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WSI News - News Watch

McGrath's Last Gaffe?

filed by George Bova

September 14 2008

We won't belabor the point of how silly it was that yesterday's Tribune sports section would reprint the entire nine-paragraph letter to the editor written by a Cubs fan when nobody else got more than four paragraphs, the most any mere fan would ever get in any "letters to the editor" section of any other Tribune sports section.   

We won't challenge the Tribune sports department's misleading headline "clearing the air about Cubs fans" that actually spends most of its space spreading untrue stereotypes about Sox Fans. 

We won't even suggest Tribune sports editor Dan McGrath is biased against the Sox.  That's just a silly and specious argument.  He's simply too incompetent to be this sort of biased.

Here's what we will challenge.

If U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama makes a point of why he is a Sox Fan, and that explanation offends certain members of Cubs fandom, it would make sense that the rebutting argument remain about Cubs fans -- not Sox Fans.  The letter McGrath chose to reprint in its entirety spent six paragraphs disparaging the Sox generally and Sox Fans specifically.  If McGrath had gotten a follow up response from Obama -- or any other Sox Fan -- this would have been fair.

But he didn't, and it wasn't fair.  To the contrary, it was just plain stupid.  Given how McGrath has stuck out his chin defending past lousy editorial decisions of his staff, it comes as no surprise at all.  Circulation continues to drop and McGrath does his level best to keep Sox Fans as uninterested in reading his sports page as possible.  That's a job for Tribune managing editor Gerould Kern to fix, and if revenues continue to decline, for owner Sam Zell to fix on behalf of Kern -- perhaps by showing Kern the door, too.  One thing is certain:  Kern, Zell and every Sox Fan already know exactly what we're going to get from Dan McGrath.

As for the substance of this Cubs fan's point about the glory of being a Cubs fan, I would only note the dope freely admits to the precise stereotype I wrote about here just one week ago:

When confronted with a rabid Cubs fan, we Sox Fans all know -- and quite-obviously Barack Obama knows it, too -- precisely where the conversation will turn:  Attendance. 

And here for your amusement is this dope's main point:

The Cubs' fan base is one of the largest and most loyal in baseball and the Sox are in the middle of the pack, apparently as frustrated as ever.

I'm guessing it's not a stereotype once the stereotype is proven true?  Barack Obama and I are both vindicated.

That's one for Dan McGrath to consider while he still has his job.

Have a thought about this
totally biased


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