FanDuel - WFBC

August 28, 2008

An Open Letter From Roger Ebert To Jay Mariotti: Mariotti is an easy target at the best of times, but his abrupt departure from the Chicago Sun-Times, right after they paid his way to China for the Olympics, left his most distinguished now-former colleague more than a little out of joint. And no one writes a screw-you letter like Roger Ebert.

posted by chicobangs to culture at 05:11 PM - 14 comments

I only know him from the stupid talking heads show on ESPN that comes on before PTI. I didn't like him. So, now I find out he's not just obnoxious, he's also a scumbag. Well, he'll do just fine on TV, then.

posted by Adept at 05:22 PM on August 28

Go, Roger, go! That was great.

posted by Skot at 05:23 PM on August 28

Ebert is really American's 20th/21st century king of the smackdown. When the rest of us are dead, some of his letters, reviews and articles are still going to be eliciting "oh snaps" from future readers.

posted by Joey Michaels at 05:52 PM on August 28

Translation = Two Thumbs Down for Mariotti.

posted by BoKnows at 05:56 PM on August 28

While I'm not Mariotti's biggest fan, Ebert keeps tripping over his own point and contradicting himself. He insists newspapers aren't dead, then tries to buttress his point by pointing out how many blog hits he's getting. Note to Roger: the fact that people are going online and reading blogs and other news sites instead of newspapers is in large part what Mariotti's point is, and it is one of the two primary reasons newspapers are dying. (The other being the political point-of-view that most of the major newspapers take these days.)

I do agree that Mariotti bailing on the Sun-Times immediately after going to Beijing on their dime is pretty classless. But he's not completely wrong, and Roger isn't refuting Mariotti's argument as well as he thinks he is.

posted by TheQatarian at 06:30 PM on August 28

Jay Mariotti has been absolutely ripping Ozzie Guillen and the White Sox the past couple years. The worst thing is, he NEVER shows up in the clubhouse to face those he rips on a daily basis. So I say as Ebert so eloquently stated "Don't let the door hit you in the ass".

posted by wdminott at 06:55 PM on August 28

Crap. Now do I have to watch "Around the Horn" for the next few days to see how this one pans out? I think I'd rather slam my testes in a kitchen drawer a few times. Wish me luck.

posted by tahoemoj at 08:17 PM on August 28

"Around the Horn" is still on the air? Huh. Who knew.

posted by BitterOldPunk at 09:21 PM on August 28

One, the visual of tahoemoj slamming his testes in a kitchen drawer has caused me to lose my appetite. Why couldn't you slam them in your desk drawer, then I wouldn't want to go to my office?

To TheQatarian..Ebert is referring to his blog on the Chicago Sun-times site. The same advertisers that pay for the printed paper pay for the website as well,thus Roger doesn't care which version they read. Newspapers have evolved, circulation is down, websites are the future, the same corporations control them.

posted by dviking at 12:49 AM on August 29

I'm sure Mariotti is thinking about his free trip to China, something he could not afford, being a national sports writing figure. That is just silly.

posted by sfts2 at 06:29 AM on August 29

Chicago Sun-Times Editor in Chief Michael Cooke issued the following statement today regarding the resignation of sports columnist Jay Mariotti:

The Chicago Sun-Times had the best sports section in the city before Jay Mariotti came to town -- that's why he signed up with us -- and his departure does not change that.

I disagree with this statement. Mariotti's departure has to make the Sun-Times Sports section much better. Mariotti is a blowhard, a hip-shooter, and one who seems to have no trouble at all disregarding facts that do not fit his opinion. You are a far better place without him, Chicago.

posted by Howard_T at 12:30 PM on August 29

Dviking is right. While the newspaper industry is suffering a bit right now, it is still trying to come up with ways to fully utilize the web, and in the meantime is doing what it can with ads, blogs, etc. They'll evolve, adapt, and survive through this ailing period. Besides, there's just something about reading a newspaper that I don't get from reading the same content online and I suspect others feel the same. After all, you can't take your computer in the can with you, or at least you shouldn't.

posted by curlyelk at 01:24 PM on August 29

"I'm sure Mariotti is thinking about his free trip to China, something he could not afford, being a national sports writing figure. That is just silly."

shfts, I think you either overestimate how much these guys make or underestimate how much it costs to get to Beijing. Even if he's making mid 6 figures, that's probably a significant percentage of his take-home and a chunk of change he did not have to spend, thanks to his "dying" newspaper.

The main point here though is that the paper paid him for years, provided an outlet for his opinions, and helped to make him a big deal. Just a little class might be in order, but, hey, it's Jay Mariotti. He's a jerk.

posted by gradioc at 07:53 PM on August 29

Ahhh Jay Mariotti the man who came to Chicago and immediately attempted to make his name by criticizing Micheal Jordan for being selfish and not visiting the President. Jay you are a funny caricature as you make your all to frequent appearances screaming on that annoying ESPN show. I'm sure you're lobbying for the Sportsreporters show as that loud Pat Buchanana version of the bombastic idiot. As someone who keeps up with the Trib and the Times from the ATL its good to see you calling the death of the Newspaper.. nothing assures me of its longevity than that..

posted by Chicagojeff at 03:12 PM on September 03

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