Sports in the Courts: Jeff Wilpon answers the allegations

It has been seven weeks since former Senior VP of Ticket Sales for the Mets, Leigh Castergine, accused her former boss of discriminating against her for being pregnant and unmarried.  The team’s Chief Operating Officer, Jeff Wilpon, was accused of numerous disparaging comments.  Today, Wilpon and the Mets filed their answers in federal court in response to Castergine’s complaint.  You can read Wilpon’s answer here; the answer filed on behalf of the Mets makes the same response.  The same law firm is representing both defendants.

Wilpon’s response in short, “[none of it is true].” Above all, Wilpon denied that Castergine was harassed or treated differently because she was pregnant.  Specifically, he denies the quotes attributed to him by Castergine: “[I’m] old fashion and thinks [Castergine] should be married before having a baby” and “don’t touch her belly and don’t ask how she’s doing; she’s not sick, she’s pregnant,” or the more odd, “I am as morally opposed to putting an e-cigarette sign in my ballpark as I am to Leigh having this baby without being married.”

Along with denying that he mistrated Castergine, the court filing allowed Wilpon to respond to the allegations that the team suffered at the helm by poor ownership, and that it alienated fans.  Not surprisingly, Wilpon denies this as well.

It is somewhat bizarre that Wilpon and the Mets denied everything, given the specific accusations of Castergine.   What to expect next?  Well, more money from the Mets organization for the legal fees of Wilpon.  If the parties don’t settle, discovery will take months if not years.

Till the End of the Day

Trying to get these out before the big AV-QPR match this afternoon, so here are some things to read as the day winds away:

Today in Fuck You: Verizon Wireless is attaching a privacy-killing user ID to all its users’ Internet traffic.

Gas prices are near the lowest they’ve been in four years.

Yglesias throws some cold water on pundits who think Obama’s been too chilly.

Hmm: “Sicily, for instance, employs 28,000 forestry police — more than Canada”

You can apparently get your dog cloned in Korea.

This is a pretty good and lucid description of what gentrification is, sans the outrage, hyperbole or editorializing.

David Rees made a mashup album of Taylor Swift and Aphex Twin.

Martha Stewart’s magazine on how to throw a punk rock party. For once, I do recommend reading the comments.

Now, here’s the new OK Go video if you haven’t seen it yet:

Morning Constitutional – Monday, 27 October 2014

Good morning, everybody. Jessica Simpson got a haircut. Now, your morning constitutional:

According to exit polls, pro-Western parties are poised for victory in Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Ukraine.

The secular party won the largest number of seats in Tunisia’s parliamentary elections on Sunday.

Brazilians reelected Dilma Rouseff as president Sunday in their closest presidential election in decades.

Uruguay’s Sunday presidential election likely heading to runoff.

Dozens of women and girls have been reportedly kidnapped in northeastern Nigeria by Boko Haram.

A suicide bomber driving a Humvee packed with explosives killed 27 Shiite militia members in Jurf al-Sakhar, Iraq, on Monday .

President Obama will announce executive actions to boost U.S. manufacturing on Monday.

There is evidence that Islamic State militants’ surface-to-air missiles are sophisticated enough to pose a danger to aircraft.

Is the Affordable Care Act working? Pretty much. Is it winning? Yes.

How conservatives justify poll taxes.

U.S. spy agencies used 1,000 Nazis as anti-Soviet assets during the Cold War.

The case against senior year of high school.

Finally, man arrested after dispute over using too much nacho cheese.

Mango the Cat

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Dear V and V,

I’m sorry it’s been so long.  Months ago, I had such good intentions of re-joining this blog with regular posts.  Oops.  A few things have happened in the interim– law school graduation, bar exam, new job.  Plus we got this very photogenic cat, Mango.  She is very sweet, and if you ever come to New Haven, she would probably like to cuddle with you.  Please accept this picture of Mango and her mini-me as my apology for the long silence.

xoxo,

Emily

Till the End of the Day

It’s a chilly, cloudy Thursday in D.C., and I’m looking forward to heading home and watching last night’s Key & Peele and perhaps cooking up some meatballs. While I go do that, here’s some things to check out:

Today in Fuck You: Representative Don Young (R-Alaska) blames suicides in Alaska on government “largesse.”

The Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives, Bobby Harrell, pleaded guilty to six counts of using campaign funds for personal use on Thursday and has agreed to resign his seat immediately.

A promising Ebola vaccine was shelved for over a decade because the market wasn’t lucrative.

The SAT should actually stand for Student Affluence Test. Related: Smart people listen to Radiohead, while dumb people listen to Beyonce.

Gun violence in Canada is more common than you think.

Misogyny and the idea that the Internet isn’t real.

Good thoughts on potential senator-to-be Joni Ernst’s stupid statement that she’d use her gun against the government if it infringed her rights.

OMG what if terrorists weaponized Ebola?

A 50-year-old dinosaur mystery has been solved—and it’s super weird.

Chess piece survival rates.

Finally, here’s a porcupine eating the shit out of some pumpkin:

The Yale Community Apparently Doesn’t Know What the Word “Refute” Means

“Indeed members of the Yale community who know Dach personally refute any possibility that he could have been involved in the scandal. According to 32 sources interviewed, Dach’s character is best represented by the way he interacts with others on a regular basis.”

Amid scandal, University community defends Dach

“Refute” implies that these sources knew something about the “scandal” Dach is accused of– to wit, hiring a prostitute in Cartagena, a place where prostitution is legal, while working as a volunteer for the Obama campaign.  Only one of the sources quoted even mentions ‘women’s issues,’ describing Dach as someone who “genuinely respects women and understands the damaging impact of soliciting sex work.”  I mean, no one at WaPo or the other outlets that covered the story said that he disrespected the sex worker he allegedly hired– but at least this quote is somewhat on point.  The other sources– including two members of the law school faculty– share these insights in their defense of the golden boy:

  • He hosted “tortilla nights” at his New Haven apartment.
  • He hosted an annual Christmas party, which he planned for weeks.
  • He volunteered at the Yale Farm sometimes.
  • This one time, a law professor asked him to call an admitted student, and instead of just calling, Jonny met him at the train station and took him to Pepe’s Apizza for lunch, because that’s just the kind of above-and-beyond service you get when you ask a favor of Jonny.
  • From the same professor: he “had such reverence for the president that he never, not once, referred to him casually as ‘Obama’ — he always called him ‘the President.”
  • A different law professor says Dach was one of the best students he has taught, “adding that many other YLS faculty shared the same sentiment.”
  • He was so smart in high school that he once critiqued Thomas Jefferson’s word choice while reading a draft of the Declaration of Independence in his AP US History class.
  • And then there’s this bizarre leap of logic, from a law school classmate who “said the unyielding support of Dach by his peers is the ultimate testament to Dach’s character”:“I think Yale Law School is unfortunately in its way sort of a catty place, and I think there are a lot of people where if there was something negative written about them in the newspaper, people would be falling over themselves to talk to reporters and rip that person apart.  Either people are just not talking about [the allegations] out of respect for [Dach], or if people are talking about it, it’s like ‘Poor Jonny, I can’t believe the Washington Post ran a story like that.’”

Maybe this classmate is running in different social circles, but the friends I’ve talked to are 1) happy to gossip about the allegations and whether they’re true, but 2) completely disinterested in getting entangled in the story by going on the record to say anything negative about Jonny.  Silence does not equal “unyielding support.”

Unsurprisingly, the Yale Daily News didn’t quote anyone who described him the way a lot of us knew him– entitled, arrogant, sheltered, kind of a prick.  Nor did YDN question the relevance of all these character references, none of whom said “and then there was the time I tried to hire him a prostitute, and he politely refused.”

Above the Law quickly jumped on the bandwagon with an article titled “In Defense of Jonathan Dach,” which consists mainly of quoting the author’s favorite anecdotes from the YDN article, along with some supporting commentary, like “It’s telling that Gerken, a prominent professor, and Alexandra Brodsky, a leading voice in feminist circles, were willing to go on the record to defend Dach.”

Nope, that is not telling.  That Jonny has female friends and admirers has no bearing on whether he has ever paid for sex while abroad doing campaign work.

But the worst part of this latest fawning ‘defense’ comes at the end:

“Here’s one final point in Dach’s defense: he’s kinda cute (especially if he got rid of the facial hair). Why would a reasonably attractive American male, in a resort city known for its party scene, pay for sex when he surely could get some for free? Especially when he might have aspirations for elected or judicial office, like so many Yale Law grads?”

Good point, David Lat, I’ve never heard of any attractive men buying sex– oops, I mean, besides Hugh Grant– but definitely no one with aspirations for political office–er, besides Eliot Spitzer, David Vitter, Barney Frank…

This defense is also a favorite among accused rapists– “why would I force a woman to engage in sex with me, when I’m so handsome that the ladies are knocking down my door to consent enthusiastically?”

I have no idea whether the allegation is true.  I went to school with Jonny, and I never saw him pay for sex, but the version I saw also wasn’t the Squeaky Clean So Polite and Respectful character portrayed by the school paper.

I’m not surprised that there’s a scandal centered on a privileged, entitled rich white male Yale legacy.  Not even that this Democratic lobbyist’s son is now a legal policy advisor on Global Women’s Issues at the State Department, a position many of my friends and colleagues would be eminently more qualified for.  The more surprising thing to me is that, if true, Jonny wasn’t canny enough to consider that pulling a stunt like this, if uncovered, might not reflect well on his whole Rising Democratic Star thing.  In that sense, I guess David Lat has a point.  But this just gets us right back to entitlement, and how you have to be just dripping with it, with privilege and lack of awareness, to think that you’ll never have to answer for any mistakes or indiscretions.  To think that because you’ve gotten away with everything up til now, you always will.

Till the End of the Day

Here are some things to look at or know about or whatever:

Today in Fuck You: This is a stupid thing that somebody wrote:

There’s no doubt that many people in our increasingly mobile and hectic society want voting to be as easy and convenient as buying fast food. But too much of anything can be bad — just ask someone who has gorged on drive-thru burgers and fries.

 

Global temperatures have been above average for 355 straight months.

If like most Americans, you’ve been tuned out and are just maybe now starting to pay attention to the coming-up midterm elections, Ed Kilgore’s got you covered.

Hey rich people, maybe stop exploiting impoverished indigenous people in your adrenaline-seeking.

Pew released a report on political polarization and where people get their news, etc. You won’t be surprised that conservatives get their news from Fox and liberals can’t decide where they get their news from. Oh, and it seems like liberals and conservatives don’t like each other much on the Facebooks.

Republicans could lose every single Hispanic vote and still easily win the House.

“Hoffman and Shum found that employment growth among teens not in college and adults without a high school diploma was stronger in states that increased their minimum wages than those that didn’t.”

Finally, here’s a can’t-miss segment from Last Week Tonight featuring the Supreme Court and some dogs: