Mike Missanelli, the Philly sports radio host who got all homophobic in an email fight with a listener, has been suspended by 97.5 The Fanatic. Philly Mag columnist Larry Mendte has written a defense of Missanelli under the headline, "Mike Missanelli Responds: Deadspin is Journalistically Corrupt."
After quoting Missanelli—who claims that he was "trying to be clinical" with the man he continually accused of being a "latent homosexual"—and scolding Deadspin for not reaching out to Missanelli for comment before running the story, Mendte finishes his column with this paragraph (emphasis mine):
So who deserves your condemnation more? The Internet gossip site that ignores the tenets of journalism to launch a personal attack in hopes of attention, an anonymous troll who selectively leaks emails after threatening a man and his family for years, or the man whose only real sin seems to be writing an ill-advised response and clicking the "send" button.
In August of 2008, Mendte, then a local TV newscaster, was convicted of one count of illegally accessing a protected computer after he admitted in court that he hacked into co-anchor Alycia Lane's email account and leaked her personal information to various gossip columnists. This is how Mendte explained his actions:
Mendte said his actions grew out of a feud with Lane that began after he ended what he said was a flirtatious and improper relationship with her, including long dinners and late nights out together.
Mendte accused Lane of undermining his standing at the station. Fearing his career was on the rocks, he began monitoring her e-mails.
"I felt I was in trouble. My career, my future, my family's future was in trouble. And, this is where I got into more trouble - federal trouble," he said.
Lane told a slightly different story:
Asked if "Mr. Mendte made unwanted advances to you and . . . you spurned those advances," Lane replied, "Yes."
Lane said she once lectured him when he leaned in to kiss her after dropping off a Christmas tree at her house in 2003, saying, "A kiss is cheating, Larry. You're a married man."
She said Mendte gave her a Starbucks toy, a frog dressed as a prince, "because he knew I didn't find him attractive."
"I tossed [it] out promptly because [it] creeped me out."
Larry Mendte did not immediately return a request for comment.
Mendte has responded to our request for comment:
I got your tweet after you already put the story up. I don't think I need to comment now. I'll just stay on the mat for the ten count. Thanks for asking.