Sunday, October 19, 2003

The Trials and Tribulations of Guys Named "Gregg"

I wouldn't want to be a "Gregg" right now. Maybe a "Greg", or perhaps a "Gregory", but definitely not a "Gregg". The Buffalo papers and media are awash right now in speculations that the Bills' head coach, Gregg Williams, is either about to be fired or is deserving of being fired or should never have been hired and more. And then there's writer Gregg Easterbrook, of whom I have complained before and who is embroiled in a bit of controversy right now over something he said about Jews (earlier post of mine here), has apparently been fired from his Tuesday Morning Quarterback column for ESPN. Kevin Drum reports here and here, and you can follow his links to all manner of discussion of what Easterbrook wrote, said, apologized for, et cetera.

It's no secret that I've been coming off Easterbrook's band wagon lately, but the manner of ESPN's dismissal of his services is rather odd. That is to say, it makes no sense. They didn't just fire him; they deleted all of his columns from their archives, and actually coded their internal search engine so as to report zero hits on any search for the name "Easterbrook", regardless of whether you happen to be searching for Gregg Easterbrook or some other, unrelated Easterbrook. This isn't a mere dismissal; it's the firing-equivalent of killing the guy, bulldozing his house and then salting the earth where it once stood. Weird.

Speculation now is that Easterbrook wasn't really dismissed for writing something odd about Jews, but because by criticizing Miramax's promotion of the movie Kill Bill, he was actually criticizing his boss. (Miramax and ESPN are both owned by Disney.) Talk about your thin skins at the Disney Company, eh?

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