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

“Dan-Haters” hit a new low

Either Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy’s daughter did something she’ll regret, or he’s being done in by some Internet fakery.

According to the sports blog Deadspin, Shaughnessy’s daughter Kate recently sent an e-mail to family and friends asking them to pump up Dad’s ratings for his most recent book, “Senior Year: A Father, A Son, and High School Baseball.” The idea, she writes (if she did), is to counter the “Dan-Haters.”

The result — and do you really have to ask? — is that “Senior Year” is now getting absolutely hammered on Amazon.

I considered not writing this item. Deadspin offers zero evidence that the e-mail is genuine, and, thus, its scooplet doesn’t meet even minimal journalistic standards. (If Deadspin has vetted its information in some credible way, it should say so — and I’ll be happy to make that clear.) But Deadspin is part of the well-known Gawker gossip network (Wonkette, Gawker, Defamer, et al.), and, according to Technorati, is ranked 81st in the top 100. It would be ridiculous to pretend that it doesn’t exist.

So, regardless of the e-mail’s authenticity, think of this as a bit of online cultural anthropology: “Dan-Haters” are using Shaughnessy’s daughter in an attempt to run down his book, whether she actually wrote the e-mail or not.

I’m inclined to think the e-mail is genuine. Besides, it’s the sort of thing I’d like to think one of my kids would write if I were in the same situation.

I count myself neither as a “Dan-Hater” nor as a Shaughnessy fan (shouldn’t the Globe’s lead sports columnist, you know, like sports?). But this is just vicious — and, sadly, characteristic of some of Shaughnessy’s more unhinged online detractors. (Via Universal Hub.)

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  1. Anonymous

    Dan, I do think it improper to comment on a book you have not read. Which is why I consider the Deadspin readers who commented on the book are being highly improper. But also if his daughter did send the email (I, like you, think she probably did) then she is not much better. In other words, her dad would not be in this position if she did not try to skew the organic and (mostly) honest opinions of Amazon readers. I just feel bad for her because it appears she was only trying to help out her dad and now she must feel awful.

  2. Anonymous

    EB3 here”Besides, it’s the sort of thing I’d like to think one of my kids would write if I were in the same situation.”That’s what family and close friends do.That’s why this story shouldn’t be anywhere.This is dog bites man story.

  3. Anonymous

    – Why isn’t Amazon to blame here? Why can’t they have a verification system if they are going to allow comments. Why not only allow people who bought the book through amazon, review the book and not anyone willing to review it.Beyond that, I am not sure whatelse they could do. Limiting speech isn’t the solution, but Amazon instituting a more reliable and supervised system is the best way to remedy this.If people do not like a book and the book is genuinely horrid, then the comments DO belong there, love it or hate it.The bigger issue here is not the comments, Deadspin, an emotional daughter or Amazon. The heart of the issue is that Dan has an uphill PR problem on his hands. His writing and aims have been very questionable the last couple of years and it is the root cause of his rejection. Three constituencies dislike him now, most fans, teams’ ownership and management ranks and the hardest one to lose, fellow media people who usually keep a collegial relationship and stick for each other.At least Borges is spot on and is RIGHT on most what he wrote, yet team-pandering radio jocks have succeeded in demonizing him. But Dan is not unfairly disliked. He deserves most of the criticism. SO with that, one has to be realistic that if you are banking on writing a book, you can’t expect people to all of sudden love you and flock with their wallets out. That is just delusional and unrealistic, from him, his daughter or publisher.I don’t expect him to have a national appeal. He doesn’t. So he’d have to appeal to mostly New England where he is mostly reviled, so how can you demand success and not receive such negative feedback.Going by the comments, there are raunchy apsects that don’t belong in a “father-son” mushy book, so he deserves that criticism when people buying it expected more wholesome storytelling.This goes back to the pompasityof public people, when they think so greatly of themsleves that they think the whole world should hear of their family lovefest and greatness and superiority. Give me a break. There are so many examples out there. It needs to be relevant and truly useful. Or the author has to be a truly accomplished and sincere person, not some self-serving self-absorbed Cavuto or Shaugnessy type. What have you accomplished in your life, Shaugn for me to be compelled to read your selflove manual? Exactly what? Being another big city columnist? Please.Russert started this trend of still-unfinished-careers being knighted with premature greatness. His book was actually a very emotional story that could be ANY babyboomer’s story growing in a great period of our nation’s History. It was a time to fight your way up, being scrappy and believe in the power of education to lift everyone up and a time of good grounded values and the time of ridding us of the scourge of slavery and discrimination. That is a great story. But then he began to bore the socks out of me with his sugary self-promo. I mean it went on and on and now it is all about how his son is great and smart and wonderful. Give me a break. Let him be and grow and we’ll find out for ourselves, you don’t have to sit him next to you and tell the world how your family is so great and whlesome. That just is so not what he is paid to do. It is nice, but I don’t want to be bombarded with it.Write about it when you’re 70 and retired, ok?Dan K wrote about an unusual story of parents dealing with health issues and the resutling growing pains of a young peron. Health problems is a huge reason why a lot of couples break up, even more than usual divorce rates. It is very useful and not your usual lovefest book. A lot of people can benefit from such real life story.But Shaugnessy? One of my favorite books in a long time was by the daughter of a local great treasure, David McCullough.Dorie McCullough put together “Posterity: Letters of Great Americans to Their Children”That is a fantastic book. These are genuine letters and advice given for no monetary reason, no desire for fame nor acclaim. They are honest, great and timeless. It should be in the stockings of most young people (if it is still available.)Spare me the fake stuff…N.

  4. Anonymous

    Borges being both spot on and right on with his paranoid rantings seems like a hilarious comment from someone who closes with ‘spare me the fake stuff’, N.

  5. Anonymous

    The email is genuine. My brother received the email after sending Dan an email complimenting him on his book.There would be no other way for the emailer to know that my brother purchased the book (wasn’t purchased online). Some of the negative comments on Amazon are over the top. But you reap what you sow, and Dan has obviously pissed off a lot of people over the years. The very idea of sending the email in the first place was ridiculous, which leads me to believe it was all Dan’s idea to begin with.

  6. Anonymous

    N:Borges, spot on and right with what he writes? Have you ever even read Borges?Borges is the same guy who slammed the Pats excessively after they drafted Richard Seymour instead of David Terrell. And Seymour’s only gone on to be a pro bowler every single year, arguably the best defensive tackle in the game.Borges is the same guy who whined and moaned about Brady replacing Bledsoe. And they only won 3 Super Bowls due to that.Borges is the same guy who predicted that the Rams would beat the Patriots 73-0.Borges is the same guy who the year after the first Super Bowl wrote a scathing article about how the Pats are doomed to failure because they weren’t hitting home runs with their late round draft picks, completely ignoring the fact that their Super Bowl MVP was a 6th rounder.Borges is the same guy who wrote an article praising Adalius Thomas when he was still a free agent, and an article bashing Thomas to death the second the Pats signed him.Regardless of his plagirism scandal one has to admit, this guy has been wrong on pretty much every single thing since Belichick was hired 8 years ago.-quiddity

  7. Anonymous

    There seem to be two distinct but not that different responses to this flap. Either (a.) the Amazon begging was real and genuinely from his daughter — in which case she brought this upon herself — or (b.) this is phoney, a response to Dan Shaughnessy’s snide on-camera presence, media ubiquity thanks to the cozy media/NESN/Globe network, and lazy writing promoted as part of “the nation’s #1 sports section” – a designation it hasn’t deserved since Montville and Gammons left. Dan S. created his own persona and now is upset that it angers and alienates people. Too bad. But this is your own fault. A dad trying to raise a family should set an example an accept responsibility rather that claim martyrdom.

  8. Anonymous

    BTW, Dan S.Before you think that so many people choosing the “anaoymous” designation has less to do with being afraid of you as it is we don’t want to have you calling our bosses or houses.Reap what you sow, pal.

  9. Anonymous

    Dan, as somneone who has a parent who was in the [very local] public eye, let me tell you that the best thing a family member can do when a parent is under attack publicly is be supportive privately and silent publicly. Every sane person will over the course of his life “write” 50 letters or e-mails that are never sent,a dn 100 phoen calls never made. I have already exceeded that quota.I really liked Shaughnessy as a reporter, but think his promotion to columnist was an example of the Peter Principle. Over the years, his tone has become more world weary and jaundiced. He’s sports reporter who likes sports but doesn’t like most athletes or fans (I completely understand this – it’s why I’m not a sports reporter).I had a funny encounter with Shaughnessy one day while he was doing a radio show before a game at the Twins souveneir stand.During the show, he claimed that George Scott, in his rookie year, was the Red Sox’ starting third baseman and won a Gold Glove. During the break, which followed his commentg, I politely pointed out to him that Scott’s rookie year was 1966, and that he played first base. I told him Joe Foy started at third. I reminded him that Scott was moved to third once Foy went to the Royals, when Yaz moved to first from left.I figured he might want to corect himself before other obnoxious know-it-alls who weren’t there personally began calling in.He insisted that Scott played third and won the Gold Glove as a third baseman in his rookie year.”Over Brooks Robinson and Clete Boyer?” I asked.Dan still insisted that Scott won a Gold Glove at third.As I said, I thought it was funny. He was dismisisve, but polite. It must be hard to be a baseball writer in a town filled with self-appointed experts. Bob in Peabody

  10. Jon

    Isn’t CHB the same one who said – as quoted on – that Boston sports fans are like children, and that they care more about sports than their own parents? And you wonder why things get nasty? This is another example of media types closing the wagons and protecting each other. They can be critical of public figures, attack and ridicule them, but their own lives are out of bounds.

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