Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Recommended Reading

Holly Anderson, writing at Dr. Saturday, just demolishes Paul Finebaum's latest column rabble-rousing show prep. A sample:

He paints by the belligerent numbers so skillfully that you hardly bother to notice that ... there's nothing there. Nothing to such a degree that we honestly wonder what Finebaum's doing putting this much effort into his word count. He could write the headline, "Is Tuberville at the heart of the rumor mill?" followed by an entire column consisting solely of the words, "Probably not," and gin up precisely the same level of traffic and righteous indignation on the Alabama boards.

The more we reread this piece, the more we admire its diabolical simplicity, the craft of it. It's not only a two-page gossip column about nothing of any verifiable substance whatsoever -- it cops straightaway to its vacuousness.

Seriously, read the whole thing.

In a way, Finebaum's long descent into Jerry Springer territory is a shame. There was a time when the guy was the top sports reporter in the South, and one of the best in the country, but over the last decade and a half, he found that it's much easier (and a lot more lucrative) to just endlessly stir the pot for his parochial radio show.

If you can stand to wade through the general insanity and moronic callers (I can't), it can be fun to watch, even given that the most salient feature of Paul's show is his abject contempt for both the Auburn and Alabama fan bases... but, sadly, his success in radio has degraded his column to nothing more than show prep, and outside of one or two good pieces a year, into an excellent birdcage-liner.

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