Philly Voice’s Sports Editor Discussed the Carson Wentz Article with Mike Missanelli

This happened yesterday afternoon but the audio wasn’t posted by 97.5 the Fanatic until a little bit later.

Philly Voice Sports Editor Evan Macy went on the Mike Missanelli show to discuss the Joe Santoliquito article published Monday, titled, Exclusive: Sources inside Eagles paint Carson Wentz as ‘selfish,’ ‘uncompromising’ and ‘playing favorites.’

I think Evan has been with Voice since early 2018, but I could be wrong. I worked under a different editor when I was there, so if you care about disclosure, there’s your disclosure.

Mike opened the discussion by explaining that he wasn’t going to chastise Voice for publishing the article, but that he was more interested in an explanation of the process that led to the decision to green light Joe’s piece.


“Around the time of the Cowboys loss, which I believe was week 13 or 14, Joe Santoliquito, who covers the Eagles for us, he’s in the locker room a few times a week, he wanted to write a story about Mike Groh. He wanted to write a story that looked into why the offense had been worse since Mike Groh was here. I said ‘okay, go ahead.’ So he was talking to players in the Eagles’ locker room and he came back to me and said that some of the players he talked to said that Groh wasn’t the problem, but that #11 was the problem. I said, ‘that’s really interesting, what do you have on it?‘ He showed it to me, he played it for me, and I said ‘great, will anybody go on the record?’ Obviously nobody wanted to. So I said let’s put it in the back pocket, keep talking about it, and let me know what you hear. As the season went along he kept looking into it and we added to our list of sources and eventually he created a body of work towards the end of the season that was very, very interesting and it was something I thought made a really good story, but we didn’t have anybody on the record and it was tough to get anybody on the record.”

Macy says Joe eventually came to him with an 8th source, a “home run” that corroborated everything they had heard previously. They moved forward from there.

Mike alleged that the story was written to discredit Wentz as the Eagles quarterback, which Macy disagreed with.  He doubled down on the fact that the article was not about portraying Wentz as a bad person, but more to highlight the fact that there were players inside the locker room who felt like the issues with the offensive side of the ball could be traced back to Carson specifically, and not the offensive coordinator.

Macy also said that Santoliquito identified his sources to him via text messages, recordings, and other evidence.

That led to this part of the discussion, after the jump:

They continued by talking about Santoliquito’s role with Voice, which is a freelance contributing writer. Macy described Joe as a guy with numerous sources who knows a lot of people and has delivered in the past, sharing a story about how he watched Carter Hart’s Flyers’ debut with the goaltenders parents.

Mike asked about prior tweets from Santoliquito, tweets that were critical of Wentz, to which Macy replied:

“That took me by surprise in that, whenever something like this breaks, people are going to look at every tweet you’ve ever made in the history of your career. Obviously they did that with Joe. The article I saw people complaining about was not written for us, and I’m aware of it, something criticizing Carson Wentz I think he said something in 2016 like ‘the Eagles are going to be the Cleveland Browns.‘ I honestly, I didn’t look back at stories he wrote three years ago for other publications, maybe I should have. If that’s something I screwed up, I’ll own up to it.”

Another audio clip to follow that up:

“I know a lot of writers who can separate their opinions from what they write on the page, and it doesn’t make them any less talented or reliable,” Macy continued.

It’s a different era of writing and journalism, for sure, which Missanelli agreed to.

Macy also pointed out that a lot of people just looked at the headline without reading the story:

“Even Lane Johnson and Malcolm Jenkins said on the record, they talked to John Clark at the Pro Bowl, both of them said that they hadn’t read the piece. And yet they’re reacting and going on the record and giving their thoughts. That’s fine, and I support that they’re able to give their thoughts and supporting their quarterback as they should, but the fact that people who are on the team who are asked about this don’t know what’s in the story, that makes me think that a lot of this reaction, people don’t know what they’re talking about. We got a lot of reaction where people were actually breaking down what we said, and I appreciate that, and that’s legitimate, and I will engage in conversation about that, but I really think that the headline that we put out there made people freak out a lot.”

Listen to the full audio if you have 20 minutes, because it’s an interesting discussion in how a story is presented, put together, and ultimately received.


It has come to my attention that Philly Voice Eagles writer Jimmy Kempski addressed the story in his Thursday afternoon mailbag. His response is worth reading, therefore I have pasted part of it here and you should go click on the above link to read the rest of it:

OK, before we get started on this chat, in the interest of cutting through the bullshit, I’ll just go ahead and save everyone the effort of asking me about the Carson Wentz story, and how I view it from the unique perspective of working for the company that published it.

First, my involvement in the story:

When the story was initially published, the author, Joe Santoloquito, tweeted the following:

“Blessed to work with a great team @matt_mullin @evan_macy @JimmyKempski that helped produce this:” (And then of course the link to his story followed thereafter).

Later he corrected that tweet, stating:

“Just to clarify, @JimmyKempski was not involved with any reporting or writing of this story.”

(I left out the caps and exclamation points).

I indeed did not contribute any writing or reporting to the story in any way, as Joe clarified. I read an early version it, and recommended that some things come out, which they did. Beyond that, I had no involvement at all, and did not (and do not) want my name associated with the story, or any story that I did not produce, for that matter, that is well-received or not.

So you don’t stand behind the story, Jimmy?

It’s not my place to stand behind it, beside it, or in front of it. What I will say is this. Joe is not making up a story. Notable players said the things Joe said they said in his story. A common criticism of Joe that I’ve seen is that he’s not a regular Eagles beat reporter, and thus doesn’t have the contacts that a regular beat writer would.

That is simply wrong. Joe’s biggest strength, in my opinion, is building relationships with athletes. He watched Carter Hart’s first game in goal for the Flyers with Hart’s parents. He went to Muhammad Ali’s funeral with Bernard Hopkins. Jon Dorenbos talks about Joe in his magic act. I could go on, but the bottom line here is that I trust Joe’s sourcing on this story, based on his proven track record of forming trusted relationships with other athletes.

That said, we all have different styles. If you know my work, you know that I have strong opinions on topics related to the team, and I’m not afraid to voice them. However, when I break news, I don’t like to make it into a column. I like to just say what I have heard, and maybe add some analysis, if warranted or necessary. I try not to editorialize on those types of stories. Joe went another direction on that, obviously. I’m not saying he’s necessarily wrong for that. It’s just not how I would write that kind of story….”


12 Responses

  1. Can we all just agree that Alshon is one of these ‘sources’? Pretty sure he was the one leaking stuff before when the conversation about spreading the ball around came up.

    In related news, Foles > Wentz.

    1. Jeffrey, Nelson, Peters, probably Lane Johnson and Kelce (yeah, those two came out in support of Wentz, but so what?). Probably Sproles and Clement.

      Running backs and O Linemen pissed that Wentz decides to check out of run plays and throw the ball to his boyfriend Ertz are probably the sources.

  2. Funny Mike Missanelli putting himself on a pedestal of journalistic integrity when in 1997 he totally fabricated a story that Eric Lindros missed a game due to a hang over and then gave the story to fresh faced Craig Carton to break on Missanelli’s WIP show (and then also take the fall for it when it was a proven made up story). Missanelli is a rat and a weasel.

  3. How about if he hasn’t left the states and is fully aware of the story. Everyday he doesn’t comment makes it more likely he is source. He also holds enough gravitas in the locker room that no one will say a critical word about him. As soon as OTA’ s start Carson will meet with every player and ask them to express their concerns. He will tell them if they went to press they are forgiven and understands their feelings. He will ask them what he can do to be a better teammate. That will be the end of it. I don’t believe Carson is a Diva. Sometimes it takes a while for players to hit their stride.

    1. Whoever the leak is, Carson wants that head mounted in the great room right next to his other wild game prizes.
      Words getting out that Carson is cut throat ruthless.
      Like that Christian bad guy in the new punisher

  4. I don’t think Carson is this terrible guy. I just think the Eagles play better when Foles is the quarterback.

    1. I agree Edward O. It’s not rocket science – a zen like calmness descends on the offense, with Foles in the saddle. And, my sense is that the defense then reacts to that, and play out of their skins.

    2. Apparently you missed the early 2017 season, when Carson was the MVP of the league, the first two games of this season,
      when Foles didn’t play well, and the two playoff games, when Foles also didn’t play well.

      All you see are a few games after Carson got hurt this year, when Pederson and Groh simplified the offense, and when the defense started playing better and getting turnovers.

      Maybe you should rethink your position

    3. A lot of this is just recency bias though too. With Wentz healthy in 2017 the Eagles were scoring 30 points every week and blowing teams out regularly. We barely trailed in a game from week 3 on. The Eagles played plenty well with Wentz. Foles took over and looked shaky to mediocre until the NFCCG. He put on an absolute Qbing clinic in the NFCCG and Super Bowl and looked like the best QB on Earth. Then to start this year he looked like absolute dog poop before looking much better down the stretch when he got another chance to start with Wentz’s back injury, before looking pretty mediocre against the Saints. But, the team playing better down the stretch also coincided with the Oline finally getting healthy, we got Darren Sproles back, we stopped trying to shoe horn Tate into the game plan and went with more 2 TE sets and most importantly the defensive backfield settled down and found some quality players which kept the games competitive. It wasn’t all Foles magic that turned the season around. And, that’s not to take anything away from Foles. I think he’s a legitimate quality starting QB in this league and a Philadelphia legend for all eternity.

      Wentz on the other hand looked like the best player in the NFL last year, and then never looked right this year while the team as a whole was struggling. So, because our most recent impression is that the team was struggling with Wentz and turned it around with Foles it’s easy to put more weight on those recent memories and forget how well the team was playing with a healthy Wentz just a season ago.

      I love Foles and I think he’ll have plenty of future success as a starter in this league. But, I’d be shocked if he turned out to be the better QB moving forward between the two, and despite how well the team played down the stretch with him at QB, I don’t think he’d give this team a better chance to succeed moving forward than Wentz can.

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