Battles between ESPN and WFAN are nothing new, but the latest feud features a new antagonist as Jeff Passan and Craig Carton exchange punches.
During the opening of his Wednesday afternoon show with co-host Evan Roberts, Carton said Passan is now “public enemy number one. And that’s a bad spot for him to be in – that whiny little weasel.”
On Tuesday, Passan joined ESPN New York’s The Michael Kay Show to discuss the bombshell report he co-wrote with Mina Kimes, which detailed a sexual harassment incident by Mets general manager Jared Porter.
Passan’s first order of business in the interview was to chastise 98.7 ESPN New York’s competition, and the local radio station he used to frequent, WFAN.
“There’s another radio station in New York that’s been pretty damn irresponsible today about its coverage of this. And I hate giving them any shine because they don’t deserve it, but the notion that ESPN has been sitting on this story since 2017 is the most giant load of irresponsible garbage that I’ve heard in a longtime,” Passan said to open the interview.
To clarify, ESPN did receive the information in 2017, but Passan doesn’t believe that means they were “sitting” on the story for four years.
“We have duties as journalists to protect our sources,” Passan continued. “And to look after the people that give us the stories that we get to tell. It is their story, it is not ours.”
Passan’s rant was an obvious shot at Carton and Roberts, and the way they covered ESPN’s damning report on Jared Porter. While Carton did say the timing of ESPN releasing the story was an interesting layer to the overall incident, he also defended their decision.
“ESPN does not have a responsibility to report [the story] when you want it to be reported,” Carton said during the first segment of WFAN’s afternoon show on Tuesday.
Carton also did not dispute the validity of the victim being uncomfortable with ESPN running the story at any point in recent years. But what Carton did state is that he doesn’t believe ESPN was looking to protect the journalist.
“They called her. They brought her back into her worst nightmare, having to deal with the reality of her stalker,” Carton said. “Let’s not act like they give a rat’s ass about the victim, because they don’t.”
According to Passan, he was unaware of the information ESPN held on Porter, it was a report his colleague Mina Kimes was working on and he was only briefed recently. We don’t know when Passan was clued in on the information, but we do know he was very complimentary of Porter when the Mets hired him, which would signal hypocrisy if the MLB Insider was already aware of the new general manager’s past.
If Passan did only learn of the damning information in recent weeks, why was he attached as an equal contributor to a story that Kimes had been working on since 2017? “Some may call that sexist,” Carton wrote of ESPN’s decision to make Passan the front man of a story a female reporter spent years working on.
Carton invited Passan to join WFAN’s afternoon show, he also offered to go on ESPN to discuss the MLB Insider’s claim of prioritizing the victim over the story. Passan used to frequent WFAN when he was a columnist with Yahoo Sports, but that came to an end once he joined ESPN in 2019.
Brandon Contes is a former reporter for BSM, now working for Awful Announcing. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonContes or reach him by email at Brandon.Contes@gmail.com.
Doug Gottlieb: Nobody Cares About World Cup Once USA’s Eliminated
“I’m sure people in the soccer world are still talking about the World Cup. But zero people I know in real life are talking about the World Cup today.”
The United States has been eliminated from the 2022 World Cup, and FOX Sports Radio host Doug Gottlieb believes that will return the sport back to its usual place inside the sports media landscape.
“I’m sure people in the soccer world are still talking about the World Cup,” Gottlieb said on his In The Bonus podcast Monday. “But zero people I know in real life are talking about the World Cup today.
“You can tell me how big soccer is in the world — and I’m not gonna dispute it — and you can tell me we’re doing better in the world than we’ve ever done — and I’m not gonna dispute it, it’s fine — but the fact is that as soon as that match was over we went from a couple of hours of soccer guy, or writer guy who’s really a soccer guy at heart, talking about should we change coaches, tactics, players, or whatever, and then it’s over. I don’t know who won and I don’t care.”
Gottlieb later added that soccer has been “the sport of the future” for his entire life, but added that college basketball is going on right now, and it isn’t on the national sports radar, either.
Jon Marks Working Without At Contract at WIP
WIP is currently in the midst of changes to its lineup due to the upcoming departure of legendary morning host Angelo Cataldi.
94WIP afternoon host Jon Marks has revealed he is working without a contract.
A report from CrossingBroad.com claims Marks mentioned the development on the air two weeks ago, and Marks confirmed the news when the outlet asked him for comment.
He did not, however, wish to say much more about the situation. WIP is currently in the midst of changes to its lineup due to the upcoming departure of legendary morning host Angelo Cataldi.
In late October, the station announced the current midday show of Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie would replace Cataldi in the mornings. Longtime morning co-host Al Morganti will remain with the station but will no longer be heard in mornings once DeCamara and Ritchie take over. Anchor Rhea Hughes will stay in the morning timeslot.
The station has yet to name a new midday show to replace DeCamara and Ritchie. Marks is currently teamed with former NFL linebacker Ike Reese from 2:00-6:00 PM. The two were paired together in 2017.
Boomer Esiason Wonders If Joe Buck Was Criticized Before Energetic Monday Night Football Open
“Maybe he was doing that emphatically because somebody criticized him as flat or something.”
Monday Night Football got off to an energetic start last night, with the usually reserved Joe Buck showcasing an exuberant attitude while discussing the weather and the fact that the calendar has already flipped to December. WFAN morning host Boomer Esiason wondered if there was an ulterior motive to Buck’s raucous start.
In addition to the energy exuded by the Monday Night Football announcer, Buck nearly howeld in excitement as the network showcased Tom Brady’s usual scream of “Let’s F—ing Go!”, by shouting “Yeah! Let’s go! I can’t say one of those words!”
The excitement was noticed by Boomer & Gio update anchor Jerry Recco who played the audio for the show, with Boomer Esiason wondering if Buck was proving a point to someone.
“Maybe somebody told him he was too downcast the previous broadcast,” Esiason wondered. “Maybe he was doing that emphatically because somebody criticized him as flat or something.”