Blog Scrum in the Papers

17 Jan

Donn Esmonde’s last three Buffalo News columns (first, second, third) have basically amounted to the equivalent of a blog fight.  Except he’s not a blogger, and he’s fighting with the whole country of Canada, represented humorously and accurately by Toronto Star writer Cathal Kelly.

Perhaps it’s time for him to drop it?

27 Responses to “Blog Scrum in the Papers”

  1. Brian Castner January 17, 2011 at 8:51 am #

    One column was inaccurate but pompously typical. A second column was gratuitous. The third was an embrassment to the editorial staff that let him write it (made him write it?).

    • Alan Bedenko January 17, 2011 at 8:53 am #

      I’m just shocked that he hasn’t let it go yet. Let it go, Donn! Go talk to Tielman and write something about how cars are teh fail and we need authentic, real things on the waterfront!

  2. Peter-usrt January 17, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    All I know is, I never saw him at this event. Not a very qualified person to speak about the WJC or its fans.
    He may be bitter because he and Quinn are mortal enemies over Canalside and other things and he(Esmonde) may be doing everything he can through his pen to give a black eye to the event that Quinn had a large role in bringing here. Funny thing is, the only person with egg on his face for the WJC is Esmonde and the total ass that he made of himself through his columns….

    • Alan Bedenko January 17, 2011 at 9:03 am #

      I loved the part in the article about Canadians being bad tippers at bars. A $25 bar tab doesn’t necessitate a 15 – 20% tip, last I checked. Also, Canadians don’t tip as well here because the waitrons in CDN have full medical coverage and a minimum wage. So, there’s that.

  3. Brian Castner January 17, 2011 at 9:03 am #

    Alan – you are shocked (shocked!!) Esmonde can’t let something go? Come on – beating dead horses is his stock and trade.

    • Alan Bedenko January 17, 2011 at 9:06 am #


  4. keller January 17, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    Why would Donn ‘let it go’? He actually cracked the ‘most viewed’ links on TBN and you dolts are still talking about it.

    That dipshit Kelly is a moron…look no further than his ‘Saints are a mortal lock’ blog post 2 weeks ago…that extreme sports expertise helped him get 5 incorrect NFL picks out of 6.

    • Alan Bedenko January 17, 2011 at 9:16 am #

      Keller – Donn Esmonde is popular among the Trinity Broadcasting Network? We’re “dolts” for talking about TODAY’s column? Thanks so much.

  5. Leo Wilson January 17, 2011 at 9:16 am #

    Ha! While this article changed nothing of my perception of the Buffalo News and its editorial staff, it has introduced me to a wordsmith in Canada. “Hieronymous Bosch painting”, indeed!

    Thanks, guys… I’m actually going to start reading Kelly regularly. Very amusing.

  6. Mike In WNY January 17, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    I enjoyed the cheeky retort from the North, however, they did come in second. Russia owned Canada.

  7. Chris Charvella January 17, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    You know who is a notoriously good tipper? Carl Paladino. Maybe, if he wants to take a break from writing nasty letters to the Board of Education, he can spend a few years up in Canada spreading his good will toward workers in the service industry.

  8. Leo Wilson January 17, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    Don Esmond should tread very, very carefully. He’ll be accused inciting retribution every time an American kid hot for a pre-21 drink upchucks in the maple trees from here to doomsday. Tone it down, Don, sheesh!

  9. BobbyCat January 17, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    I agreed with Esmond’s pieces aboot the Canucks. What the big deal? Our Canadian cousins (to borrow a phrase from John Otto) seemed a little cocky when they said “HSBC is our house”. But in a sense they did own it, for a time, only because most Americans don’t care about junior hockey any more than we care about college football. Sure they razzed us while they were here, but it was good natured. If they razzed us about the dismal state of our curling teams, would we be heartbroken?

    I didn’t know there was so much jealousy vis a vis Donn Esmonde. If this is some kind of turf war, I don’t get it. Hey, he’s the big name columnist around these parts – and a pretty good one- and bloggers are little writers struggling to find a little audience. What am I missing?

    I try not to tell anyone what they should or should not write about.

    • Alan Bedenko January 17, 2011 at 10:56 am #

      BobbyCat, it’s sort of silly to have to explain things to you that you don’t understand. It’s not a turf war – it’s media criticism. Our only paper’s venerable columnist has spent 3 out of his last 3 columns making an ass of himself. I have pointed it out and criticized it. The big deal is that the Canadians came to town and spent millions in our economy. It’s fucking ridiculous for Esmonde to bitch at them about being lousy tippers, among other things.

  10. Mark Poloncarz January 17, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    It is time for him to let it go. Yes, some Canadians were all excited and cocky that their team was going to win it all. So what, its sports and their team beat ours pretty handily. And then the Canadians got it right back at them when their team folded in the final game under the pressure of having the entire country not only rooting for them to win, but expecting them to win. I met some very nice people from all parts of Canada at the games.

    If any complaint could be leveled its against the Sabres for the very poor marketing and pricing schedule that turned off many US fans and resulted in mostly Canadians at the tourney. By forcing people to either buy an entire tourney package first (which I didn’t buy), and then day passes second (which I did for 1 day), before you could just buy a game ticket it ensured that many hockey fans would not buy what was the equivalent of a season ticket to the Sabres for a tourney package, or what was more expensive than taking a family of 4 to one Sabres game for a day package. If they wanted full houses for the Team US games they should have sold single game tickets to those games first, instead of telling people tickets were selling fast at the tourney or day packages and you must buy those or you will be shut out, which turned out to be the furthest thing from the truth.

    There are always bumps in the road in running these types of events, but the one that irked me most wasn’t what one of our player’s said or what the Canadian fans did, but how the event was marketed and how it then turned off many local hockey fans. The Sabres did what they wanted to do when hosting it: they made lots of money, which is OK, just don’t sell people a bill of goods on how you must buy an entire package of tickets to see the games when all it ensures is poor attendance and people being turned off by the thought they just got had.

  11. BobbyCat January 17, 2011 at 11:28 am #


    You stated in your blog that Esmonde was acting like a blogger and fighting with all of Canada via a Toronto Star writer, but you failed to explain why. You said nothing more. What your’re leaving out is the setup paragraph that explains to your readers what you are talking about. Why do you disagree with him? You must tell us. I have no extra sensory perception. You make the fundamental mistake of thinking that “everybody knows what I’m thinking” when of course no one does.

    We’ve had this discussion before. You and others believe that blog writing is different than other kinds writing, that there is no need to follow the common dictums of writing. But you’re wrong. And I’m wasting my time explaining why.

    • Alan Bedenko January 17, 2011 at 11:41 am #

      Usually, newspaper people thumb down their noses at bloggers as being beneath them because of the medium they employ, their unpaid status, and the fact that they’re unserious tools who curse and argue a lot. Yet, here Esmonde is acting like a blogger because he’s involved in a blog-fight with (a) a Toronto Star columnist; and/or (b) the entire Dominion of Canada. It’s dumb, and it’s now overkill. That was the point of the story. No one else seemed to have trouble understanding it in its entirety. You claim to have had such trouble, but I can’t fathom how.

      First of all, I took a picture of Donn Esmonde and captioned it using LOLspeak to mock the fact that he considers himself to be the serious columnist of record for the Buffalo News. I then wrote:

      Donn Esmonde’s last three Buffalo News columns (first, second, third) have basically amounted to the equivalent of a blog fight. Except he’s not a blogger, and he’s fighting with the whole country of Canada, represented humorously and accurately by Toronto Star writer Cathal Kelly.

      Now, you’re free to extrapolate from that picture and that paragraph what you will. Every other commenter has derived his own meaning from it. What I meant by it is about as clear as it needs to be. (1) Esmonde is a serious newspaper columnist; (2) who has embarrassed and lowered himself to basically a blogger’s status; (3) by engaging in a stupid internet fight with Canada and its columnists; (4) except he’s doing so in an actual newspaper rather than on the internet.

      Have I deconstructed this enough for you, or are you still confused?

  12. Fat Tony January 17, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    The best part of this three part series is the last one where Donn tries the “can’t we all get along” approach. Donn, you wrote a misguided and quite frankly not very interesting column about poor tipping Canadians….at least have the balls to stand by it. I’m amused that the News brass agreed that this hot topic needed three columns. Perhaps the creative well for Donny is running dry.

  13. Leo Wilson January 17, 2011 at 11:33 am #

    Ya know, Canucks and Yanks are like family… we appreciate each most when we haven’t been together for awhile, and we can bust each others’ balls vicously and insincerely any time we want.

    If this article was anything other than a gentle, in-family ribbing like we always do, Polencarz got it right. If not, well then, I sure got it wrong.

  14. DJ January 17, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    Americans don’t care about college football?

  15. Brian Castner January 17, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    Ironically, shorter BobbyCat:

  16. BobbyCat January 17, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    Try to understand that not every criticism is a cheap shot that requires a snarky retort. This thread is becoming a dead horse, I’ll admit. I don’t understand why three columns in a row makes a Esmonde a “blogger”. If a sports columnist writes about the same team 50 columns in a row, does that make him a blogger, too? I suspect there is some resentment against Donn Esmonde that I’m not hip to. And whatever it is, I’m not interested.

    Perhaps the most widely read book on writing is “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser. He writes: “….there is no end of ways in which an editor can improve a manuscript : pruning, shaping, clarifying, tidying a hundred inconsistencies of tense and pronoun and location and tone, noticing all the sentences that could be read in two different ways, diving awkward long sentences into short ones, putting the writer back on the main road if he has strayed down a side path, building bridges where the writer has lost the reader by not paying attention to his transitions, questioning matters of judgment and taste.”

    My point was much simpler; You omitted the heart of your argument and I didn’t understand what your were trying to say. My reading comprehension is pretty good, by the way, and I’ve been a writer for a while. Complete your thoughts on paper. And try not to blame to messenger.

    • Alan Bedenko January 17, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

      BobbyCat, you get what you pay for.

  17. Saltecks January 17, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

    Don’t know why, but every time I see a photo of Don Esmonde, The old TV Series Mr Edd comes to mind.

  18. Hank January 17, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    I’ve never watched a college football or college basketball game. Just not interested, and in NC these sports are MUCH more important than they are in NY.

    I watched Canadian Junior “A” hockey on CHCH when I was growing up in town, like when Derek Sanderson and Bobby Orr were playing (Age showing).

    Our Canadian brethren can be every bit as obnoxious as we can be. Many Canadians don’t much like us for whatever reason. I usually retort “Had it not been for the USA, your primary language for the last 60 years would have been Russian”.

    End of the Day, Esmonde wrote another crappy piece, and he got his comeuppance from the Star. He should have let it go at that.

  19. PJ January 17, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    Esmonde wrote three columns because he can’t believe a third rate writer for a second rate newpaper like him was noticed by someone from a relevant newspaper. This was a gold star event for him. Truthfully, I stopped reading his columns because more often than not, after reading his column I thought, what a twit.

  20. Ward January 18, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    Let’s go Alan–you’re almost there! One more tiny nudge and this thread turn into one on (shudder!) Sports.
    While Donn might have had half a point the first time around (albeit writing on something without first-hand knowledge) he surely has beat a dead horse (apologies for the violent and vitriolic imagery).

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