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Post Redskins beat writer and blogger Jason La Canfora went on paternity leave recently, at least temporarily halting a feud he’d started between posters on his blog, Redskins Insider, and those of Extremeskins.com, the fan site owned by Dan Snyder. Last week, just before punching out, La Canfora went smackdown on an Extremeskins extremist who posts as “Art”:
Oh, and before I get going, just wanted to give a big blog shout-out to my pal Art (you know who you are). If ticking you off is wrong, I don’t wanna be right. Some men are born to lead and blaze their own trail, and others are inspired to be message-board mouthpieces for the rich and famous who dare not speak for themselves.
That small aside, with its nice combo shot off the noggin of Extremeskins.com’s owner, inspired hundreds of entertainingly mean comments on both the Post site and Snyder’s. La Canfora didn’t disclose what set him off. But Art, whose real name is Arthur Mills, has been an obsessive antagonist of the sports section for a while. As today, Mills had some 25,375 posts on Extremeskins.com, and has long used his role as a moderator of the message board to drum up trouble for any media type who doesn’t suck up to the site’s owner.
In 2005, Mills started a thread called the Nunyo Files, which treated every misplaced comma in the copy of former Skins beat writer Nunyo Demasio as a war crime. In turn, Snyder gave Mills access to the press box at Skins games.
La Canfora is probably also peeved at how much energy and time Art has expended over the years comparing his own sportswriting abilities favorably to the Post‘s writers’. In his reply to La Canfora on Snyder’s Web site, Art went there once more: “It probably distresses you to know if I cared about doing it again, I could do exactly what you do better than you.”
Pehaps there’s more to the bitterness Mills shows toward the Washington Post than merely sucking up to Snyder. The Post archives contain one story with the byline Arthur Mills. It’s a meager (350-word) write-up of a high school football game in Virginia in December 1996. Could his failure to get a second byline be behind Art’s jihad against La Canfora (2,466 Post bylines and counting) and the paper? Could the 25,373 Extremeskins.com bylines be Art’s way of compensating?