There's an odd but serious spat brewing between MVN blogger and Yahoo! Sports basketball writer Adrian Wojnarowski over an extremely disturbing post that has now extended beyond the web pages. Amir Panchmatia, of the "Cavalier Attitude" fan blog, posted an item in late October titled "Going American History X" on Adrian Wojarnowski" which began this way:
I wish I could meet Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. You want to know what I'd do? I would bust him in the jaw, throw him to the ground, force him to put his mouth on a curb, and smash the back of his head with my foot. Yes, American History X style. And yes - I really, really would. Part of this disturbs me. Part of this depresses me because I'll probably never get the opportunity.
Eesh. Granted, this is hyperbole but, in Wojnarowski's opinion, Panchmatia went a little too far. Wojnarowski found the blogger's phone number and left a message at his house and offered to pay for a plane ticket to fly him out. In an email conversation, Worjnarowski admits he called the guy because he couldn't find his email address — but does not regret it at all:
You don't get to channel "your inner Ed Norton," —— celebrating a neo-Nazi movie and that curb stomp scene —- and think that I'm sitting that one out. I don't know what this guy's deal is, but because he wrote that he worried he'd never get a chance to live out his fantasy of going all skinhead on me, I sure did offer him up a plane ticket so he could come and give it a shot. Listen, I have no issue with a blogger writing whatever he wants about my work. He can say anything. That's part of the deal. I understand. Hey, there are times the criticism has merit. But when someone is fired up over a neo-Nazi movie and openly dreams of putting his workboot through the back of my skull, well, I'm not laughing that one off.
Good for him. Look, there are pointed criticisms from the blogosphere about newspaper writers and mainstream media members all the time that border on good taste, sometimes resulting in a spirited email conversation that ultimately makes the MSM-er look like a hypersensitive old grouch (See: Conlin, Bill). This site has done its fair share of ridiculous, over-the-top needling of them and other less-deserving individuals for the sake of entertainment and shit-stirring. But this is different — and Wojnarowski felt it warranted an extra step. Maybe it was a little childish and over-reactionary of him to call the guy on the phone, even if he could not find his email address, but we all have our limits. (Plus, he's a reporter — that's usually how they operate.) There are no set rules of engagement in this little arena because most people know when they cross the imaginary, arbitrary line. Amir Panchmatia does not. There's no word as to whether Wojnarowski will be disciplined by Yahoo! for making that phone call — he shouldn't be, in my opinion — because this is a little unprecedented. I guess we'll see. Yahoo!.com's Adrian Wojnarowski Wants to Fight Me! [MVN]