Tuesday, September 23, 2008

You Can't Bypass the Filter

Yellow card on Vinny

I am a little behind this story and I need to offer my two cents on this. Matt Terl led me to Pro Football Talk and then a bunch of other links and here is what I think of Redskins shadow general manager Vinny Cerrato and Washington Post's uber reporter Jason La Canfora: knock it off Vinny.

Vinny found out Jason called the league about comments Vinny had made last Friday on his first day on the job at his brand new radio show on ESPN 980. Vinny was talking about Raiders coach Lane Kiffin and his job security and something about Syracuse University. Looks like I am going to be just a few weeks short of my prediction on this one.

At this point it seems fair to disclose that I do not listen to ESPN 980, I listen to Sirius NFL Radio, I judged the story of Vinny Cerrato getting a regular slot on the radio as meh, so what. Many seem to feel the other way, that this is a distraction from his duties as shadow GM. Trust me, the guy can do it, I don't understand what the big deal is.

The rub here is that somehow Jason has been ascribed a motive to try to stir something up and get Vinny and the team in trouble. That is complete bullshit. If this is about some phrasing of some question to some NFL official, my god people he is a journalist. He asked the question that was designed to get a response. And the answer from the league was no, end of story.

Someone from the league called Vinny, no surprise there, and told him about it.

If as PFT wrote, Jason was trying to strike a nerve then it worked. And I don't see the problem with that. If Vinny thinks he can run a team and have a media presence, tread on turf of the local independent coverage then he should expect this. And he did, coming out against Jason on the radio show on Monday for not showing Vinny the deference he deserves. The play appears to have worked with the base as the majority of the comments on the two team owned properties and the big one are about wanting Jason to be fired.

See Vinny wants Jason to quote be professional unquote like the other journalists that cover the team. What that really means is take the reality we give you and like it. Dan Snyder is sitting atop a media operation that now runs from the players on the field all the way to radio and TV properties. The whole organization thinks it can ignore the traditional media and in so doing appears to be drinking its own kool aid. Larry Michael, shut the fuck up.

It is presumed by Redskins fans that these two guys do not like each other. It does not matter, neither of them is going anywhere. They are top dogs.

Vinny now will be held accountable for everything he says. Dan Snyder stopped doing interviews and the team has not been open over most of the past six or so years and now that Dan has this media outlet he thinks he can control the message. He cannot. See also Spence at DC Pro Sports Report and Chris Mottram and Mr. Irrelevant and Bucktown Skins Fan (nice to see you back by the way).

Jason responded with pretty serious words, much more serious than the word tampering, slander. Jason might have been a little hot when he wrote this email, the WaPo so far has stood up for him. By responding he took the team's bait and allowed himself to become the story, including sending terse and unprofessional emails to randoms. He needs to get back to reporting which he already appears to have done.

Wednesday Update: Mark Newgent at Redskins Examiner agrees.

Yellow card from here.