By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Scotto v. Eileen

Boston Globe columnist Eileen McNamara went after WRKO Radio (AM 680) talk-show host Scott Allen Miller yesterday. Today, Miller says she’s got it all wrong.

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Scotto v. Eileen II


  1. man who's not an WRKO fan

    Oh my, Scotto’s gotten a taste of his own hated-filled medicine and he doesn’t like it? [snorts] This is the world’s smallest f**king violin playing for him.

  2. Brian Maloney

    As even Jay Leno was blasting this move on national television, Scotto’s position is hardly extreme.

  3. Anonymous

    Wow. I just read about this story and the controversy on your blog. I’ve been an Eileen McNamara fan for years now. (And I will continue to be. I admire her sincere heart and fine mind.) But this does disappoint me.Eileen, just don’t be losing your fine touch. You’re a great writer. And I’d love to hear your side of this. A mighty impassioned note by Scotto…

  4. Dan Kennedy

    Anon 9:58: I’m sure we’ll be hearing McNamara’s side, and I wouldn’t jump to conclusions.

  5. Anonymous

    it’s a little rich to see scotto pee and moan about being taken out of context. can he really keep a straight face and tell us he hasn’t grabbed quotes and paraphrases out of context to make demagogic points on his show? are there more thin-skinned whiners out there than radio mouths … ? they insult and belittle on the air for hours on end yet squeal like stuck swine when critiqued or challenged. what a joke.

  6. mike_b1

    “Gosh forbid we hurt Scott Allen Miller’s feelings.” Get over yourself, Scotty. If the shoe fits. hehehe

  7. amusedbutinformedobserver

    It’s the talk radio formula — you have to have a bad guy. Miller found someone to be the butt of outrage. He was true to the talk radio formula — it’s all about entertainment, not being informed. Now he’s trying to bait a columnist into a public debate, complete with the requisite last-graf challenge to respond. It’s the second oldest talk show trick in the book, the oldest being ignoring facts that get in the way of being outraged.Oft-abused RKO management is to be commended for letting Miller run out immediately after his air shift on Nov. 2 and not hang around for meetings during the very busy week before the election in order to attend the services which began an hour after he got off the air. It should be noted, however, that his blog entry says only he wasn’t asked if he attended. It’s the height of irony that he doesn’t answer the question he claims the columnist should have asked! At the very least, that’s poor writing by a professional communicator.

  8. Citizen Charles Foster Kane

    According to Scott, the Globe hates him and he wears that as a badge of honor. I think Eileen McNamara was just delivering a little tough love, you know, like The Crystals song “He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss). Infotainers really should have a thicker skin. After all, the words she quoted were his, right?I hope for a debate between the two that is something like that old public service announcement where the dad catches his kid smoking pot. Scott says in an accusing tone, “Where did you learn how to do that kind of writing?…do they teach that in journalism school?” and Eileen responds angrily, “I learned it from you Scott…I learned it from you!”

  9. Dan Kennedy

    Can we please clarify the issue, folks? This isn’t ideological. Miller is claiming that McNamara quoted from the WRKO Web site and wrote it up as if he had said those words on the air. He claims he never spoke those words. Although he isn’t 100 percent clear, he seems to be suggesting that he didn’t write those words on the Web site, either, which I find credible — that’s generally not something that hosts do. And there things stand for the moment.I think it’s a substantive accusation, and I look forward to McNamara’s response, which I have to assume is forthcoming, and which I also assume will be equally substantive.

  10. Citizen Charles Foster Kane

    Dan:That’s all well and good, but what would Scott’s employer be doing writing words and attributing them to him? If that is the case, Scott should be going after WRKO. McNamara’s column is ambiguous about the source of the quote but I’m not certain that I quite see the difference between his words appearing on the website or him saying them on the radio, except for the description of his tone. I think Scott is dancing on the head of a pin here but is owed a clarification as to the source of the quote.I don’t think this falls into the category of a “substantive accusation”.

  11. Anonymous

    Clearly the issue is whether the words were spoken on the air, as McNamara claims, or just printed on the web site, as Miller claims.It’s a shame because we expect sloppy journalism, from sloppy talk radio hacks. But we expect more from Eileen McNamara.That said, I don’t think she should be pilloried b/c Miller is trying to spin the issue. Give her a slap on the wrist and then get back to the issue at hand: Miller’s screed against the Needham principal. (And, I don’t, for a minute, doubt that Miller sneered his way through that screed. Miller doesn’t talk on air the same way most people talk to each other. He sneers, snipes, snaps and snarks. It’s his job. And it’s disingenuous for him to publish a well-written letter which goes against the grain of the on-air persona he’s created.)

  12. Anonymous

    Scotto is either or a liar or maybe he needs to go to a reading comprehension course. McNamara did not write that Miller spoke the words on the air. What she did write is that Miller’s words were echoed over the dial. She did not say where she got Miller’s words from, but Miller admitted, on the blog entry that was linked to here, that he wrote them.–raj

  13. Peter Porcupine

    “McNamara did not write that Miller spoke the words on the air.”Please advise – what EXACTLY does ‘echoing across the dial’ MEAN then? A reference to Scotto’s most recent appearance with Vanna White?

  14. Dan Kennedy

    Gotta agree with Mr. Porcupine on this. To say that McNamara did not claim Scotto spoke those words on the air might be accurate, but it isn’t true. Not one person in 10,000 would make that distinction based on what she wrote.That said, I will give her every benefit of the doubt until we hear from her.

  15. Anonymous

    anon 11:07 here again, aka drgonzo from BMG (I’m too lazy to register at blogger. sorry, folks.)I read back through Miller’s response to the McNamara column, and one section that caught me was the one where he directly refutes the claim that he was ripping on the Needham principal.Quoth “Scotto” on his blog: I did not mock, excoriate, nor pillory Mr Richards as your column also implies. I stressed the point that the NHS School Council made this decision, not Mr Richards on his own. My criticism was directed at that group as well as the parents who demanded the policy change in the first place. I respect Mr Richards and have had him as a guest on my show before. (He was invited again to speak about this topic both times I discussed it but he didn’t respond before airtime.)I’m now officially confused as to how Mr. Miller really feels about the original topic of discussion. So, consider this an open letter to Mr. Miller to clear the air. Dear Scotto, What do you really feel about the prinicipal’s decision to not publish the names of honor roll students in the local newspaper?See, by putting your thoughts in print, Scotto, the rest of us can actually dissect what you’re saying, much the same as you did with Eileen McNamara’s column. I checked the link you included in McNamara rebuttal, but it only linked to the WRKO homepage and, when I checked your page on there, I couldn’t find much more about the Needham High mini-fiasco than a link to your blog post, the text of the letter from the principal and a link to a wave file of crickets chirping (indicating McNamara’s response.) I couldn’t find a printed version of your thoughts on the matter. Perhaps you could publish your thoughts on this issue on your blog. You could state what you really meant to say.With warm regards, drgonzo

  16. neil

    By coincidence I happened along an essay by Rick Moran, in which, (scroll down to “Update”) he refers to a piece by Justin Logan, thus:All things considered, don’t give me a “mulligan” as Logan sneeringly refers to this final effort…Having just read Logan’s piece, I didn’t think he was sneering at all. People unsympathetic to your argument are apt, alas, to characterize your tone, whether in speech or in print, in ways you do not like. Meanies! It’s subjective and unavoidable. And it’s too thin-skinned to take somebody up on it.Then, to deny that you “sneered” because your comment was in print rather than spoken, is feeble. You can be accused, as above, of sneering in your writing as well as your speech. To claim the accusation is invalid because he wrote the words rather than saying them is no defense at all. Whether he wrote or said them, his words are his. Aren’t they?Scott links to the RKO home page, which is misleading I think, rather than to his particular page on the RKO site(same as where Dan linked to, above.) Scott’s page is written in the first person. Is he saying any quote grabbed off that page isn’t really a quote from him? That’s quite a defense!If he’s not actually writing the first-person content on his page, he should say so. (We bloggers demand transparency–harumph!) If the “Gosh…” quote was taken from elsewhere on the RKO site, that’s another story. I wasn’t able to find it. Where exactly was it?I look forward to a detailed and craven apology by, whoever it is who committed this grievous offense to our high journalistic standards!

  17. Anonymous

    McNamara: Overrated.Miller: What kind of nitwit listens to him, or visits WRKO’s website? People! May I suggest, if you are that far ahead in your reading, check out some porn, or maybe take a walk or something.Kennedy: Trying to change the subject away from the Carroll/Rooney thing.

  18. Citizen Charles Foster Kane

    I hear George Bush’s words “echoing across the dial” despite him never actually saying them on the radio. It means that up and down the radio dial other people were saying things very similar to what Miller said or wrote or telepathically implied.While it is reasonable to expect from reading her column that Miller said those words on the air, I think it is also reasonable to expect that a quote attributed to Miller which appears on WRKO radio’s website, especially such a topical quote, was excerpted from his broadcast. Or was he talking to WRKO staff off the air and one of them said “That’s the money quote! Put it up online pronto!”? In any case, the words are his until he claims otherwise and this is a pretty minor incident in my book especially given Miller’s hostility to the Globe. This seems like a prime example of Miller looking for anything to pick a fight and make himself look like an aggrieved party. I mean, he actually wrote that he has to live in Needham and deal with the consequences of what McNamara wrote. Boo freaking hoo.

  19. Anonymous

    Miller is a clown, just like that DePetro turd, but McNamara shouldn’t be given a slide because of that. She wrote that he “sneered” his words. Funny, but I’ve never heard the written word sneered. She was cutting corners and got caught.

  20. neil

    Anonymous 11:52, an example of characterizing somebody’s written word as “sneering” may be found in the link to an essay by Rick Moran, in my comment above. A more common case lately has been to characterize the written words of people who object to something you say, as “whining”. This tendency to impute unpleasant mannerisms to people’s words is lazy, but it’s just as valid to do so, unfortunately, to the written word as to the spoken word.So though I don’t like it, I think it’s within McNamara’s prerogative. I find the unwillingness to take responsibility for words written for you, ostensibly by you, to be the greater affront to the sanctity of our precious ethical fluids.

  21. Anonymous

    Sorry, Neil. But you’re off-base here. She’s got it as a quote with the word “sneered” after it. That implies the spoken word. In fact, practically any time you use quotes the reader is going to assume it’s the spoken word unless it’s followed by something like “Miller wrote on the WRKO website yesterday.”At the very least, she would have had to cite the website for anyone to have an inkling that he didn’t in fact say it.

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