It’s been said a billion times, but it’s true. If you speak into a microphone for a living, eventually you are going to say something dumb. Years ago, it really wasn’t that big of an issue. Everything wasn’t recorded and instantly rebroadcast on social media. If you really wanted to catch someone saying something dumb, you had to listen to them live or have access to the master recordings of a radio station or TV network. Nowadays even I, a simple blind PE teacher, can easily record something on my phone and cut it up to sound however I want it to.
Well, one of Boston’s most well known radio hosts got caught saying something dumb late last week. Tony Massarotti, afternoon co-host on the Fleger and Mazz Show on 98.5 The Sports Hub, was recording with his normal co-host Mike Felger. They were clearly in different locations, because they were all on separate video feeds. All of a sudd3n, two African American gentlemen appeared in the background of Felger’s video feed. Mazz points out their presence, then Felger turns around to speak to them and tell them he is recording. Afterwards, Massarotti asks if they can hear them. Felger said no, then Massarotti had this to say. “I would be careful if I were you. The last time you were around a couple of guys like that they stole your car.”
Here’s the full video here: https://twitter.com/davecullinane/status/1626920122924388353
30 years ago, that would have been a throw away line that nobody remembered. Unfortunately for Mazz it is not 30 years ago. I first saw the clip as it was retweeted by Kirk Minihane Show producer Dave Cullinane. Honestly, when I first watched it, I just thought it was a weird joke that made no sense. It was just kind of laughed off and not mentioned again. That’s where my lack of vision betrayed me.
Cullinane’s Tweet was then retweeted by Kirk Minihane with this accompanying it, “If this was a Kirk and Callahan clip @GlobeChadFinn (Chad Finn of the Boston Globe) and the rest of the Globe would’ve spent a month on it. Editorials, calls for firing, targeting advertisers. None of that will happen here. And I’m glad, I like these guys. Just pointing out the hypocrisy.”
After reading that Tweet I had to take a closer look at the video. I didn’t realize the two guys in the background were African American. That changed things in my mind.
Then things exploded on Twitter with people calling Minihane, who was attacked by the Globe throughout his career, for trying to cancel Massarotti. At first glance, it does kind of look like that may be the case. But you really have to look into the history of Minihane and the Globe to know that he was just pointing out the fact that the Globe doesn’t really stand for what they say they do. They just stand for whatever can get people they don’t like in trouble. That is made obvious by Chad Finn then blocking anyone who mentions these facts to him.
Correct me if I’m wrong, because I’ve been blocked by FInn for quite some time, but isn’t he the media critic for the Globe? It’s his job to comment on any kind of media story. It doesn’t matter who says anything, a media critic has to cover that. Even if you don’t think punishment is necessary, you’ve got to talk about it. But Finn won’t.
As for the comment itself, it was pretty dumb. As far as dumb comments go, it was REALLY dumb. There’s really no way to explain it away either. It was just a stupid, old joke that, like it or not, is no longer acceptable. I think Mazz would even agree with that.
With that being said, do I think Mazz should be fired? No. I don’t think Mazz is known for his edgy racial takes, and he doesn’t have a history of saying anything particularly controversial. Unless you count boring “Who is going to be the Red Sox 5th starter” takes, which I do not. So this isn’t a part of some laundry list of racist comments.
What also needs to be mentioned is Massarotti’s age. He is nearing his 60s, if he’s not already there. It’s not an excuse for saying this, but it’s a part of the conversation. There was a time in Mazz’s life where this kind of thing was acceptable. Now he should know it’s no longer the case, but it’s something to think about.
Also, Mazz is going through some kind of health issue, which may have clouded his judgment a bit. That is just simple speculation, but it is a part of the conversation.
What do I think should be done? Simply, not a lot. I think Massarotti knows what he said was stupid. He knows he should never say something like that again. But in this culture we live now, I know 98.5 almost need to do something. What I think will probably happen is Massarotti will apologize and miss a day or two. Nothing huge.
The bigger story here is the pure ineptitude of the Boston Globe and their “Media Critic” who decided not only to ignore the story, but block people who asked him why he wasn’t covering it. As I’ve said in the past, the Globe isn’t worth the paper it is printed on. They just virtue signal when it is convenient for them, and not when it’s someone they like. That is the definition of journalistic dishonesty.
Anyone who still reads the Globe with any sort of trust is just burying their heads in the sand. The paper is an embarrassment. Chad Finn is just one of a long list of hypocrites that still collect checks to not do their job.