Who is Gregg Easterbrook?

I mean, seriously. The American half of the blogosphere has got mighty upset about a gridiron expert who wrote a fairly stupid article. And he got fired for it.
Ummm so what? We here in Australia are well familiar with dumbass sports “experts” who stray beyond their expertise and make themselves look ridiculous.
It must be a new phenomena in the US if the Instaman can not only post on it but do seven (count them, seven!) updates.
Easterbrook certainly deserved some flak- as Colby Cosh pointed out

That Easterbrook ought to have known better than to stray near the electric fence is more so; talking about Jews “worshipping money”? Ay caramba; if that doesn’t activate a warning light somewhere on your dashboard, you’d better check your circuit breakers.

Well, yeah. Something isn’t quite right there. But what makes the interest, I guess, is the Stalinist reaction of ESPN. I mean, the guy makes a stupid post at one place and gets fired from another. You could understand him getting fired from TNR; but getting fired as a football critic?
I’m lucky of course- I can’t get fired from my sports blog coz I own the place that hired me. But it still beats me that ESPN not just fired him but did a hard-drive erase on the guy.
I don’t blame Meryl Yourish for being pissed about what he’s said and I think Gregg might just be cottoning on to the fact that he’s best to stick to football articles and leave the film biz alone for a while. I’m just bemused that the whole world is writing about it.

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11 comments

  1. renworm

    They not only fired him, they erased all his work from their website. If you search ESPN for ‘Easterbrook’, you do not get a ‘0 results’ page, they just send you back to the home page as though you never made a search.
    Greg Easterbrook? There never was an Easterbrook here at ESPN.

  2. M. Scott Eiland

    More spill-over for the Limbaugh incident–God help those ESPN PC types if some of their on-air talent made an unmistakably racist comment like the one that Jan Stephenson made recently. They’d probably feel compelled to garrote the individual in question live onscreen to prove their bona fides.

  3. wayne

    easterbrook is a writer who did a weekly blog on espn called TMQ. This blog was his passion not his real job. Lost in all of this is a purge that happened about 14 to 18 months ago of some of the espn radio producers and on air talent. Rumours say something about e-mails linking to web sites of various undress but it seems that some un pc comments were made at christmas parties and other events. Meanwhile the ESPN campus just keeps on growing and growing ( I pass by it on a weekly basis).

  4. Michael Jennings

    Easterbrook is not just a sports journalist – his work ranged far further than that. See this well known piece on the Space Shuttle for instance. I just cannot understand what in the name of the Almighty he was thinking when he wrote that paragraph that got him into trouble. (Virginia Postrel’s observations that his real problem is not anti-Semitism so much as anti-capitalism are pretty astute though I think. I think that his being sacked by ESPN was an over-reaction, and that it may well have to do with his criticisms of Michael Eisner more than the anti-semitic business, but still, if you write the sort of thing that Easterbrook wrote, you really shouldn’t be surprised if the shit then hits the fan.

  5. Chris

    I’ve now read columns defending either side of this issue; followed the Rush Limbaugh controversy; just finished reading the Stephenson articles(s); I remember watching the taped interview of Jimmy “the Greek” Snyder giving us a lesson in anthropology: It seems to all boil down to common sense – there are things we can think, and there are things we can say in the general public, but just keep in mind that you may be joining the unemployment/dole line soon if you take the 1st amendment/freedom of speech right too far.

  6. wongoz

    I hadn’t realized what happened to Gregg Easterbrook until about 10 minutes ago. I was wondering what had happened to his TMQ column this week… it’s too bad that this had to happen (he was one of my 2 favourite writers at ESPN), but he obviously offended someone really high up.

  7. Ted

    I’ll point out something else that several have pointed out here; Gregg Easterbrook is one of the most prolific, intelligent writers I’ve ever happened upon. I was actually a fan of his regular articles before I found out about Tuesday Morning Quarterback, but he’s been an author for Slate, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Beliefnet, and he’s a fellow at the Brookings Institute. He was also recognized as one of the top 100 public intellectuals in America. He’s most widely known for TMQ because it’s his most accessible, most entertaining work, but he’s a legit, serious author; one of the most disturbing facets of this whole thing is that it strongly implies that the fantasy world of sports and the real world of serious, intellectual discussion can’t be linked at all. Anyway, my point is that Gregg Easterbrook isn’t your everyday sports hack, and TMQ isn’t just your everyday sports column.

  8. Michael LaRocca

    If anyone hears that he’s writing sports articles someplace else, please let me know. I truly miss my Wednesday fix of Tuesday Morning Quarterback.
    (Wednesday because I live in China, which is 12 or 13 hours ahead of EST depending on whether or not Daylight Savings is involved. We don’t have that in China.)
    Cheers!
    Michael

  9. Jeremy

    TMQ can now be read at the the NFL’s OFFICIAL site! http://www.nfl.com for all your TMQ needs, interesting that the league liked so much that they hired him after being fired from ESPN, if only ESPN would fire Paul McQuire from Sunday Night Football just for being an idiot.