The Big Lead, Schrutebag And The Feisty New Ombudsman

Say what you will about ESPN executive editor John Walsh, but he definitely made a fascinating choice hiring Le Anne Schreiber as the Leader's new ombudsman. Schreiber weighed in on the whole Schrutebag-Big Lead issue over the weekend, and she pulled no punches.

Some of the politer terms my correspondents used to describe [Schrutebag]'s behavior were immature, irresponsible, arrogant, malicious, destructive and dumb. I agree. The official response from ESPN's communication department was: "Our airwaves should not be used for this purpose. We apologize." It is the kind of bland public statement that does little to assuage the anger and distrust of ESPN's audience over an episode like this.

Schreiber then got ESPN Radio's senior VP to say, "Such attacks are off limits. Zero tolerance. I can't say it any stronger." So she's not messing around; we have a little bit of a crush. (For now.)

So that's the good news. The bad news? Because ESPN Radio had no official policy about this, Schrutebag will not be disciplined ... though if he does it again, there will be trouble! Meanwhile, The Big Lead is finally back online and looking for a new site host. No word on how they'll make up any revenue they lost during the attack; as much as she might be trying, Schreiber can't give this tale a happy ending.

Radio Hosts Attack Was Off Limits [ESPN]
Do It Again And The Kitten Dies [The Big Lead]
The Big Lead, Still Down. Thanks, Schrutebag. [Deadspin]

(UPDATE: The Big Lead discusses the matter further.)