Friday, August 18, 2006

Who are the biggest hacks in the Detroit media?

As the Tigers look to have righted the ship, and there isn't all that much to say about the Lions till after tonight's preseason exhibition game, I figure I'll continue to rail at the windmills that are the Detroit media. This week has turned into one long bitch-fest about the local media slappys, so what's one more rant?

What's the first thing that comes to mind when talking about the Detroit MSM?

From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary...
Function: adjective
1 : working for hire especially with mediocre professional standards (a hack journalist)
2 : performed by, suited to, or characteristic of a hack (hack writing)

All that was missing from the entry was a picture of Rob Parker.

If you've read TWFE for any length of time at all, you know the disdain I hold for the MSM at large. What follows are in my opinion, the biggest and most notable broadcast and print hacks, in no paticular order (Save for #1), currently working in the Detroit MSM.

Rob Parker: Long considered Joe Dumars lap dog, as in his mind Joe D can do no wrong. On the flip side, thinks Dave Dombrowski can do no right, despite massive evidence to the contrary. Fond of twisting the facts to suit his needs. Stats or factual events won't back up his POV? Then either ignore them, or use small sample sizes, problem solved. His columns do nothing more than point out the painfully obvious, or are just plain painful. Parker's "Clubhouse Confidential" is often nothing more than a pure slanderous rumor mongering exercise of misstating facts, most pointedly in his mistaken claim that Tom Izzo was keeping Detroit Mercy's Brandon Cotton from getting another year of NCAA eligibility. How this hack has infiltrated TV, radio, and print so ubiquitously is hard to fathom, as I don't know of anyone who takes his opinions seriously.

Bernie Smilovitz: How has this clown and his one trick pony schtick lasted 20+ years in this city? All he brings is the schtick, as he sure isn't a reporter anymore. (If he ever was one) Better suited to hosting "America's Funniest Home Videos" than a 4 minute sports segement (More like 2 minutes of sports and 2 minutes of "Comedy"), as evidenced by his lamest of the lame "Video Arcade" and "Weekend at Bernie's" features. Smilovitz's WDIV segments are boring at best, cringe inducing at worst, and always awful. He's a walking cliche' who's comparable to the annoyingly crazy uncle whom you tolerate during the holidays, and ignore the rest of the year.

Mike Valenti: Also brings the schtick, as in the sports talk radio staple that is the "I'm from New Yawk and I'm a tough guy hot head" stchick. A contrarian for sake of being contrarian, he often takes the opposing POV to the level headed Terry Foster in an attempt to stir emotions. Fond of shouting down callers that have an opposing viewpoint or bring "Facts" to the table. Confuses "Attitude" and volume for sports knowledge.

Mitch Albom: Once was an entertaining and influential sports columnist. Now? A legend in his own mind who thinks he's become bigger than the events he covers. Wrting about sports wasn't an important enough calling, so decided to expand his horizons with a boring general interest radio show, and write trite Sunday opinion pieces instead. When he does deign to write about sports, he can become either overly saccirine in going for heartstring tug or falls back on his boilerplate column format of repeating words or questions. Ignored, or didn't bother to delve into, the Michgan basketball mess. An utterly amazing achievement, due to the fact his book, "Fab Five,"was written during the height of the U of M basketball scandal. Instead, the book was a big sloppy wet French kiss to a era that Michigan fans would rather forget. Had been rumored for years to either manufacture quotes or use them without attribution, and was finally busted due to a NCAA Final Four column that would have required him to be a time traveller to be factual. What normally would have been a fireable offense in almost all cases, but since it was the bigger than the Free Press Little Fella, he got off with a mere handslap. Albom would go on this list alone alone for writing the sappiest cash grab ever with "The 5 People You Meet in Heaven." The Worldwide Leader still considers him the voice of blue collar Detroit, when he's as Hollywood as they come.

Bob Wojonowski, sports talk radio version: Has taken the fat jolly dumb guy schtick to new heights. What was once funny has become stale and predictable. Something happen the night before? You can be guaranteed to hear "Panic (in nane the city or team) town!" That's one of many running jokes and bits that he's overly fond of running deeply into the ground. Capable of giving honest, informed, and funny opinions, as evidenced by his Detroit News columns, but that would interfere with his "Dumb guy" radio persona. When he does step out of that character, his show becomes much better. Unfortunately, it only happens a few times a show, then he falls back to the unoriginal and stale.

Art Regner: Only cares abouts Red Wings hockey and Michigan Wolverine football, and is woefully uninformed in everything else. Regner's full of rightous indignation "Rants" about Lions football were once, like Wojo's persona, fresh and funny. But continually trotting them out like a dancing monkey for the past decade now has caused them become to become nothing more than overtly bombastic, forced, and old hat performance art. Nothing more than a fluffer for the Red Wings, much in the way Rob Parker is a fluffer for the Pistons. Thinks Ken Holland and Lloyd Carr can do no wrong, and expect to get cut off if you dare criticize them.

Pat Caputo, when talking about anything other than baseball: Give Caputo his due when talking baseball, he's more informed than the self designated baseball "Expert" Rob Parker could ever hope to be. Unfortuntely, his newspaper and radio jobs require him to opine on all sports. So to get a point across on the radio, HE TALKS LIKE THIS ALL THE TIME IN AN ATTEMPT TO MAKE HIS OPINION MORE SUBTANTIAL AND VALID. Constantly uses the fall back position that he was a beat writer for the Tigers and Lions when someone challenges what he has to say.

Drew Sharp: The designated hit man in the Detroit MSM. Need something negative? Sharp is your go-to guy. Nothing is good. Everything is awful. Hope? There is no hope. No gray areas, everything is in black and white. If something positive is happening, he'll do his best to find the negative, or only give a backhanded compliment. His comfort zone is the Big 10, as in his mind, it is the worst ever and most overrated football and basketball confrence in the history of mankind. Unfortunately, Sharp feels the need to say so at every opportunity, every week of the season. We get it, Drew. You don't like the Big 10, never have, never will. So move on already, or cover the God damn SEC for chrissakes.


  1. This is my first trip through your blog, and this sounds exactly like something I'd write!

    I will admit that I call Stoney and Wojo from time to time, but they tend to be a lot less abrasive when you're a female, even less so when you are a female who makes wiener jokes.

    I'm sure I'll be back!

  2. Wojo's columns are usually solid, but he's a clown on the air so I can't argue with your diatribe except to say that Parker is likely functionally retarded, so I'm not sure you can "blame" him for sucking so bad.

  3. Big Al, you need to post one of these, complete with the names you listed:

  4. Hey, you listen here, my friend! You don't start off talking like that about me, and lumping me with those guys, okay? And I'm not even talking about the fact that you listed six other people before me, okay? Did any of those guys play football and baseball in high school? NO, I PLAYED THE GAME, BIG AL - OKAY? THERE IS NOTHING HACK ABOUT ME! NOTHING! YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT WHEN YOU SAY I TALK LOUDER TO MAKE MY POINT, MY FRIEND. I DON'T NEED TO DO THAT STUFF. THAT'S AN ASININE ACCUSATION. I'VE COVERED THE TIGERS FOR 63 YEARS, AND WHEN I WASN'T DOING THAT, I WAS COVERING THE LIONS, OKAY? Plus, you sold me short, okay? I have a blog, too, which you can find every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at And you can see me every three weeks with my compadre at 1270 XYT The Sports Station, Terry Foster, on Fox2 SportsWorks with Dan Miller, who happens to be the voice of the Detroit Lions. You know what? Those slights hurt my feelings, okay? I hope that makes you feel better about yourself, Big Al.

  5. And does anyone else long for the chance to see how long Drew Sharp's schtick would last if he was writing his "typical" college football column for a paper in the South? (ripping Philip Fulmer in the Tennessean, for example).

    I predict about 2 days before a pitchfork-wielding mob shows up to escort his ass out of town.

  6. You are right about Caputo and Valente.

    Most of time very hypocritcal and they cant stand others points of view., yet the listners make them who they are.

    No appriecation of other valid viepoints and they have attitudes at times which is wrong to do.

    Caputo bans people if they call more then once a day.
    Valente bans people from a website he promotes to people and ask for more people to join.

    They are power personalities instead of true lets talk sports people.


  7. Pat caputo sucks in hoops!

  8. Pat Caputo once got his azz beat at the Birmingham YMCA playing hoops for shooting to much and missing all his shots, and then arguing with players on court.

    A guy named the REV knocked him down and they fought, and the REV got the best of him.

    Caputo wines and is a crybaby.

    Hey everybody has the right to blog, I am glad mr. rough and tough Caputo cant ban me or screen me in the blog site....this is America BABY YEAH!

    Caputo is a lard butt who should respect others and learn to have healthy debates and discussions not hang up on people because he doesnt like their point of view!


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