Jan 11, 2013; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III during a press conference at the team

Browns: Stooged in Cleveland's media

In the press conference addressing the firing of head coach Rob Chudzinski, the media tried to fire as many tough questions as they could at owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner.  For all of the questions asked, the show was stolen when Dan DeRoos of 19 Action News read a series of posts from fans at the owner topped off by a line comparing Haslam, Banner, and general manager Mike Lombardi to the Three Stooges.

There are fans and members of the Cleveland media championing this edition of amateur hour from DeRoos in the latest embarrassment for the city and its so-called journalism.  There is this idea that this jackass was scoring one for the fans.  And if DeRoos was put into this position by 19 Action News, then it is unfortunate and I would be happy to apologize to DeRoos.  In which case, 19 Action News deserves all of the criticism instead of just some of it.

Unprofessional is the kind way to describe this grandstanding.  It was a cheap way to insult the owner in the name of the ‘fans’ in some way of attempting to grab media share in the pitiful world of televised local news.  19 Action News can claim they have this champion of the people, when it was simply a stunt.  When a news organization has to describe themselves with the word ‘Action’ in the middle of it, it screams credibility and not a glorified donkey show.

There have been a number of people describing DeRoos as brave and the popular phrasing is what he did ‘took balls’.  Okay.  It “took balls” for South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson to yell out “You lie!” to the POTUS.  It was also incredibly disrespectful and ultimately despicable.  It “took balls” for an Iraqi citizen to throw their shoe at the POTUS.  It “takes balls” to do all kinds of stupid and ultimately regrettable decisions.  It would “take balls” to drink a cup of turpentine.

This all takes away from the fact of how many times DeRoos tried to distance himself from the stuff he was reading about four different times within the statement as he was reading it.  Look at what he actually said and how sad this was.

“Dan DeRoos, 19 Action News.  I’m not a sports guy-” Wait, so why are you here?  But thanks for starting off credibly.

“I’m a ‘news guy’, new to all of this-”  The credibility is just oozing out of you at this point.  This does not scream stunt at all.  Thanks for making this press conference the one where you are popping your proverbial cherry.  You are doing great so far.

“So I’m in here as the voice of the ‘fans’-” Wait, what?  Was there an election of some kind?  Was Dan DeRoos elected to be THE voice of the fan?  Fans have their own voice and do not need a jackass or local news organization to shoulder that burden.  This is ridiculously patronizing to the fans of the Browns or any team for that matter and people should be tired of having people speak for them.

“So, I’m here as the voice of the ‘fans’ to ask their questions. Small, small sampling from our Facebook page-” Your Facebook page?  Of course.  Why should I expect any less at this point?  I am sure Jimmy Haslam and Joe Banner are just on the edge of their seat from the quality of discourse forthcoming.

“Small, small sampling from our Facebook page, which you can imagine blew with things last night-” I’m going to guess it is right about here that Haslam is thinking about blowing up something and I doubt it is Facebook.

At this point, I’m going to skip ahead a little bit.  The video is there for anyone who has not seen it.

“Jimmy, can you assure the fans, their words, not mine-” Is anyone keeping count of the number of times DeRoos has distanced himself from everything he is reading? That would be the fourth time.  1.  Not a sports guy 2. I’m new to all of this 3. Asking their questions 4. Their words, not mine.  So when we are celebrating how truly brave DeRoos is, just keep in mind how many times he is trying to avoid owning this himself.  Balls.

“Jimmy, can you assure the fans, their words, not mine, that you don’t have the 3 stooges running this operation?” This was such a great, powerful laugh line that the room was silent except for the audible “Oh my God” in the background, which did not sound impressed, but embarrassed (in my opinion), that the only guy laughing… is Jimmy Haslam.

And all of this staged nonsense did was allow Jimmy Haslam to go right back to his bullet points that he had been saying the entire press conference.  So, for all the bravery, balls, and everything else involved, the guy that was supposed to be embarrassed never missed a step and kept going right into the message he had prepped all along.  Score one for the fans, Dan DeRoos.

This is the media Cleveland is willing to accept, apparently.  The NFL Network and other media outlets used that clip as the representation of the local media in Cleveland.  Objective, analytical, deep.  Balls.

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