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Bill Conlin Really, Really Hates Bloggers

If you're not interested in an angry rant about something that has nothing to do with the Falcons or football, I won't be offended if you just skip past this. If you want to see why I'm up in arms, keep going. We'll return to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.

If you're not a Phillies fan or a Pennsylvania resident, you may be blisfully unaware of Bill Conlin's existence. Being neither of those things, I too didn't know much about him. After I read this happy little post, I wished I never had. If you don't want to read the entire back and forth, here's what Conlin allegedly ended on:

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. . ."

That Conlin himself is clearly being pretentious is beside the point. As is the weird and archaic comparison to pamphleteers and MacBeth. As is the fact that a professional journalist should not be responding to e-mails like a complete jerk. No, I think all of you probably saw the real issue in the first sentence.

He said the good thing about Hitler was that he would've killed all bloggers.

This is one of the most insensitive and downright awful things I've ever seen from a sportswriter, a group not necessarily known for their tact. It's such a terrible "joke" that I would be tempted to laugh if I wasn't so angry about it. Seriously, the dude's implying that killing all bloggers would be pretty sweet...and managing to draw a genocide against millions of people into it for no good reason.

What the hell did a blogger ever do to you, Bill? What's wrong with people carving our their own little niches in the world to put their opinions out there? Seems to me that's what you're doing, except that you get paid and write incredibly offensive things when asked simple questions. Substitute any other word for bloggers and I guarantee people would be knocking the door down to have this clown fired. As it is, odds are pretty good he'll get off with a short suspension from writing, an insincere apology and the peoples' tendencies to forget.

Understand, I'm not advocating a guy get fired for one thing, especially what amounts to one of the worst jokes of all time. I am saying that his bosses have to look into this and decide on a punishment, hopefully one that makes Bill Conlin think twice about talking about wiping a group of people who have literally never done anything to him off the face of the planet.

For my part, I invite you to follow through on your bitterness by having nothing to do with the world of blogging. If you don't like us, Bill Conlin, please don't read us or open your mouth about us ever again. You might also want to avoid Hitler references in the future, as those don't tend to win you any friends from the millions upon millions of sensible human beings who are going to be repulsed when they read what you wrote. It just ends up making everyone involved feel a little dirty.

For my part, I intend to forget you very quickly.

Update [2007-11-24 10:49:28 by Dave the Falconer]: I want to note that I don't think Conlin is anti-Semitic because of this. I also happen to think Coughlin/Saban are idiots for bringing historic tragedies in a simple debate about sports. It demonstrates a lack of awareness of the world that I think is more alarming than anything else. As already noted, I don't think Conlin should get canned for this. Ideally, he'd take a second to consider why he dislikes bloggers so much and change that view. That would be better to me than an apology or punishment for him.

If anyone's curious, CrashBurnAlley's posting of the e-mails was within his legal rights. Was it unethical or at least uncool? Depends on how you tackle it. I will assure you guys that whatever my feelings on Conlin, my policy is to not publish e-mails unless I get permission/ am asked to.