Yesterday I was on Twitter, and I came across a tweet by Scott Sargent that linked to the following column: “Bin Laden Obit Provides Eerie Notes Worth Mentioning”.
Before I go into my defense of Scott, let me get into a little background information. A couple years ago, I was a finalist along with Scott in Fox Sports Ohio’s “Blog Sports Ohio” contest. I came in super dead last, and Scott won the thing pretty handily.
What does that have to do with anything? Nothing really, but that contest introduced me to Waiting For Next Year, the blog he started with a couple other guys. I was somewhat bitter after I was twomped in the contest. I felt that their site was pretty much paraphrasing Cleveland sports content from around the web, and their voice wasn’t “bloggy”.
I was wrong.
You really don’t realize how much goes into writing and maintaining a blog until you actually have to do it. Each of the guys at WFNY must spend close to ten hours a week keeping that thing fresh, and that’s outside of whatever they do for a living. Probably more than that. That’s incredibly difficult to do, and their work clearly shows. They write original content that often delves further into Cleveland sports than just box scores and recaps.
What I’m getting at is that WFNY has earned the right to speak their mind a bit. Scott has over 3,000 followers on Twitter, so obviously people care what he has to say, right?
Here is an excerpt from the “controversial” post.
Earlier this morning, on a connecting flight, I spent the majority of my 45 minutes absorbing the obituary which had been penned in the New York Times. While the majority of Bin Laden’s story had been well-documented to this point, I could not help but pick out certain items that not only raised an eyebrow individually, but even more so as they began to pile up.
The following are line-items quoted directly from the Times piece:
“Osama — the name means “young lion.”
“He summoned reporters to a cave in Afghanistan when he needed to get his message out, but like the most controlling of C.E.O.’s he insisted on receiving written questions in advance.”
“The world’s most threatening terrorist, he was also known to submit to frequent dressings down by his mother.”
“He created training camps for his foot soldiers, a media office to spread his word, and even “shuras,” or councils, to approve his military plans and his fatwas. [...] Bin Laden had established new training camps in Sudan, but he became a man without a country”
“Bin Laden would say in retrospect that he was always aware who his enemies were.”
“In an interview with Time magazine that December, he brushed aside President Clinton’s threats against him, and referred to himself in the third person, as if recognizing or encouraging the notion that he had become larger than life.”
When I read it, I understood what he was saying. He wasn’t comparing Osama bin Laden to LeBron James, he just read bin Laden’s obituary, and a couple of the quotes jumped out a bit at him.
That’s it and that’s all. Can somebody tell me where in that column did he say “after reading Osama bin Laden’s obituary, don’t you think he’s JUST LIKE LEBRON JAMES?!?!?”? Nope, you can’t, because he doesn’t say it.
As a matter of fact, LeBron’s name isn’t mentioned at all. By people reading the post and thinking that those quotes sound like the characteristics and personality of one LeBron James, you did the same thing he did. You guys have to remember that Scott is just a fan like the rest of us, he just happens to put his thoughts on a website for everybody to see.
I’m not writing this as a personal friend of Scott Sargent. And except for a few exchanges on Twitter, I’ve never even spoken to the dude. He just was reading about a world event, and being a Cleveland sports fan, his mind instantly made a connection. He didn’t write this piece to be called out on Deadspin, and he wasn’t pulling a Bleacher Report and writing something stupid for the sole sake of page views. He simply had a thought, and put it on WFNY.
That’s the reason the blog is so popular, right?