Awfulannouncing.com decided to ignore common courtesy and publicized Red Sox legend and ESPN baseball analyst Curt Schilling’s off-the-record letter that accused the site of a lack of integrity as well as parsing Schilling’s tweet to help stir up the hornet’s nest that got Schilling suspended from the cable sports network.
Dan Levy, writing for awfulannouncing.com, whined, “We take his email as an attempt to try to shut us up. Journalistically, we never explicitly agreed to an off-the-record conversation, and thus, decided to deny his request.”
Schilling wrote in his email that he had apologized for the forum he used of the tweet, but would not apologize for its content. He added:
I have zero issues, ever, with anyone that wants to disagree, call me on something, yell at me for something else or just MF me because I am a Conservative American who loves the soldiers and the flag and everything they stand for and am incapable of answering any question yes/no. I made mistakes, and given what the Bible has told me I’ll do so every day for the rest of my life. Certainly not intentional, never racial and I have tried to never be malicious. I hate bullies. All I ever ask is honesty and an attempt at integrity.
The initial tweet read, “The math is staggering when you get to true #’s,” followed by a picture of Adolf Hitler saluting. Below the picture Schilling wrote, “It’s said that only 5-10% of Muslims are extremists. In 1942, only 7% of Germans were Nazis. How’d that go?”
In his attempted off-the-record email, Schilling quoted one of the website’s attacks on him, including the website’s elision of the 5-10% figure, thus stating, “As heinous as Schilling’s tweet comparing Muslims to World war II-era Nazis may have been…”
The former Phillies, Diamondbacks, and Red Sox pitcher fired back that “without rigging your comment to be something it wasn’t, you would have had to search for an article and work to create content. You chose to make it up, ‘misremember’ as best you can, and create something that didn’t exist because it was the ‘flavor of the day.’”
Schilling did not even mention awfulannouncing.com’s statement, “Schilling plays to his base all the time on social media, and in most cases the liberal media lets him play in his conservative sandbox all he wants. But this time, the sand got into the yard, and now the grass is dead in a pattern that looks like a Seig Heil salute.” Or this one, “Methinks after comparing Muslims to Nazis with the above graphic approved by your crazy uncle who invited you to the ‘Obama is the Antichrist’ Facebook group he created…. Schilling won’t be so lucky this time around.” Or this, “Or is ‘removing him from his current assignment’ going to be all the punishment Bristol hands out, and will viewers soon again hear Schilling hurting ESPN’s baseball broadcasts?” Or this, “The former World Series MVP has been known to share a controversial opinion or two on his social media pages, but he clearly stepped over the line this week.”
Schilling pointed out that “when a radical minority is opposed by a silent and weak majority, really really bad stuff can, and has, and likely will again, happen.” He concluded, “I did not write this letter for public consumption, I wanted to do this direct, to you, and have this remain between us. God Bless and hopefully He will forgive me for this rant.”
In a 1,334-word response, Dan Levy wrote, “You have no idea how hurtful your messages are to people, so you can hide behind your love of soldiers, the flag and the bible all you want, but what you publish is vile and racist, no matter what Sarah Palin says in your defense.”
Levy accused Schilling of stirring up xenophobia: “You do know that graphic you posted on Twitter and Facebook is framed to suggest that Americans need to be vigilant when it comes to Muslims, that we never know ‘which’ 5-10% are extremists, so we should suspect all of them before they take over the world and enslave and murder us.”
Even Politifact, trying its best to modify the number of radicalized Muslims, still came up with a figure of 9%.
Levy attacked Schilling for a joke he posted on Facebook, which read, “A friend of mine just started his own business in Afghanistan. He’s making land-mines that look like prayer mats. It’s doing well. He says prophets are going through the roof!”
Levy then interpreted the joke this way: “This joke suggests that anyone in Afghanistan deserves to be blown up.” Levy continued, “What if someone had posted that joke about an American church? How would you feel?”
Levy segued to this: “The best thing about this country is that both of us are absolutely entitled under the Constitution to say what we think on topics like this.” He added, “That doesn’t mean either of us have the right to keep our jobs.”
Levy concluded, “I’m disappointed that you would send this to me personally after blocking me on Facebook and Twitter. That’s a bully tactic. You’ve requested that I keep this between us, but you entered my inbox without my expressed permission to be off the record, and I would have said no to that request, asking anything you say be on the record.”