If you’re checking in with us on a Monday morning, you’re likely here for our weekly savaging of Peter King’s column. It’s been a fixture on this site for almost as long as it’s existed. I’m sure for some readers it’s the only reason they check in with KSK.
But after years and years of vitriol, mockery and abuse, perhaps it’s time to make amends.
We’re sorry, Peter King.
You might not be the strongest writer in the world, and that’s okay. Writing is actually a vastly overrated part of being a reporter. A lot of great reporters are awful writers. Their chief function is obtaining privileged information and presenting a fair, nuanced view of events to readers, not dazzling people with biting prose and clever structure. It’s also entirely possible to be a good writer and a terrible reporter. In many instances, they are wildly different skill sets.
You have a tendency to go way off-topic in long stretches of your writing. This makes some resentful because most people are not given such leeway in their own work. It comes off as supremely indulgent. Perhaps it is. But some would argue you’ve earned the right to be indulgent. You did the hard, long work of building an audience and sucking up to the right people.
Yes, you’re a suck up. One of the biggest there is. For most folks, there’s a huge stigma to being a brown-noser and a careerist, but you and I know those are the people who will never get to know the bliss of the Acela Quiet Car. You know, a lot of writers who claim to be unfiltered and brash are really quite calculating in their behavior. They’ll assail targets so long as they know there won’t be major blowback for their views. They offer strong opinions only if they know they are popular ones. Sometimes they work out outrage they don’t even have because they know trashing a target is good for business. But you? You offer no strong opinions at all. You’re careful not to offend any but the most vulnerable targets. That is refreshing. I don’t need to wonder the hidden motivations of a writer. Yours are right there on the surface.
I can’t defend you stealing a foul ball from a child at a baseball game and bragging about it in your column. That was pretty shitty of you. Here’s the thing, though: all people have their moments of shittiness. I’ve had more than a few of my own. This site once threatened to post pictures of your daughter if you didn’t stop harping endlessly about your family life in your football column. Even if the pictures of Mary Beth were innocent photos she posted on Facebook, it’s not cool to even pretend to mess with someone’s family. We’re sorry for that.
You showed public resentment to us in the past and that’s understandable. We’ve been pretty mean to you over the years. It doesn’t matter if you don’t forgive us. We felt compelled to offer this apology anyway. As a token of our sincerity, we’re taking this week off from mocking your column.
So go enjoy Opening Day, big guy. Here’s hoping that first Allegash at noon tastes as nutmeggy as you hope it does. PLAY BALL!