Bissinger is also a world-class crank. In this famous 'debate' on Costas Now, Bissinger criticized Leitch and his sort without seeming to know any of the particulars about how the internet, or blogging, actually worked. Just the other day, he wrote an obnoxious article in The New Republic about how he - a Pulitzer Prize winner, no less! - fell in love with Twitter. He writes about how he responds to "twit twats" who dared to criticize him and his writing.
Bissinger goes on to say this about Shooting Stars, Bissinger's somewhat fawning book about LeBron James and his friendship with his high school teammates. Bear in mind Leitch's criticisms about the downside to Bissigner's access, and Bissinger's comments about Leitch's tone and lack of respect:
Shooting Stars was far from the best book I had ever written; the compromises of such collaboration, written in the first person of James and subject to his approval, had always shamed me. I did it for the money, because all writers, or at least those who don’t want to die, also have to eat. But I also did it because it was an inspirational coming-of-age story involving LeBron and the four teammates who had become his brothers through high school. I took great offense to what this Twit twat said. So I wrote back: Fuck off.
Coincidentally, I am currently reading The Game From Where I Stand, a memoir by former Major League baseball player Doug Glanville about his 15 years in professional baseball. Its an interesting book, though not a great one, but I won't review it here. I bring it up because its cover bears a blurb by Buzz Bissinger, who says "The Game From Where I Stand is a book of uncommon grace and elegance. It is a book about baseball unlike any I have ever read, filled with insight and a certain kind of poetry in its spare and haunting prose."
I like Doug Glanville, but I do not consider his book to be particularly well-written. So Buzz, please tell me, what 'certain kind of poetry' does his book contain? I haven't read a single review that has complimented his prose style, and I certainly do not consider it to be written in 'spare and haunting prose' by any means. In fact, if anything, Glanville's book, which is full of good-natured anecdotes organized by topic instead of chronologically (and therefore tending to circle back upon itself) is written in . . . whatever the opposite of spare and haunting prose would be.
So, Bissinger, who vocally criticizes blogs for being mean-spirited and petty, who believes that blogs only exist to humiliate people, is now using Twitter, so that the subject of Bissinger's insults can now be humiliated before the thousands of people who followe Bissinger's Twitter feed.
Thanks for the words: Ellen of Wormbook, who found the link to the TNR article.