Friday, January 27, 2012

Plain Dealer: Punting out of trouble

FOR ANYONE wondering why the Plain Dealer's veteran Cleveland Browns writer, Tony Grossi, was yanked from the beat forevermore, Thom Fladung, the paper's managing editor, offered his explanation on a Cleveland radio show. Grossi, he said, had declared on Twitter that Browns owner Randy Lerner was a "pathetic figure" and the "most irrelevant billionaire in the world."

Grossi's remarks were intended to be private but they weren't shielded, to his later dismay. If he had used the same language describing Mitt Romney, give or take several million, he would have been spared his demotion. But pro football is very big business and despite the paper's denial that the Browns front office had called for the writer's put-down, surely Lerner had a lot to say about it through one channel or another.

It the Browns were at least competitive over the past decade or so, the editors might have been excused for telling Grossi to go to his room. Does anybody want to defend the owner's relevancy?

Oh, Fladung did concede that Grossi was indeed a "very good beat writer" but that his next assignment at the paper still hasn't been determined.

Fair warning to Grossi's successor.


Mencken said...

Private and Twitter can't be used together in the same sentence.

It's the same as saying the New York Times ran a "private headline".

Grumpy Abe said...

Not being a tweeter (twitterer?) I don't have a clue to the formal language of the system. I guess I followed the published report that said Grossi thought he was sending a DM - "a private tweet".... You could have fooled me.

mencken said...

That may be true, but relying on a mass posting technology to send a private message is naive.

I'd be much more inclined to believe Grossi is using the Direct Message excuse as cover. tony gets the first Anthony Weiner Award for 2012.