How Not to Interview and How Not to Manage a Website: More Fallout from Ocean Marketing and Paul Christoforo

The video games media space is incredibly crowded, the high profile closings of such publications as GamePro notwithstanding. Almost everyone with access to a server and an ad revenue generator can claim to be a “video game website” these days. And many of them generate content off the backs of unpaid “volunteers”, often with little to no experience. This isn’t always a bad thing, since it is good to have a space where one can hone a craft and create some basic clips to get started.

However, this doesn’t change the fact that such a thing compromises the quality and ethical rigor of journalism, even for such a light subject matter as video games.

Enter The Gaming Vault. Recently, the “Editor-In-Chief” of the site, one Kyle Gaddo, held an interview with the recently notorious and meme-worthy, Paul Christoforo.  It’s a long tale of bad behavior and Internet retribution that is better recounted elsewhere. However, while someone being so vilified as Paul does deserve an opportunity to relay his own side of the story, it is not the interviewing journalist’s responsibility to provide a public defense for his subject.

Kyle Gaddo goes out of his way with leading phrases, providing the excuse of “having a bad day” more than once. He provides lengthy analogies to extend the interviewee’s explanation beyond the need for clarification, and he repeatedly lacks any followup to the interviewee’s assertions of fact that were openings for clarification (showing a lack of research prior to the interview). The dissection isn’t important since the owner of the site responded to some of my criticisms with:

I’ve been talking to Kyle personally since the interview, and he completely agrees with my own personal observation that he was editorialising way too much for an interview. That should definitely be saved for an article.

Fine, it’s an admission that the interview was beyond one-sided, and really, it was an editorial hit piece on behalf of the subject. It would have ended there, but this same owner and “Senior Editor” named Michael O’Connor, had been sprinkling derisive comments throughout the thread in reference to those who disagreed with both the handling of the interview and Christoforo’s side of the story. He even went so far as to call out some of the readers with:

I have been in this industry long enough to know just how short lived gamers’ petty vendettas are.

And this is just one more of them. A petty, basement dwelling lynch mob with nothing better to do with their time.

He pretty much lashes out like Paul Christoforo himself. Hilariously, like Paul, he attempts to puff out his chest with imaginary gravitas by implying he’s an “industry” veteran. Something his LinkedIn profile belies.

This immediately led to a number of responses pointing out the irony. I also commented since prior to that quote (I was unable to save it) he stated that he stood by his web site’s credibility. I basically asked him about his revenue stream via Google AdSense and why his site, around for several years now, did not employ any paid professionals, and why his Editor-In-Chief (the interviewer) was some inexperienced kid (who had compromised the integrity of the publication). I also didn’t think it was appropriate for him to go ad hominem on his core audience.

Lo and behold, his comment and the responses vanished. A number of his other derisive comments also vanished. When a reader called him out on it, that response vanished.

And my own response:

I’m glad to read that Kyle realizes that he made a mistake. However, I am concerned as to the removal of certain incendiary comments made by yourself from this thread. If you regret your words, fine. You can apologize, clarify, or even double-down. But changing history like that is on your own website also does not speak favorably towards your credibility.

Also, you seemed to have deleted a reply to you on this same thread that references other deletions. This really does not speak well for you and your site.

It vanished as well. I imagine this is what it must be like to have an Internet ‘access’ in a somewhat totalitarian dystopia … your words being shot down as they are set free.

In any case, a saved a couple of screenshots before the responses could be deleted.





Enjoy your Google advertising revenue, Mr. O’Connor, but a media outlet run in such a shoddy manner will pretty much remain what it is: a hobby site for amateurs.

Posted in Error! Error!, Social Media, Tropes and Stereotypes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

ESPN Radio Creepily Stalking Tim Tebow

Is it me, or does it seem like media outlets like ESPN have become gushing, obsessive stalkers of Tim Tebow. They make absurd, colorful pronouncements about Tebow (and by default, the Denver Broncos) regarding his winning ways. In fact, this morning on Mike & Mike on ESPN Radio, Mike Greenberg, Mike Golic, and Cris Carter might have been mistaken for teenage Justin Bieber fans, except they were fluttering over a different super-non-threatening, handsome, young, Christian male.

Bieber & Tebow: HuffingtonPost

Instead of tween girls, Tebows fans are middle-aged, armchair quarterbacks.

The first egregious bit of pandering: Greenberg made a point of bringing up a statistic stating the chances of the Broncos coming back to win 5 of their comeback victories this season were approximately 380,000 to 1.  ZOMG! It’s something they’ve never seen before! To this he added descriptions such as “magical” and something that just can’t be explained.

How about statistical noise? In a sport that is played consistently, year-in, year-out, and a league that has been operating professionally since the 1920’s and in its current format since 1971, with over a 100 games played each season, these weird blips are bound to crop up in time. It’s 380,000 to 1 … but hey, someone wins the lottery eventually given enough time.

The second egregious bit of pandering: Cris Carter carrying the banner of the whining, privileged Christian. Carter, an overtly faithful man, has the temerity to say that “we in the media” are not “allowed” to talk about things like “race” or “faith”. That somehow, according to Carter, this is being left out of the discussion about Tebow.

Wow, really?

Tim Tebowfaith, luck or just winning football? |

Tim Tebow responds to Jake Plummer’s comments on his faith

Tim Tebow’s Denver Miracle | Video – ABC News
Tim Tebow’s
Denver Miracle. Is faith behind the Broncos’ “miraculous” victory and winning streak.

Marlo Thomas: Tim Tebow: Keeping the Faith

Why Are Anti-Christian Bigots So Eager To Prey On Tim Tebow Tim Tebow‘s success as the quarterback of the Denver Broncos has done little to silence his critics who believe that his faith in Jesus Christ has

Tim Tebow’s pastor says God is saving the Denver Broncos | Mail

This is just from the first page of Google results when typing in “Tim Tebow” and “faith”.  It’s not unusual for a heart-on-sleeve, evangelical celebrity/talking-head to proclaim that there is some muzzling of the talk of faith, but it’s still ignorant and incorrect.

Look, I have nothing against Tim Tebow (yet) or the Denver Broncos. It’s great for the Denver fans, and after all, a win is a win is a win. But, frankly, before people start making hyperbolic statements attributing Tebow’s success to faith, magic, or just giving up and calling it a mystery, I’ll point to one Derek Anderson, former starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, whose first full season was remarkable … and that was also his last remarkable season. Statistically speaking, amazing things happen all the time. Let’s not get carried away.

Posted in Bad Religion, Famous people say the darndest things | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cave Johnson Sells Insurance

Is the Valve game, Portal 2, having an influence over the Farmers Insurance commercials starring J.K. Simmons (voice of Cave Johnson in the game)?

“When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don’t want your damn lemons, what the hell am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life’s manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am? I’m the man who’s gonna burn your house down! With the lemons! I’m gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!”

Or make giant flaming lint balls. Cave Johnson is still alive!

Posted in Advertising, Images & Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Michael Kay Delivers a Cornucopia of Brands on ESPN Radio

So, listening to 1050 ESPN Radio NY this morning, and a commercial featuring Michael Kay, a 1050 host and the YES Network guy for the New York Yankees (in other words, a very recognizable local) brought together the ultimate brand name mashup.

Michael Kay

Local celeb and Don LaGreca antagonist

He was advertising for Lobel’s steaks…


That can be had at the Lobel-Weber Grilling Station (Weber Grills being the other brand)…

Lobel Weber Grilling Station

That can be found at MetLife Stadium…


Right by the Verizon entrance…


All the ad needed was Derek Jeter’s Taco Hole to make my head completely explode from marketing overload.

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Marvel & Disney Synergy Gone Awry: Get Yer ABC TV Out of My Avengers!

The Avengers #19 seems like a pretty straightforward comic book. Folks in costumes on the cover presumably charging in a dramatic fashion at some kind of threat.

The Avengers

Stores opening at 5 AM on Black Friday? AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!

Now, I get that Disney owns Marvel now, and I’m not so naive as to believe that this wouldn’t make for some attempts at corporate synergy where the various properties would attempt to complement each other. That’s understandable.  But seriously, when you’re asking people to fork over $3.99 for a comic book, there are just some things that make less sense than others.

Continue reading

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Sports Talk: Tebow Redundancy

I heard this gem in reference to Tim Tebow, current QB (sorta) for the Denver Broncos on ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike in the Morning:

His intangibles are off the charts.

That was from former player, current NFL analyst, Mark Schlereth. So those qualities that are indefinable and thus, by definition, unchartable, are somehow “off the charts”. To borrow from Chief Wiggum, that’s some fine analyzin’, Mark.

Kermit and Greeny

The option is a joke -- Kermit


Posted in Definitions, Dept. of Redundancy Department | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Euphemistic Language: Penn State Story is NOT Just a “Sex Scandal”

I have to agree:

Media criticized: Penn State isn’t a ‘sex scandal’

Self-proclaimed “tech culture journalist” Xeni Jardin has criticized the media for using “sex scandal” in reporting the turmoil at Penn State, notes Steve Myers of the Poynter media training institute.

Jardin tweeted: “Media dudes: a “sex scandal” is when someone has an affair. Raping children is something else.”

Choose your words more carefully, media outlets. Also, stubborn, mulish celebrities:

Alec Baldwin Twitter

To be fair, he later changed it to "molestation", but it was funny seeing his passive-aggressive resentment after being called out on his words.

It’s times like these that I really, really miss George Carlin. I recall what he had to say on the subject of “euphemistic language” … language meant to conceal, or obfuscate, reality in some way.

You can’t be afraid of words that speak the truth. I don’t like words that hide the truth. I don’t like words that conceal reality. I don’t like euphemisms or euphemistic language. And American english is loaded with euphemisms. Because Americans have a lot of trouble dealing with reality. Americans have trouble facing the truth, so they invent a kind of a soft language to protect themselves from it. And it gets worse with every generation. For some reason it just keeps getting worse.

Of course, the big example he uses is the incremental change of the term “shell shock” eventually being called “post-traumatic stress disorder”, a term devoid of its horrific, historical roots … detached and clinical.

Paralleling his charge, I have to wonder if maybe institutionalized cover-ups and systemic blindness towards the actions of men like Jeff Sandusky might actually be mitigated if the media stopped referring to it as “child abuse”, “sex scandal”, “abuse scandal”, etc., and started using the terms child rape or molestation in the headlines. Maybe if Paterno, whose memory of being “informed” by Mike McQueary appears fuzzy about terms like “fondling” or “horsing around” had instead heard McQueary say “CHILD RAPE” he wouldn’t have seemingly ignored the issue, because how could anyone ignore that statement? A child was being raped.

I mean, we’ve only had well over a decade of media saturation from the massive and ongoing Catholic Church scandals … you’d think we’d all get it by now. You think people would have started understanding what you get when you choose institutions and “legacies” over the helpless and the victimized. You’d think “good” men would not stand by while evil was being done.

Posted in Euphemisms, Famous people say the darndest things, Headlines | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment