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Philadelphia Sportswriter Bill Conlin Invokes Hitler

Just when I thought it was a slow sports weekend, my SBN colleague Peter at the Phillies site The Good Phight called our attention to an email exchange that another Phillies blogger had with Philadelphia Daily News writer Bill Conlin on the topic of Jimmy Rollins' MVP award victory and an article Conlin had written defending his vote for Rollins.

All pretty innocent, and a legitimate topic for debate, right? Conlin, as you'll see in the link, was a curmudgeonly jerk to Bill from crashburn alley, and then ended the exchange with this stunning verbiage:

The only positive thing I can think of about Hitler's time on earth-I'm sure he would have eliminated all bloggers. In Colonial times, bloggers were called "Pamphleteers." They hung on street corners handing them out to passersby. Now, they hang out on electronic street corners, hoping somebody mouses on to their pretentious sites. Different medium, same MO. Shakespeare accidentally summed up the genre best with these words from a MacBeth soliloquy: ". . .a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. . ."

Oh, man. Where do I even start with this? It is, first of all, fear showing on his part; fear that we bloggers might actually know something about what we write -- I, personally, take the comparison with the 18th-Century "Pamphleteers" as a badge of honor, as those men were among those who helped the colonial Americans throw off their shackles of bondage.

The reference to Hitler? Well, dajafi wrote at The Good Phight:

That he invokes Hitler is sufficiently offensive on its face that I feel no additional need to comment on it.

He may not, but I do. As a Jewish person, I am deeply offended by that reference; but I don't think you have to be Jewish to be offended. A quick google doesn't reveal Conlin's age, but he's been a sportswriter since the mid-1960's, which would make him at least 65 years old, not only old enough to know better, but old enough to understand exactly what Hitler meant to world history. This email exchange also hit Deadspin yesterday, and by posting it here I intend to help it get to a wider audience.

This isn't even about the arrogance that Conlin showed in his responses to crashburnalley. It's about simple human decency, something apparently completely absent in a smug, pompous ass of a writer whose sensibilities were left behind two centuries ago.

If you'd like to let Conlin's bosses know how you feel about this, you can find some relevant email addresses here. Bill Conlin's time for an audience should be done.