Sports Radio Blowhard Blowhards After Parody Twitter Account

from the take-a-joke dept

Look, I get it, if you’re a celebrity or organization of any stature and you were busy looking at yourself in the mirror when God was handing out sense of humor, a parody Twitter account might seem like a royal pain in the ass. Or almost-Royal, as in the case of Pippa Middleton, who tried to go all John Grisham on a parody account that appeared to enjoy poking fun at a book she wrote. As for organizations, you may recall that the Olympics did its best impression of itself by getting Twitter to take down a parody account. The problem is that these heavy-handed attempts at keeping people from engaging in time-honored tradition of mocking stuff on the internet has a tendency to backfire, streisanding the mocking like a combo-multiplyer in the world’s funniest fighting game.

But getting egg on your face for this kind of thing doesn’t actually require going legal. No, you can make yourself look silly while simultaneously drawing more attention to that of which you’re vexed with just your everyday threats. Take for instance Mike Francesa, best known for his sports talk radio show, on which he performs his best caricature of a sports talk radio host. He was understandably miffed when The Daily News used a tweet from a Twitter account set up to parody Francesa, complete with his over-the-top East Coast drawl.

His choice of response? To lose his mind and threaten to expose “the names and professions” of the people behind the silly parody Twitter account.

Here’s the problem. First, everyone who isn’t a duck-billed platypus high on ether knows the handle in question is a parody account. The text of the tweet makes it obvious to anyone who isn’t even familiar with Francesa. Secondly, all this threat does, broadcast on his own show in New York, is draw even more attention to the tweet in question, the parody account, and anything the guys behind it might put out later. Thirdly, all this really accomplishes is to make Francesa look like a humorless blowhard who can’t take a little gentle ribbing. That ain’t New York tough, Mike. And, finally, the threat itself sucks. Promising to out people for who they are and what they do for a living, when you’ve already admitted they’re just everyday guys, is about as terrifying as a poodle with a cough. All that would do is bring these guys even more attention.

And he’s not just limiting his criticism to those guys, but he’s attacking Twitter as well:

Twitter, which is gonna go public here next month, has gotta do something about the process of people’s names being able to be used without their say so. OK? You can’t control what the people say. This account’s in my name.

Of course, that ignores that Twitter actually has just such a policy, though it’s arguable whether or not the parody account fully complies with the policy requirements. Still, it’s impossible to look at that account or any single one of its tweets and not realize it’s a parody account.

I expected more from a media veteran, but I guess I’ll just sit back and wait for the next chapter in this story, which will surely be titled: 2 Anonymous People Get Famous Because Mike Francesa Made It So. Of course, next up, perhaps he’ll take on the guy who created a hilarious parody of Mike Francesa if he were on the air in 1776 at the start of the Revolutionary War. Does YouTube “gotta do something” too?

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Comments on “Sports Radio Blowhard Blowhards After Parody Twitter Account”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Twitter, which is gonna go public here next month, has gotta do something about the process of people’s names being able to be used without their say so. OK? You can’t control what the people say. This account’s in my name.

So what does he expect if there happens to be another guy named Mike Francesca in NY that just happens to have decided to capitalize on that coincidence by making a parody account? I mean, it’s his real name, too.

Tony E (profile) says:

TIL who Mike Francesa is

I don’t follow sports ball, but this guy is a treasure. The continued stories of people streisanding, you have to wonder if their PR people haven’t caught on or if these cases are the 0.1% that are slipping past said PR people. Sometimes I can’t believe the amount of stories I see that involve people calling attention to their own personal secrets.

Or does Francesa actually think that he’s big enough that he can stop someone from parodying him with even a weak threat like that?

CharlesGrossman (profile) says:

This is somehow bad for Francesca?

To me, this looks like another deliberate use of Streisanding to get publicity for everyone involved. So Francesa is an opinionated jerk who takes a ridiculous stand and then hammers away at anyone who disagrees: That’s exactly what sports jocks are supposed to do — haven’t you ever listened to sports radio? This story helps Francesa’s professional reputation, and it’s no skin off his nose if the parodists get publicity too; actually it’s even better for him if they do. If I were his PR advisor, I would have suggested he handle this exactly the way he’s doing.

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