I never thought I would ever link to Roger Ebert in this blog, but here I am, about to give you Ebert’s open letter to Jay Mariotti. I love Roger. He’s one of the best movie critics in the country and I watched his show, “Siskel & Ebert” just to see one of them rip the movies they were reviewing.
I’ll never forget Roger starting off a review in the middle of a rant against Friday the 13th Part III for its violence against women.
Well, Roger is steaming mad again and it’s not about a movie. He’s angry at Jay Mariotti for leaving the Chicago Sun-Times. Roger’s not mad at Jay for leaving. He’s angry at the way he left. And he’s angry at Jay for going to China on the Sun-Times’ dime, then leaving after e-mailing his resignation.
It’s classic Ebert and so well-written (like most all of Ebert’s work). He calls out Mariotti in an open letter in the Sun-Times.
My favorite part from his letter:
What an ugly way to leave the Sun-Times. It does not speak well for you. Your timing was exquisite. You signed a new contract, waited until days after the newspaper had paid for your trip to Beijing at great cost, and then resigned with only an email. You saved your explanation for a local television station.
As someone who was working here for 24 years before you arrived, I think you owed us more than that. You owed us decency. The fact that you saved your attack for TV only completes our portrait of you as a rat.
And Ebert continues:
If you only work on television, viewers may get a little weary of you shouting at them. You were a great shouter in print, that’s for sure, stomping your feet when owners, coaches, players and fans didn’t agree with you. It was an entertaining show. Good luck getting one of your 1,000-word rants on the air.
Great stuff. I will nominate this as one of the stories of year. And from now on, Jay Mariotti will be known as Jay the Rat. Thank you, Roger.