WEAE’s Mark Madden (above) has run afoul of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Bob Smizik previously, but after the latter’s recent critique, we now have the benefit of Madden’s lengthy reply (link swiped from Mondesi’s House) :

If, by some odd chance, you’re actually interested in injecting FACTS into Bob Smizik’s one-man crusade against the most successful sports talk show in Pittsburgh history – Hines Ward came on my show ALL THE TIME prior to me calling him out as the narcissistic phony he is. Attention junkie that he is, he couldn’t get enough of doing it. So what he said on Costas – as quoted by Smizik – is factually incorrect. I don’t criticize Hines because he won’t come on the show. I criticize Hines because his attitude is incredibly egotistic and selfish, something your crack staff of reporters might get around to writing if they weren’t as “buddy-buddy” with him as I allegedly am with the Penguins.

I didn’t know that you had to “confront” everybody you criticize. If this is the case, how come Smizik never “confronts” me? It’s true I don’t show up in every locker room in town because hey, if you’ve seen one naked guy, you’ve seen ’em all. But I’m in the Penguins locker room quite often, and I’ve absolutely SAVAGED Georges Laraque and Michel Therrien all year long. I haven’t gone to Steelers game for years because
I’ve been doing a post-game radio show which necessitates being on site immediately after the game concludes. But this year, I’m not, so I will be going to Steelers’ games, and to Hines Ward, James Harrison, etc., I say – if you want some, come get some. Does anybody think I’m actually afraid? As for not coming around for months at a time, when did Smizik, Cook and Collier start showing up at Penguins’ games? You could hear the THUD when “one of America’s great (gag) newspapers finally jumped on THAT bandwagon.

Your one-sided coverage of my career is laughable. Last quarter, my show had the highest ratings book in Pittsburgh sports talk history, and it never got in the paper. Now, with this HBO exposure, the sky’s the limit (cough). If I were you, I’d can Smizik and hire me to write a column again (not that I’d accept). Or, better yet, I’d hire me to do your jobs, because you’re clearly not very good at them.