where we are on Monday, but this is running on Tuesday.
Notice how he fundamentally blames her for this story breaking? Um, A.J., 17-year-old girls change their minds. A lot. Maybe she realized this whole deal isn’t what she wanted, especially since she was duped into contacting Deadspin anyway. But you said you’d “like more cooperation” and that if she’d been “a little more up front with [you],” there wouldn’t be any issues.
How scum-baggy a way is that to treat anyone? Thank you for giving us a non-story that we’re running with anyway, high school girl. But since you didn’t give us exactly what would have made our jobs super easy, we’re going to do everything you asked us not to do.
And the sheer ego of making themselves the central part of the narrative…my God.
Look, Deadspin has experienced huge growth since A.J. Daulerio took over and began changing the overall tone of the site that inspired so many others. Maybe this is when Deadspin finally jumped the shark, and everyone just moved on because it got lame. Your move, Daulerio.