Why I Hate Bob Parasiliti, No. 4
UPDATED — See below
That Bob Parasiliti is one of the most pathetic and incompetent sports writers in the history of the human race has been well established. As it turns out, he’s also an asshole.
We got on the subject last night during writing class. Professor Hessler mentioned again that Tim Rowland, the Herald-Mail’s resident humor columnist (think of Dave Barry, then take away humor and creativity), wants to teach creative writing at HCC next year. I suggested Rowland ought to take the class first, before attempting to teach it, and that set us off on an anti-Herald-Mail discussion that I, for one, enjoyed the shit out of. When I inevitably brought up Parasiliti as the worst of an awful bunch, Jessica, a quiet girl who rarely talks and writes a lot of poetry, told us about the time she met the globular Mr. Parasiliti in person.
She was in high school, covering a basketball game for her school paper. She was in the middle of an interview with one of the coaches when Parasiliti appeared, interrupted Jessica and told her to get lost, that she was an amateur and he was a professional writer with a job to do.
Has the phrase “professional writer” ever held less meaning?
Even though it sucks for Jessica that the fat fuck treated her so rudely, I’m glad he did it, and I’m glad she told us about it. Now I don’t have to feel guilty about shitting on him for fear that he’s actually a nice guy in person and I’m really just being petty and malicious over not liking his writing, because he really is a great big asshole! I can proudly and unashamedly proclaim: Fuck, fuck, fuck Bob Parasiliti up his overfed, no-talent ass. If I were capable of time travel, I’d drag the fucking human pastrami vacuum back to 1912 and drop his ass on the Titanic right before he rammed the iceberg. Not only would he drown unmourned in the icy waters of the north Atlantic, but others could use his bloated, buoyant corpse as a raft. Dozens might be saved.
So let this be a lesson to all the student journalists who might be reading this in the Hagerstown area: if you’re ever covering a game and you see that mustachioed stack of blubber in that picture up there rumbling your way looking to jump your interview with the winning coach, make sure you have a pint of Ben and Jerry’s or a few strips of raw bacon in your pocket, and use them to draw him away. They won’t keep him for long, but it should give you enough time to ask a final question or two before you feel his hot, garlic-tainted breath on your neck. UPDATE (2/11/2008): A few days after posting this, I received an email from Herald-Mail Sports Editor Mark Keller, wishing to correct the record on ol' Bob. Here is that email, reproduced with Mark's permission:
I've read some of your posts in the past - some about Bob Parasiliti,
some not - and obviously, I don't agree with everything that you
write. That's not my problem. I respect that people have differing
opinions, and I realize that as much as I might dislike somebody's
views, they may dislike mine just as much.
And there are some things you've written that I do agree with. Two
words: Hannah Montana.
However, your latest post about Bob Parasiliti is a load of BS, plain
and simple. I understand that you do not like Bob's writing, and
that's fine. I don't have a problem with somebody criticizing a
writer - whether it's me or somebody who works for me. But I would
bet the farm that the story that Jessica told NEVER HAPPENED.
I've known Bob for more than 13 years, and this is not who he is. He
would never do what he's been accused of doing in this post. Bob
would not have told this girl to get lost, nor would he have called
her an amateur. This did not happen.
Is it possible Jessica was interviewing a coach and Bob jumped into
the interview as well? Absolutely. It happens all the time,
particularly at high school events because it's a free-for-all trying
to get those interviews. There is no "media room," so you get who you
can get as soon as you can get them, then run back to the office to
beat deadline. That's part of the business.
Is it possible Jessica took this as rude? Possible. But there's a
significant difference between that and Bob supposedly telling her to
"get lost." There's no way that happened.
In the nine years that I've been the sports editor, we've had roughly
two dozen high school and college kids work in our department, taking
phone calls and doing some writing with the hope of using it as a
stepping stone to a career. Of all of the people on our staff, Bob
has gone out of his way the most to help those kids, giving them
pointers and advice and answering questions they have about work or
school or whatever.
He has gone to several high schools in the Tri-State area to speak
about careers in journalism. He has spoken to classes at Mount St.
Mary's and Shepherd University. He regularly gives tours of our
facilities to Cub Scout troops.
This is why I say that the encounter Jessica claims to have had with
Bob never happened. Or at least it didn't happen in the way she told
it. There is no way at all that Bob would have said those things to
her. I assure you of that.
I'm telling you this because Bob is a good friend and a good
colleague and, even though I know you would vehemently disagree, a
good writer. I'd like for you to take this blog post down, because I
know for a fact that it is false. But that's your decision, and I
respect whatever you choose to do.
The same goes for this e-mail. I'd prefer you keep this between you
and I, but it's your choice. If you choose to write about it or post
it or whatever, I'm fine with it. It's your call.
But don't let your distaste for this man's work form your opinion on
who he really is - especially since you've never met him.
Herald-Mail Sports Editor
Mark seems like a good guy, and he did give me permission to post his email, despite asking me at first to keep it between us. And he's right, of course — I don't know Bob personally, I have no idea what sort of person he really is. The word of a friend and colleague should count for more than an anecdote of one incident, which might have been misconstrued or, fuck, entirely made-up for all I know.
So there is the other side of the story. Turns out Bob's not such a bad bloke afterall. Having never met the guy, I'm in no position to make that call, anyway. For talking out of my ass like that, I apologize.
Can I just say how freaky I find it that writers for the Herald-Mail are actually reading this shit?