Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tlusty's penis

Well at least we all know what we're talking about now.

Honest to Christmas, some days you roll out of bed, fire up the interweb and are ashamed to be a card-carrying member of the human race. Especially one who works in the media.

The fact that some lonely kid up in the Soo took a few risqué self-portraits last year and sent them off to a lusty female is front page news?

(Far as I can recall, that was a slow Tuesday night back in the 'loops.)

And while Damien Cox sounds outraged enough to call for the offending member to be lopped off and mounted, the real story here sits by the wayside. How on earth an everyday wang can create such a hullabaloo, I haven't a clue.

It's not like they caught him with a goat.

In all seriousness, Mark Cuban nails it, albeit a month before this particular bit of nonsense hit the trash cycle in Toronto (credit to Eric McErlain for the link):
Read any newspaper. Any Magazine. Watch any news program. Any gossip or entertainment program. There is one single them that runs continuously: The Search for Vulnerability.

It doesn't matter what walk of life you are in. It doesn't matter what profession or year in school. Whatever group you participate in or hover around. There is now a blog, website, social network, column, reporter, video, segment and ??? to cover it. The audience size can be 1 or 100 million. It doesn't matter. Someone is out there searching for your vulnerabilities to report or for the vulnerabilities they think you will be interested in knowing about.

There is someone hoping they can snap a picture or video of you at a vulnerable moment that can be leveraged into a payday, career or opportunity. There is someone who wants as many people as possible to think you aren't a good.... you fill in the blank, and then call your boss, senator, customers, friends and tell them why they don't like you and why they shouldn't either.

The real story here is another youngster you should be embarrassed for, a 20-year-old blogger from Thornhill who has designs on being "the Canadian Perez Hilton" and who is reaping the "rewards" of all this Tlusty nonsense.

An old friend wrote about this fellow yesterday for a local publication, something that fills in some of the details as far as that goes.

In any event, what's gone on with the Maple Leafs the past few months, between this "story," the Avery/Tucker nonsense, Mark Bell's prison sentence and whatever else I'm forgetting, has been absolutely circus-like. If you're a player in this market, the best strategy is generally to not feed the animals, but unfortunately press row now has more than enough to chew on.

Toxic stew surrounds team [David Shoalts]
You couldn't make this up [The Globe and Mail]
Tlusty deserves better [David Shoalts]
Leafs lost more than a game [Damien Cox]
It's not easy being a Leaf [Toronto Sun]
Celebrity blogger works to be Canada's answer to Perez Hilton



At 6:21 a.m., November 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My first thought: That poor kid, to have his youthful stupidity made national news.

My second thought: Thank goodness I'm old enough to get (most of) my youthful stupidity out of the way before cell phone cameras were invented!

Us older folks aren't any more virtuous or intelligent, just luckier in our timing with respect to the advance of technology.

(Damien Cox sounded unbelievably arrogant and self-righteous in his piece. Very off-putting.)

At 8:31 a.m., November 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

baroque - Damien Cox always sounds unbelievably arrogant and off-putting :)

At 8:47 a.m., November 15, 2007, Blogger RJ said...

Nail on head here, James.

Since moving to the city in August I have been truly surprised at the degree to which the media sensationalizes anything to do with the Leafs, and the depths various members of the media will plumb to invent a story.

You certainly hear a lot about the excesses of the Toronto sports media, but you don't appreciate it sufficiently until you are directly exposed to it on a daily basis.

I mean, if a Leaf player gets a cold and starts wiping his nose with any frequency, I would not be shocked in the least to read in the next morning's paper that said player 'might' have a problem with a certain powdery narcotic. It is that bad here.

And, that Cox article: I could hardly believe The Star would publish such a pile of journalistic refuse. Sometimes, I despair...

At 8:52 a.m., November 15, 2007, Blogger Rich Thorpe said...

I read Cox's article yesterday and was flabbergasted that he suggested the kid should be buried in the minors.
He made a mistake.
Dany Heatley was in a car accident that resulted in the death of a teammate.
Craig MacTavish spent a year in the slammer for killing a woman while drunk driving.
This 'scandal' means banishment to the minor leagues?
Åtta go Toronto media, congratulations to stooping to the petty stupidity that infests the Montreal media.
Where all things trivial are blown out of proportion.
Good luck signing UFAs now.
The main question is, can the kid play hockey?
So far, the answer is yes.
Beyond that what he did in his private life is his business. Period.
Oh and to the holier than thou media types like Cox.
Get a life.

At 9:08 a.m., November 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This really is about penises. I wonder if media reactions would be the same if pics of a women's national team player flashing her rack surfaced? Not saying they'd be welcomed, but would there be quite so much disgust in the tone of writers like Cox? Methinksnot.

At 9:31 a.m., November 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wicked take on this here, James. My favourite part:

I noted with amusement that on the topic of the photo showing him "tonguing another male," in Cox's inimitable description, Tlusty saw fit to deny to the Star that he was gay. How I wish he'd have said he was. Can you imagine the frantic, sweat-drenched pretzel into which the sports section and editorial muckety-mucks would have turned themselves over that one?

At 9:50 a.m., November 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cox should look closer to home for why the Leafs do not have the same "Pride and Tradition" as they MAY have once had. It wasn't Tlusty or the Maple Leafs who published the photo on the front of a NEWSpaper.

I second baroque's motion about the advance of technology. I would also like to thank Canada post for not opening any of my letters!

Its truly nice to see a common sense reaction from the bloggers.

At 10:01 a.m., November 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe it's me but it seems that since the lockout the hockey media has gotten worse when it comes to turning molehills into mountains.

And to think some pundits are puzzled when bloggers treat the media's coverage of the NHL with contempt.

Cox's reaction to this was wayyyyy over the top. There've been people involved in the Leafs organization over the last forty years who've done to hurt that "proud franchise".

The only thing Tlusty was guilty of was making an embarrassing teenage mistake.

At 10:06 a.m., November 15, 2007, Blogger Unknown said...

I would just like to take a moment to thank Jiri Tlusty's penis for helping me realize that I had underestimated Damien Cox's stupidity.

At 10:18 a.m., November 15, 2007, Blogger RJ said...

In re-reading Cox's asinine take on the Tlusty situation, I found myself particularly disturbed by his inexplicable comparison of the efforts by the team's legal counsel to cease posting of the photos to the bullying of those who were victimized by sexual abuse at Maple Leaf Gardens.

The offending/offensive quote:

"But not the Leafs. Instead of reprimanding the kid, they sic the lawyers on websites that dare to run the pictures, just as the organization once bullied those who accused Gardens workers of foul crimes."

This is not only sensationalism at its most pernicious, it is, I think, entirely disgraceful.

At 10:19 a.m., November 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thankfully the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are over, and all the financial instability and thuggery in the NHL has been solved, so the major media can concentrate on weightier issues like Tlusty's penis.

I haven't bought a copy of the Star in years, since the "White Jays" nonsense. Glad to know nothing's changed -- I'm not missing anything.

At 10:23 a.m., November 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to love when Toronto fails, and I still do. But the more and more I read about what it must be like there, the more I just feel bad for athletes living in a fishbowl. I'm confident that many Flyers could walk in Center City Philadelphia and no one would notice them.

Tlusty just made a stupid mistake. Why you would do that knowing that you may be in the spotlight is beyond me, but regardless, it shouldn't matter. It's not the reason people doubt the Leafs in the first place: their own-goal scoring defenseman that they like to Andres Escobar afterwards is the main reason.

At 10:32 a.m., November 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This kind of things leaves good UFAs away from Toronto and will force Toronto to overpay for mediocre players and continue their Stanley Cup drought for a few more decades.

When the kid scored two goals in his NHL debut, people didn't talk as much as they do now because of some stupid photos... Just sad

At 10:34 a.m., November 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cox begins by *approving* of Con Smyth's refusal to let Ali fight in the Gardens. Oh, the good old days, when being racist was 'classy.'
I don't hate Cox as much as most (not being a Leafs fan), but this is insane.

At 10:42 a.m., November 15, 2007, Blogger Adam C said...

I'm generally a Cox fan, but yesterday's column was bizarre.

There's not much excuse for him, either. The Sun, at least, is a rag, and I'm sure they loved playing up the boy-on-boy action.

I don't believe, however, that the media in any other Canadian city would be any different. They're all over this stuff in Montreal. If the Toronto media is so horrible, why did Ian White get off the hook so easily?

At 10:58 a.m., November 15, 2007, Blogger Adam C said...

Smythe didn't want to let Ali box at MLG because of his refusal to fight in Vietnam.

Argue if you want whether racism tinted that perspective; I would bet that Smythe would have reacted the same way if Ali had been white. I think we can let Cox off the hook for that one.

At 11:08 a.m., November 15, 2007, Blogger saskhab said...

I wish my penis caused mass hysteria like this.

I don't even think he really made a mistake. He sent nude photos to a girl. The girl's the one that made the mistake. Those photos weren't for public use.

At 11:46 a.m., November 15, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Let me first say I'm very, very impressed with the comments here — I had no idea what this would devolve into given the subject matter.

This really is about penises.

Yes, yes it is.

At 12:09 p.m., November 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>> He sent nude photos to a girl. The girl's the one that made the mistake. <<

As I understand it, he (Tlusty) also sent the photos to a few friends. Now, I read that in the newspaper, so you can take that with a grain of salt.

>>Cox begins by *approving* of Con Smyth's refusal to let Ali fight in the Gardens. Oh, the good old days, when being racist was 'classy.'<<

Like someone else pointed out, Smythe's stance then was due to Ali's refusal to go to Vietnam. There weren't any indications of racism -- at least, not in public. Maybe not in private either, I don't know.

At 12:33 p.m., November 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damian Cox needs to trim his eyebrows. He is starting to look more and more like Uncle Leo in Seinfeld episode where his eyebrows were done with black marker.

Damian is soooo angry all the time. Too much fighting, too few goals, too much, too little on and on and on.

At 12:49 p.m., November 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The comment about Ali struck me as pretty out there as well. At the very least, there was enough hysteria about Ali at that time that you can read an awful lot into it - it was a big deal when he changed his name from Cassius Clay and he was seen as an anti-establishment guy. Given the way that things turned out, his position vis-a-vis the Vietnam War is hard to fathom.

Put me in with the who cares crew. That guy with site is a real piece of work.

At 2:10 p.m., November 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, yes it is.

Thankfully that "Dallas' Two Headed Monster" post isn't...

At 2:50 p.m., November 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone has pretty much covered what I wanted to say about Cox, so I'll just say: I agree.

Many mistakes have been made by many NHLer's, but the one that doesn't hurt anyone else gets the most print? Since I live in Toronto, I have to wonder, am I part of the problem? I don't subscribe to LeafsTV, or read the Sun, but if I did, would I be happy that this is the kind of story that they were scooping for me, the consumer? That's who they're trying to please, after all, right?

Toronto hockey media has sunk to a new low. I enjoy hitting the blogs nowadays rather than reading print. Perhaps the papers feel that they have to sensationalize to bring back the readers (like myself) who've turned to the digital paper. That's the only excuse I can think of.

David Shoalts comments on what reporting on hockey in Toronto used to be like compared to now.

- desdemona

At 3:32 p.m., November 15, 2007, Blogger alyosha mcbain said...

How come nobody noticed the significance of someone named Cox being angered by a penis?

He must've had flashbacks to recess periods in school from his childhood....

At 4:40 p.m., November 15, 2007, Blogger Kevin said...

Lovely. Does that paper deliberately take after the vile gutter rag in Britain that it shares a name with?

At 5:38 p.m., November 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was going to post this, but another beat me to it.

I don't see Tlusty as having made any mistake at all.

I'd bet money that a majority of people have sent racy photographs to their significant other/person they are dating, especially in this day an age with cellphone cams and webcams available everywhere you go.

What did he do wrong? It appears the girl took advantage of the situation.

If I were in his situation, my statement to the media would not have included any apology, because HE is in the position of having been betrayed. "Young teenage mistake." Ridiculous! Yah, only 19-year-olds send naked photos around the internet.

I would have said, like, "Although at this time I am experiencing a time of personal embarrassment, I will not apologize for my actions. The photographs in question were intended for close friends/loved ones only, and constitute my own private affairs. In no way were they injurious to any party. They have no impact whatsoever on my performance or integrity as a professional hockey player. No further comment on this non-issue will be provided, nor will any inquiry will be dignified with a response."


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