The Fouling of Walter Payton in an Age of Iagos: "I follow him to serve my turn upon him."

Here is brilliant commentary about  Jeff Pearlman's smear of Walter Payton (in a book whose name will not be mentioned here) from the often brilliant Patrick Hickey. If you are a fan of William Shakespeare (and who isn't?), you will enjoy this. If you are a fan of Walter Payton you will relish this. If you are saddened by the state of our culture, you will appreciate this.

Here is an excerpt:

The purpose of the book is obvious - another Iago who followed a hero, long after his young death, I might add, in order to shatter any and all foundation to a positive memory of this man, who dedicated his life to his profession. Iago thrived with the murder of Desdemona and the suicide of his chief and it mattered not who else was damaged in his deconstruction of a great man. The author of the Payton book embarrasses Payton's widow and sons by making public any and all of the human failings in the great Chicago running back.


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  • Walter Payton was a public figure, correct? There was a great deal of interest in him and his life, correct?

    So why isn't it acceptable to write a truthful biography about his life? When you write facts about politicians should those be dismissed as smears?

    I get the backlash from fans, who are defined by their emotions, but I do not understand journalists who should know better.

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    He was a public figure (if you thought I was going into legalities), and Connie isn't denying the substance.

    However, the way the guy is promoting himself, he is only scum promoting himself. Apparently his publisher has him Skyping all the news shows and calling in to all the sports talk radio shows. If the only message is that Walter, like every football player in the world, took pain killers, and was messing around, well that's not worth paying $29.99 to read. Next someone will be promoting a book about Mongo's wife running off with Stone Cold Steve Austin and Mongo now promoting a back doctor. Maybe it will also have the revelation that Mongo ate his chihuahua, with a salsa verde.

    All giving this guy publicity is proving is that there isn't more important news this week. And I'll probably be as likely to buy this book as I am Blago Pistachios (even if the two malcontents from Facebook are promoting them).

  • In reply to jack:

    Why is he scum? Because he's promoting his book that he spent 2 1/2 years on and that's his livelihood? That doesn't make any sense at all.

    If you bothered to listen to anything he's said it's that there is far more to the book than the facts about his drug use and infidelities. You and everyone else are just way too self-righteous. You haven't read the book and you're responding to headlines on web sites rather than substance.

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    Well, he's had the opportunity to try to convince the world, as I noted above. Heck, is Skyping the new PR, or is he just too lazy to go on a book tour?

    Since you say that I haven't read the book, is the prerequisite that I pay him before I criticize him? Do I have the buy the pistachios too, to see if I get salmonella, or can just walk by based on the way they are promoted? Instead, I can just say that he is promoting himself in a scummy way, and leave it at that.

  • The book hasn't launched yet, I have a pretty strong feeling he'll go on a book tour. And Skype? That's a real thing that people use. A lot.

    You can criticize a book you haven't read all you want, it's your ignorance coming through not mine. I won't argue with your judgment about how the book has been promoted but your ire should be directed at the publishing company, not the author. That's like criticizing reporters for the headline on their stories: They have nothing to do with it.

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    Did I criticize the book itself, no. Apparently it is the lack of reading comprehension on your part, not mine.

    Again we have "journalists" defending themselves and compatriots. I don't know if running a website makes one a journalist, but I have commented much on their lack of principles, including in the Barbershop. I guess not against Dennis today, with whom I agree.

    Finally, besides agreeing with Dennis's point, I think that the marketing campaign is solely based on its shock value. So, I will leave it at that.

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