Mike Missanelli Responds: Deadspin Is Journalistically Corrupt

Suspended sports-talk host says he was “trying to be clinical” with email troll.

roster-mike-missanelliThere is so much wrong with the Deadspin story “Philly Radio Host Gets All Homophobic In Email Fight With Listener,” I am not sure where to begin.

The story was leaked to them by an Internet troll who has reportedly been baiting and heckling Mike Missanelli, a radio talk show host on 97.5 the Fanatic, for years. In the Deadspin story the troll is allowed to remain anonymous. Yet before running the story, Deadspin never reached out to Missanelli to get his side of the story. I know because I did reach out to him. It was easy and he responded immediately. It is a basic tenet of journalism to attempt to get both sides of the story.

Or as Mike Missanelli puts it,“Deadspin doesn’t even know the IDENTITY of the guy and they ran it! Journalistically corrupt.” Missanelli went on to call the person who leaked the story “a lonely loser psycho, allowed to create drama in this day and age simply through social media.”


So was Missanelli being “homophobic?” He says he was not. “I was actually trying to be clinical with him and suggest that there was something fueling his obsession with me,” Missanelli responded.

True or not, it is indeed journalistically corrupt that an established site would make a hurtful and damaging charge based on the word of a sole anonymous source with no attempt at verification or reaction from the accused. “A sign of the times that is very depressing” is how Missanelli sums it up.

According to Missanelli, this Internet troll “has been harassing and threatening me and my family for the last four years. He has written some vile and crude stuff. He claims to be stalking me all the time, saying things like he is waiting in the parking lot. He has written me vile stuff about my daughter.”

Missanelli told me 97.5 The Fanatic was going to issue a statement defending him. Instead, they suspended him. Hopefully Missanelli will issue his own statement and include some of the threatening emails. Better yet, those emails should be sent to the police to investigate, although this troll is careful to hide deep in the underbelly of the Internet. Missanelli wrote, “We have attempted to find out who this guy is for years, to no avail. He constantly changes his email address and servers. He claims to be a casino computer security expert.”

As for the emails that Deadspin printed, Missanelli claims they were carefully selected to make the story more damaging. “Ironically, he didn't send to Deadspin the emails where he said to me that he WAS gay. I replied, 'That's great. I hope it's liberating for you to finally admit that.'"

Missanelli stopped all communication with him after that and believes that “not communicating with him anymore must have frustrated him and fueled this action.”

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.

Follow @LarryMendte on Twitter.

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  • Dick_Wolf

    Seriously? Um, you hit junk mail or spam and never have to deal with it again. You hit delete without opening the email and never have to deal with it again. Someone calls you a name over the internet, you ignore it. Do I need to go on?

    Attacking Deadspin does not change any part of the facts that a grown man in the public eye let his well-known temper once again harm himself. If Missanelli felt threatened, call the police.

    This “defense” is embarrassing.

    • David

      Everything you wrote deals with Deadspin’s lack of ethics how exactly?

      • Dick_Wolf

        Yea it’s not an ethics issue. Deadspin was given emails of a public figure being inappropriate. They didn’t steal the emails or fabricate them. Multiple outlets gave Missanelli the chance to comment and he chose not to. You can call it tabloid journalism or yellow journalism but it isn’t unethical. Unethical would be pretending to be some bastion of equality and then making homosexual sound like a slur.

      • Sludge86

        Everything you wrote demonstrates a lack of reading comprehension and a fundamental misunderstanding how internet comment sections work.

        • fm

          Wow… just said nothing.

  • Kevin

    Didn’t Larry Mendte hack into his co-worker’s email and feed stuff to the gossip pages? Glass houses and black kettles and all that.

    • Fritz Womack
    • Buzz

      A Crazzzzzy co-worker who was trying to get him fired, Her case against Mendte was thrown out of court because destroyed evidence and lied on the stand. In the words of Judge Tereshko, she had “no credibility.” I want Mendte to write about THAT!

      • Kevin

        Not sure how you get “thrown out of court” from “Mendte pleads guilty,” but whatever floats your boat.

        • Buzz

          The case that got thrown out was the civil case. Lane destroyed evidence because it proved all of the things Mendte said about her trying to break up his marriage (and other’s marriages) and trying to get him fired after were true.

  • Jayson Abel

    The guy was obviously trolling him, but Missanelli is a public figure who represents a company and is the leading figure of 975 The Fanatic. He cannot talk to people like that regardless of how much they harass him. If he felt threatened he should have contacted the police. And if he was so threatened why was he responding in the first place?

    For a guy who is so quick to remind everyone how smart he is and the fact that he went to law school he should have known that putting those thoughts in writing was an idiotic move.

    Also it is just ironic how for the past six months, Missanelli has called for the release of Riley Cooper for his comments, “It’s clear that Riley Cooper’s time away from the team needs to be permanent”, and following Missanelli’s own logic shouldn’t Greater Media make his time off the air permanent?

    And for you Larry Mendte to write an article as if Missanelli is all high and mighty, I turn your attention to Crossing Broad’s article where they mention “Missanelli declined a request for comment. A separate request sent to 97.5 was not immediately returned”. This is the same website that posted the Riley Cooper video that Missanelli used to call for Cooper’s dismissal. So don’t act like Missanelli wasn’t given his chance to speak his side of the story. No, he chose to wait until a blogger such as yourself would give him a favorable story.

    Lastly we wouldn’t be having this conversation if this weren’t all true. You could blast Deadspin all you want but the fact of the matter is that HE SAID IT. That’s why they suspended him. So don’t sit there and write an article saying Missanelli isn’t the bad guy.

    • David

      “he should have known that putting those thoughts in writing was an idiotic move.”
      Why? Because homosexuals are a minority and political correctness demands all minorities be shielded from anything that might be potentially even slightly offensive?
      It seems to me that intelligent people should realize how idiotic that attitude is. Missanelli wrote what he thought was appropriate in responding to a cyberstalker. He shouldn’t be condemned for that at all.

      • Dick_Wolf

        Or he could have hit delete.

      • Jayson Abel

        You obviously don’t listen to Missanelli’s show because “political correctness demands all minorities be shielded from anything that might be potentially even slightly offensive?” is almost verbatim what he says.

        When talking about if the Washington Redskins should change their name, callers to his show would say, ‘ahhh who cares its just one or two people that are offended’. And the self righteous Missanelli would say that all it takes is one person to be offended and we should have change. One!

        Don’t sit there and call me unintelligent and idiotic, because guess what, political correctness does call for the protection of minorities according the man you say shouldn’t be condemned for this. By his own logic this is offensive. Not mine, not me sitting here watching The Ides of March, it’s Missanelli’s own logic and thought.

        Listen, you can’t have a sports talk radio show and preach for months about how Riley Cooper should be cut by the Eagles, how Incognito should be punished, and that the Redskins name is offensive, and then throw around hurtful words yourself and act like nothing’s wrong and that you’re the victim.

        Missanelli is in the wrong here bud. You’re going to sit there and tell me that calling someone a “latent homosexual weird-o” is just me being too politically correct?

        • Avril111

          my Aunty Sienna recently got a year old Jaguar only from
          working off a home computer… Recommended Reading B­u­z­z­3­2­.­ℂ­o­m

      • pjcostello

        No, because insulting someone is bad for business, and makes for very poor public relations.

      • joe

        and David is a bigot too! thanks for your response there’s a country in Asia, actually several, that I’m sure would love to have you..

  • Captain Dan

    These two deserve each other. It is really not that difficult to understand:

    He sent inappropriate emails from his company email address. He is LUCKY he only got suspended and not fired on the spot. Attacking Deadspin is the equivalent of blaming the arresting officer when you get pulled over for DUI.

    • tom

      Larry Mendte the man who knows what is and isn’t ethical.

    • tom

      Don’t worry Mikey Miss your protector Larry Mendte will hack this guy and find out his true identity.

  • Gerson22

    His only sin seems to be clicking send over….and over….and over…and over….

    When Scary Larry Mendte comes to your defense, you might want to reconsider where your life is headed.

    • Dick_Wolf

      . . . or the man whose only real sin seems to be writing MONTHS AND MONTHS of ill-advised responseS and clicking the “send” button.

  • Fritz Womack

    Let me see if I have this straight…Mendte rips a guy for email shenanigans. The same Mendte who pleaded guilty in 2008 to ILLEGALLY hacking a co-worker’s email accounts and leaked private information to gossip columnists. My irony meter has broken.
    Clinical? Dr. Missanelli I presume.

    http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=6344196

    • Sludge86

      Missanelli probably helped him out getting a job or in general during that time. This is just payback. I find it hard to believe Mendte actually believes anything he writes here. I mean, I always try to see the best in people….

  • jja

    Umm….the person who wrote “you latent homosexual freak” deserves condemnation more than the website that doesn’t necessarily subscribe to a “basic tenet of journalism” that is historically contingent, not a divine order from God. Dude, have you ever read any nineteenth century journalism?

    Sometimes this sort of question is REALLY easy.

    • David

      No, actually.
      You jump to conclusions by suggesting that the man was connecting being a freak with being a homosexual.

      • fm

        He used it as an adjective, a superlative to qualify his point. That’s not a conclusion, you dope.

  • Fritz Womack

    “Ironically, he didn’t send to Deadspin the emails where he said to me that he WAS gay. I replied, ‘That’s great. I hope it’s liberating for you to finally admit that.’”
    **************************************************************************************
    I dont think this asshat knows what “ironically” means, either. It is not “ironic” that Missanelli did not deny the content or existence of the emails. Its is damning.

  • Luke

    Larry Mendte Logic:

    1. Bashes Deadspin for their lack of journalistic integrity. Introduces emailer as “Internet troll.”

    2. Bashes Deadspin for not including Mike’s side of the story. Doesn’t include the e-mailer’s side of the story here.

  • Dan P

    Will be glad to see Missanelli off the air, but he is right that Deadspin (along with gawker and jezebel and whatever other godawful additions they have made lately) has no scruples or ethics. The world would be better if we ignored them.

    • Fritz Womack

      Deadspin and many of those Gawker sites practice more real journalism than some of the lazy, tired hacks at “real” media outlets.

      • Dan P

        They also run things without checking, and behave without ethics.

        • Sludge86

          So if they behaved with “ethics,” whatever that means, we would not know that Missanelli has a burning fire in his loins for other men. Such ethics are not law, nor are they necessarily accepted universally. This isn’t the Economist or, fuck, name me another ethical, in-circulation, print magazine…

          • Dan P

            Running a bunch of emails between two people with no verification is shady, and Gawker does shady things quite frequently.

    • heisenburg

      Don’t read Gawker much, but Deadspin is a fantastic site. That Te’o story was one of the best/funniest/most bizarre stories I’ve ever read. Also, anything Drew Magary writes is the best.

  • Tony P

    Larry Mendte came to his rescue? OJ Simpson wasn’t available?

  • KilkennyKissing

    Mike was trying to be “clinical”. WTF? That’s code for “I’m crapping my pants right now, because I’m probably going to get fired”

    • pjcostello

      No — it’s code for, “I’m gonna act like I am 15 and call you ‘gay’ but I don’t want to get in trouble for the insult; instead I’ll call you ‘gay’ and pretend I’m a psychiatrist and just trying to help you.”

  • Ryan

    Isn’t Larry Mendte doing the exact thing as deadspin by not getting the other guys side? MIssanelli the righteous one is the real loser for even responding to the guy in the first place. Then to claim he was being “clinical” when he called the dude impotent with women and threatened to fight him. Guess Mike didn’t learn from his WIP days. Whole thing is pretty pathetic.

  • LookAtThisIdiot

    Reminder: Larry Mendte has no ethics whatsoever and is as much of a journalist as a rhesus monkey.

  • Loving Mystic

    Larry, I admire that you are coming to the defense of a friend, but I think your are off on this one. You can’t write that stuff on a work email account representing a company and expect NOT to be suspended.

  • Meterhead

    I don’t think Mendte was defending Missanelli as much as slamming Deadspin for not reaching out to him , for keeping the leaker anonymous and for not using all of the emails. Other than that, he seemed to let Missanelli speak for himself.

    • DontCallItAComeback

      But Deadspin DID reach out to him. He just chose not to respond.

  • Mayor_Vaughan2012

    jeez, this Missanelli guy is ridiculous. Hey, here’s a crazy thought! Ignore losers who keep emailing you. And whats with the freaking “latent homosexual” obsession? this isn’t 1975. So what if he is gay? Latent or otherwise. Is calling someone a latent homosexual in a faux “clinical” way in an email exchange, an example of an insult in Philly? WWFD? What would Francesa do? Answer that and you will understand why he’s making $5 mil per in the no. 1 media market in the country while somebody named mike misanelli is getting suspended from his gig in Philly. Thank God for Deadspin. and is it me or is Larry Mendte, a bad imitation of O’Reilly, on camera and in his personal life?

    • pjcostello

      Don’t know why the down-votes, good post.

      • Robert Tyson

        I think that the down votes come from Larry Mendte using other people’s sign ins.

  • techprcarm

    I agree with Mike’s premise here. As a person that works in the business, I can GUARANTEE you that legit media outlets do not run stories that can be even potentially damaging without 100% transparency,

    • king0fTheDemo

      Yeah a legit media outlet would never do that, like nbc editing the zimmerman 911 tapes. What media outlet is even legit anymore, all major media outlets these days seem to pump out false information.

      • Dick_Wolf

        CBS published forged documents regarding Bush’s military service.
        ESPN essentially got a coach fired for child abuse and then found out the guy was innocent.
        CNN was such a disaster with misreporting during the follow up to the Boston Marathon Bombing I can’t fit it all.
        The New York Times has had at least 3 reporters admit to basically making sh!t up.

        That’s just a start.

    • Sludge86

      Name three legit media outlet that is without sin. Hell, name me one! Cosmo doesn’t count.

  • Jackie Friend

    What Mendte did and what he is attacking are two distinctly different things. One was a personal feud that got out of hand, the other is basic journalism. Mendte has a ton of journalism awards and has every right to call out Deadspin. It is not hypocritcal, it is apples and oranges. Missanelli was dead wrong, but so was deadspin.

    • NathansExplosions

      One was a personal feud that got out of hand

      “got out of hand”… LOL!!!!!1!!!11

      Milk all over my keyboard now. Great.

  • LornaQIreland

    Congrats to Larry Mendte who won a bunch of Emmy nominations in New York this morning. He made PIX11 proud. Looks like Mendte was defending journalism more than Missanelli. BTW: Last year, Mendte (& CBS News) were exonerated by the courts of Alycia Lane’s claims (lies). It’s public record.

  • David

    This column is self-refuting. What Deadspin printed is TRUE. Mendte contacts Missanelli and gets bizarre, irrelevant, self-justifying nonsense that clouds the issue rather than clarifying it. Neither Mendte nor Missanelli present anything resembling verified information. It’s all spin that contributes nothing useful to the story. For Mendte, getting Missanelli’s side of the story is more about helping a pal deceive the public than anything resembling journalism. Fortunately for the reading public, this effort to defend M.M. is so lazy and silly that it will likely do him more harm than good.

    As for the ridiculous efforts to equate Missanelli’s misdeeds with those of his nemesis: I’ll grant that this guy may be just as obnoxious as M.M., but WHO CARES. He’s a random guy who doesn’t have a radio show. It’s obviously more important that Missanelli–a media figure–not be an unrepentant homophobe than that some random troll not be a email pest.

    There’s no defense for what he said. He obviously intended it to be an insult, which is why it’s justly regarded as homophobic.

    • SPDEditor

      Mendte is quoting Missanelli and, like it or not, it’s a good get. He got him to talk before he was shut down. As has been said, I don’t think he defended Missanelli ad much as attack Deadspin for shoddy journalism.

      • David

        Well, like it or not, the Deadspin “get” was a much better one.

  • David

    On Deadspin’s “corrupt” journalism: I think the only legitimate question about Deadspin is whether they verified that the story was true. But the accusation that they didn’t seems pulled out of thin air. In other words, I assume they DID verify that the emails were genuine. They ARE genuine, after all.

    On getting both sides of a story: this is indeed important if a story has two sides. The basic claim of this story is that M.M. wrote homophobic insults in emails. If Deadspin verified that the emails were real, then there isn’t another side to the story. He did write the offensive insults. Obviously, additional articles here and elsewhere could add context, etc., but Deadspin doesn’t have a journalistic responsibility to give Missanelli an opportunity to deny something they know to be true or to provide self-justifying contexts. In simple questions of fact, the journalistic responsibility is to the facts. The emails are the facts. If they knew the emails to be genuine, they were journalistically responsible. Everything else is supplementary commentary: potentially interesting, maybe even enlightening, but not journalistically necessary.

    • pjcostello

      Damn, very nice indeed!!! The comments here today are first-rate.

  • Sludge86

    So, if this were true. Where are the emails which the anonymous “troll” was threatening Ms family? Reading those emails, you can tell the “troll” was too smart to do anything of the sort. Can’t wait till all of you guys are irrelevant so I don’t have to hear stuff like “these are dark times, friend.”

  • DrewShervin

    Mendte is driving up the wrong lane here.

    • gpmic

      niiiiice…

  • gpmic

    Larry Mendte, the poster boy for journalism integrity.

    • Dick_Wolf

      What you don’t consider his years on Hard Copy and Access Hollywood as shining examples of journalistic integrity. :)

  • JofreyRice

    This is essentially just an ad hominem attack against Deadspin. Whatever their transgressions, they have nothing to do with Missanelli’s rant against this guy and his absurd and insulting explanation of it as a “clinical” diagnosis; does he think we’re stupid? I’m quite sure radio hosts, writers, actors, TV News Anchors get this kind of stuff all time–because Missanelli was “baited” and “heckled”, he’s allowed to use slurs? Very shaky reasoning here.

    • pjcostello

      Well said!!! My thoughts exactly. Missanelli was trying to be too clever by half in his obvious sarcasm and insults.

  • asdfa
  • Charles

    I really don’t get the personal attacks against Mendte. He screwed up. Admitted it and was punished. He didn’t lie or deny, he told the truth and was vetted by the FBI. Most of the stuff about him in the paper was absolute BS. All I know is that every time we asked Mendte to show up for a community or charity event, he was there. He was a great speaker, shook hands and was great to everyone there. He did a lot more good than bad and didn’t deserve what happened to him.

    • Maynard

      Completely agree. Thank you for saying it.

    • fm

      He deserved jail for committing a federal crime… and a divorce, but his cow of a wife, who likes to bring other woman into the relationship, didn’t have the self-confidence to strike out on her own. Why are a Mendte jock rider, any way?

  • DontCallItAComeback

    Yes. I’m sure listening to the opinion on internet trolling by LARRY MENDTE is in the best interest of everyone. In the meantime, Missanelli is still an egotistical scumbag who steals his bit from Howard Eskin and bullies everyone at the station he works at into submission. Class act.