Monday, January 25, 2010

Shirley, You Can't Be Serious?

Paul Shirley no longer writes music columns for ESPN. If you didn't hear, he made some controversial comments regarding the disaster situation in Haiti. I am not going to try and sum up what he wrote, but his entire post can be read here. Obviously, that did not go over well in Bristol (or in the rest of America for that matter), and he was let go less than 24 hours later. (And here is his reaction to all the hoopla.) I always enjoyed his writing and will miss his columns. His piece a few months back about his iTunes and his agonizing over certain songs' respective play counts was really good. Mostly because it hit too close to home. But what I can't understand is how does a seemingly smart guy like Paul Shirley not realize that this sort of act would not fly with the notoriously-PC powers-that-be at ESPN? Even a micro-celebrity like Shirley had to know he didn't stand a chance with a post as incendiary as that one (whether taken out of context or not) with the current 24-hour blog/media cycle the way it is. Did that not cross his mind once while he was putting his thoughts together? Maybe it did and he just didn't care. But what became quickly obvious is that in the grand scheme of things he was probably pretty dispensable at ESPN. He's not exactly Bill Simmons. In fact, when I was discussing this matter with friends, Scott surmised that the meeting at corporate headquarters went something like this:

Guy1: Paul Shirley stated that he wished Haitians would wear condoms.
Guy2: Fire him. Have you tried that new deli on 43rd Street? The stromboli is to die for.

I suspect that this is pretty accurate. And I guess it's time to update the links.


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