A day after Deadspin published further allegations of sexual harassment-via-text on the part of the suddenly retired Brett Favre, the site’s editor, A.J. Daulerio, was profiled by GQ’s Gabriel Sherman. There’s a number of revelations in “The Worldwide Leader In Dong Shots” ranging from Daulerio’s base salary ($100K, not counting bonuses for famous boners), Deadspin’s dramatic traffic boost under Daulerio’s stewardship, his dogged attempts to give the disgraced Jay Mariotti a chance to tell his side of the story, receiving a rousing endorsement from one-time sports blogophobe H.G. “Buzz” Bissinger (“can’t beat ’em join ’em..Deadspin has more power in its toe nail shavings than every newspaper combined”), but alas, there’s something less than a vote of confidence from the site’s founder.
Even Will Leitch has gotten a little queasy. At first, Leitch talked with Daulerio constantly about the site, hashing out ideas and offering advice. But in July 2009, when Daulerio posted a link to the Erin Andrews stalker video, Leitch thought he went too far. They remain close but no longer talk about Deadspin. Leitch, now a writer for New York magazine, told me he wouldn’t have published the Favre photos: “I never wanted people to feel like they needed to take a shower.”
I’m no expert, but I’d always read that when the Puritans came to North America, they’d settled in New England, not Mattoon, IL. That Leitch (above, left) finds photographs of Brett Favre’s penis distasteful is not a big surprise — he’s already shown a squeamish side when it comes to frank discussions of sexuality. But just to recap the sterling tenure of Deadspin’s cuddlier editor in chief, Leitch’s achievements included (but weren’t limited to) the smearing of Albert Pujols’ strength and conditioning coach, questioning the intellectual capacity of prominent black Americans, and the gratuitous screengrab of Tony Dungy’s son’s MySpace page shortly after the troubled teen committed suicide. If the Favre story made Will feel dirty, he’s got a very short memory — it was every bit as legit a workplace harassment story as one Leitch jumped on.