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Plain Dealer made columnist apologize to Cavs owner

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Walter Burns, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. Walter Burns

    Walter Burns Member

    Cleveland Scene did a deep dive into Dan Gilbert, who probably deserves a certain amount of scrutiny:


    The breakout by Deadspin is that Bill Livingston, the Plain Dealer's sports columnist, talked about Gilbert on the radio and was told by the PD to write a letter of apology to Gilbert.

  2. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    I'd hate to see what happens if a video surfaces.
  3. RecoveringJournalist

    RecoveringJournalist Well-Known Member

    I worked at a paper where I was doing an investigative piece that ran and at 6 a.m. the AD called me up and the first words out of his mouth were, "Listen here motherfucker..."

    He then tore me a new asshole in a way that is almost impossible to describe. I've been in incidents where I thought professional athletes were going to hit me and I wasn't one tenth as shaken as I was when I got off that call, and I'd done nothing wrong. In fact, I won awards for that story that got me my next job.

    Well, after a few minutes of being screamed at, I hung up the phone.

    The Executive Editor called me in that day and said I had to apologize to the AD. I said, "You've got to be kidding me, do you know the kind of things this guy said to me?"

    He said, "I don't care, you don't hang up on him."

    So I went to his office, walked in and said, "Look, I'm sorry I hung up on you." He then laughed in my face and said, "At least you had the balls to come in and do it in person."

    So, in the future, when I would get the "Listen here motherfucker" calls, and I wasn't the only reporter to get them, I would have to sit on the phone and wait for a pause and say, "Are you done?" or "Is that it?" before I could hang up the phone.

    Fortunately, after that first call, they became a bit easier to take.

    But, it never surprises me when a newspaper makes a writer apologize for something when nothing they did was wrong.
  4. What does the EE get out of you apologizing (or not apologizing) to the AD?
  5. RecoveringJournalist

    RecoveringJournalist Well-Known Member

    The EE was a colossal pussy and a homer for the school I covered at the time.
  6. SportsGuyBCK

    SportsGuyBCK Member

    God, I hate chickenshit editors ...
  7. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    I'm not trying to be a tough guy, but I have to be honest: I would have hung up before he got to the second "r" on motherfucker.

    If that's his approach, I don't need to listen to him.
  8. Calvin Hobbes

    Calvin Hobbes Member

    I will listen to any reasonably made complaint. Start dropping f-bombs or similar verbiage on me and the conversation is over.

    I look at it like this: If I called an AD, coach or reader and started a conversation like that, I'd probably lose my job. So why do they get to talk to us that way?
  9. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member


    I've ended conversations abruptly. Call back when you can control yourself and have a conversation. Most times, they called back and apologized and we had a conversation.
  10. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Why are you picking up your phone at 6 a.m. from the AD you did the investigative piece on. You knew what was coming, most likely.
  11. Riptide

    Riptide Well-Known Member

    That's not a valid point.
    You answer the call anyway.

    You don't hide from the story you just published.
  12. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Oh, I would have talked to him/them. Just not at 6 a.m.
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