I always liked William Houston's Truth and Rumours in the Globe and Mail. He mainly covered the sports media, which I've naturally been interested in forever. William Houston wrote that column for 19 years until he accepted a buy out and left the Globe in February 2009, and has since taken up blogging at Truth & Rumours.
He wrote a blog entry the other day that has the blogosphere atwitter. He called out a whole bunch of media people, then completely edited the entry and deleted the 160+ comments left by fans convinced he's lost it.
I found a Google Cache of the original entry, but it only has a few comments preserved. You can see that entry in this screen cap I've kept for posterity. Aww heck, here's a good ol' paste job to save you the click.
Gone fishing? Not yet, but it’s tempting
Why the absence? Well, I was away for awhile and frankly it’s been difficult to get motivated post-Olympics. Distractions include good weather and a Chestnut canoe, refurbished and re-canvassed, that has more appeal right now than the computer screen.
I launched Truth & Rumours in mid-October 2009 with a column ripping the Toronto media, particularly the Toronto Star, for shamelessly sucking up to Maple Leaf general manager Brian Burke, while ignoring, for the most part, his moronic deal with the Boston Bruins that sent two first round draft choices, plus a second, to the Bruins for Phil Kessel. I predicted the Bruins would end up with a top three pick, perhaps first overall, in the 2010 NHL entry draft.
So, it’s fitting, after a long absence, that I return one day after the NHL lottery awarded Boston the second selection in the June draft.
After I criticized the trade, calling it reckless and irresponsible, the Star’s Damien Cox rushed to Burke’s defense. It will take years to settle this debate. The key comparison next season will be Kessel, who says he will return in better shape, versus Tyler Seguin, a centre whom the Bruins will likely take with the Leaf pick.
I liked Burke’s acquisition of Dion Phaneuf for which he sent the Calgary Flames a bunch of nobodies. Still, shouldn’t the Leaf front office be wondering about guy who looked great in his first game, but never came close to achieving that level of play for the remainder of the season? But never mind, Phaneuf’s record will be good enough for the Leaf brain trust to appoint him captain.
Among the relative newcomers to the hockey media, I enjoyed the work of Doug MacLean on Fan590 and Rogers Sportsnet. On the flip side, I continue to be unimpressed by Sportsnet’s Darin Millard, who’s been around since the launch of the channel and is easily the most irritating and unlikable personality in hockey broadcasting.
The biggest joke of 2009-10, unfortunately, was the spectacle of James Mirtle attempting to function as a Globe and Mail hockey writer. A statistics wonk with limited journalistic skills, poor James struggled, to say the least. Consider his gruesome effort on April 12, in which he “reports” on Leaf coach Ron Wilson’s assessment of the season.
Mirtle wanted us to know that some ex-Leafs felt the players in the room had given up playing for Wilson.
He wrote, “And while at least one of those traded has quietly told friends around the league that the Leafs coach had ‘lost the room,’ it’s now crystal clear Burke came down on the side of Wilson, shuttling out nearly 40 per cent of his roster in a span of five weeks in a bid to clear out the malcontents.”
Okay, so who’s the player quietly telling “friends around the league” that Wilson lost the room? Either James didn’t know, or he didn’t have the guts to report his name. It was just cheap gossip and a cowardly bit of work. And didn’t you love his term “crystal clear”? My god, that hackneyed piece of twaddle was worn out and over-used decades ago.
Still, if reading Mirtle isn’t good for a laugh, there’s always Chris Zelkovich, the broadcast columnist for the Star. Now, Chris isn’t a funny guy, really, but in Monday’s edition of the Star he did a wonderful job of amusing his readers with his logo picture. Apparently, Chris had been watching some 3D TV, so the Star gave him 3D eye glasses to wear and the result was, well, hilarious. Imagine Alfred E. Neuman as a slap-head senior citizen wearing a goofy, toothless grin on his face and red and blue spectacles. Very amusing.
In his revised version that's currently live on his blog, Houston tones down his James Mirtle hate-on and completely removes his Chris Zelkovich digs. That's right, the Alfred E. Neuman line didn't make it through the edits.
There are three possibilities here:
- William Houston's blog has been hacked
- William Houston has lost his mind
- William Houston is a bitter man, resentful of those still gainfully employed in the MSM
Which option gets your vote?