Bob Costas has more than 20 years of experience as a sportscaster. He's done the Olympics six times. But he's most famous on the internet for inviting wild-eyed sportswriter Buzz Bissinger on his talk show in April to rant and project bits of spittle towards absurdly civil former Deadspin editor Will Leitch. Now Costas-one of the most refined and experienced personalities in all of sports broadcasting-is forced to talk about Leitch and Bissinger in every single interview he does. It's his legacy!
The WSJ speaks to Costas about his HBO show today, and the entire first half of the article is Costas' obligatory rehash of Bissinger's tirade. I'm sure he will never tire of discussing it! And he has obviously perfected his equivocation on the issue by now:
"The truth," says Mr. Costas, "is that this issue was a powder keg waiting to explode somewhere, and ours just happened to be the match that set it off. I think Buzz realizes he did a disservice to the journalistic standards he was claiming to uphold by jumping on Will that way. At the same time, it's easy for many of those in the blogosphere to dismiss Buzz's outburst as representative of the objections the mainstream sports media has to the excesses of the Internet.
Interesting. Any further "on the one hand, on the other hand" formulaic statements of diplomacy you'd like to make, Bob?
"Put it this way: Though I would have preferred more light and less heat on the subject, I think we did a service by putting the issue out there to be discussed. And it won't be the last time that we'll be discussing it. Next time we'll be better prepared. For now, I'll leave it at this — though Buzz is a friend, those who suggest that he was expressing my views on sports blogs are wrong." His own feelings about the Internet, say Mr. Costas, echoing Alan Ladd's gunfighter in "Shane" on the subject of his weapon, is that "it's just a tool. No better or worse than the person using it."
Then he describes his next show, which sounds incredibly boring in comparison.