Meet Noam Bramson's Favorite Sportswriter: Jeff Pearlman of Sports Illustrated and ESPN Fame

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Meet Noam Bramson's Favorite Sportswriter: Jeff Pearlman of Sports Illustrated and ESPN Fame

June 18, 2013 - 17:49

Jeff pearlmanI am going to start off by admitting that I was not particularly familiar with Jeff Pearlman until about three weeks ago although I definitely got the sense from my brief interaction with him that he expects people to know who he is.

In any case, Wikipedia told me this:

Jeff Pearlman is an American sports writer. He has written two books about baseball and was the author of the infamous John Rocker interview in Sports Illustrated. In October 2011 he released his fifth book, a biography of Walter Payton titled, "Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton." It spent four weeks on the New York Times' best-seller's list.

He has a web site:

What I came to learn is that he has an active Twitter account:

What I know about Jeff Pearlman is two things: (1) he is a Noam Bramson apologist; (2) he is a hypocrite of the first magnitude.

I learned this after Pearlman tweeted some Bramson propaganda about an article I wrote about a past example of Bramsonpocrisy following a recent school board election where I was a candidate (I lost).

I have since learned that Bramson and his minions were pushing out various falsehoods and misrepresentations during my recent campaign for the New Rochelle Board of Education.

One of them involved this article from July 2011 which Noam and his people (including Pearlman) have been pushing as an example of me "stalking" Noam and his family and thus grounds for voting against me in the recent school board election. Pearlman goes further, contending that I have failed to meet his high journalistic standards because I did not call Noam before I ran the article.

As long-time readers know, Bramson stopped responding to me in March, 2009 after I wrote Mystery Solved: Noam Bramson a Part-Time Mayor. In e-mail exchanges with Noam prior to running that article he repeatedly lied and misrepresented both what he was telling people about his job status (falsely claiming he was a full-time Mayor) and the basis for that (the City Charter). He is certainly being paid like a full-time Mayor with a six-figure compensation package but that is another topic for another day. To Noam's claims, the City Charter specifies the City has a part-time Mayor and Noam's job application, checked by Noam, reads "Part-Time". Since then, he has not once responded to an email from me in over four years. As a result, I do not concern myself with getting a response from Noam as I am confident that I will not get one.

Now there is a reason this sort of claim by Noam and his minions is part of a "whisper campaign". It does not hold up to scrutiny if you read the article and the two articles that underly it.

My article is an opinion piece as is made pretty clear by the frequent use of the first person in the article.

The point of the article is summed in the final paragraph:

I don't mind Noam sending his kids to a day camp in Rye, I do mind be lectured to by someone who does not practice what they preach. Seems Noam never learned you are judged not by what you say but what you do.

In the article I noted how Noam loves to preach about how much he loves New Rochelle and how everything is so great in New Rochelle. I mentioned a Journal News Op-Ed he wrote in 2008:

Allegations of favoritism harm pupils

In the article he derided the views expressed by New Rochelle resident Carlos Sanchez regarding the difference between schools in the North End and South End. At the time, Mr. Sanchez had children at the Trinity Elementary School (South End) and had spent the previous 10 years as an educator working at the Isaac E. Young Middle School (South End) including several years as the Dean at Isaac Young.

Rather than address the informed views of Mr. Sanchez, an experienced educator with long-time professional experience in the New Rochelle school district and with children in South End Schools, Bramson dismissively attributes Sanchez' views to his former blog, not even deigning to mention his fellow New Rochelle resident by name.

A prominent front-page article in The Journal News, particularly one focused on a subject of such great sensitivity and importance, should have some basis in objective fact, beyond the assertions of personal opinion in a blog.

The thrust of the Op-Ed is not, however, simply to attack and discredit Sanchez but to condemn the Journal News for giving air to Sanchez' views.

As a mayor, resident, graduate of the New Rochelle public schools and parent who will soon proudly send two children to the New Rochelle public schools, I write to express my concern about the journalistic judgment that produced your recent article on supposed north-south disparities in the New Rochelle school system.

The initial article was about how the South End parents feel short-changed by the South End public schools.

Noam then injects his own children into the debate and do so by making a misleading statement.

As a mayor, resident, graduate of the New Rochelle public schools and parent who will soon proudly send two children to the New Rochelle public schools…

He may proudly send his two children to public school in New Rochelle but he is not sending them to any of the South End schools. This is a classic example of Bramsonpocrisy -- I am qualified to condemn you for raising issues about problems in South End schools because I send my kids to North End schools.

The closing statement in his Op-Ed is what I later addressed in my article about Noam sending his children to the YMCA in Rye -- and Noam's attempt to use his own children to justify his position.

All of us in New Rochelle, whatever our differences, are bound together by a common set of public institutions, a common economy, a common environment and a common civic image.

We are going up or down together, and have a responsibility to forge our future in this spirit.

I address that by asking:

The City of New Rochelle offers many great summer programs. Our own Parks & Recreation Department program has some wonderful summer programs including ones held in our North End schools. The YMCA has programs and other schools have programs. So what's wrong with New Rochelle, Noam?

For this reason, I responded to Pearlman on this point:

For those not familiar with the area, Rye, NY is a very affluent, largely white community several towns up the road from New Rochelle.

For reasons that are not entirely clear to me, my former radio show co-host, Matthew Pryce, jumped into the debate:

It did seem that Pearlman must not have read the article. I asked him about that but he did not respond.

Now "stalking" is a crime In New York State and so a pretty extreme statement. I addressed this absurd statement by pointing out how a reader saw Noam at the Rye YMCA, took a photo and emailed it to me.

That Noam would send his own children to Rye for a summer camp after the sorts of claims and comments he had made about New Rochelle being so wonderful prompted me to express my opinion of Noam's hypocrisy. I can also tell you that the New Rochelle YMCA board discussed my article and was generally dismayed to see that Bramson would not send his children to their program. It is worth noting that the New Rochelle Parks & Recreation Department runs a summer program in partnership with the New Rochelle Board of Education. They were not thrilled either.

I would draw attention to the fact that I did not bring Noam's children into the debate -- he did.

Pearlman then tries to make an issue of my journalistic integrity on the grounds that I did not call the Mayor before I ran my article expressing my views of Noam' hypocrisy about what's best for his children and what's best for other people's children, especially those in the South End.

There is no reason that I would call the subject of an opinion piece before writing it any more than Bramson would be expected to call Carlos Sanchez before his Journal News Op-Ed in 2008 (in fact, Noam did not call).

It struck me that Pearlman was shooting from the hip, that he was not basing is opinions on any familiarity with the reality of New Rochelle politics and especially that Noam and his minions tend to spread a great deal of false and malicious gossip as a political tactic and was unaware that Noam, long ago, stopped responding to communications from me or Talk of the Sound. In fact, quite the opposite, he has actively discouraged other officials from talking to me.

Finally, Pearlman makes his real point:

The end of the exchange is two-part tweet from me after which he goes radio-silent about this matter. See if you can figure out why :-)

At this point I decide to do a little research as to what sort of odd, unstable person I appear to be dealing with.

I came across a June 2012 post he wrote on his blog about 5K races and then removed (you can get a sense of what he wrote here).

I do not really care what he thinks about 5K Races. What caught my eye was a comment he made defending his decision to express his views on his site:

I view this blog as a place for my thoughts and rants. If people don’t enjoy it or like it, one click takes them far, far, far away. Along those lines, if I feel someone is excessively mean, I’m allowed to fire back. That’s how I approach it. Seriously, it’s a very free country with 8,000,000,000 other sites. There’s no reason to come here if you don’t enjoy the writing.

That's an interesting perspective. Let me see if I can find a way to express my position on my publishing my views on my site in a way that Jeff Pearlman will be able to process.

It goes something like this…

I view my blog as a place for my thoughts and rants. If people don’t enjoy it or like it, one click takes them far, far, far away. Along those lines, if I feel someone is excessively mean, I’m allowed to fire back. That’s how I approach it. Seriously, it’s a very free country with 8,000,000,000 other sites. There’s no reason to come here if you don’t enjoy the writing.

I hope that helps.

Back to the matter at hand, this all makes sense, right?

One hypocrite (Jeff Pearlman) defending another (Noam Bramson).

But wait, there is more Pearlmanpocrisy to come.

Pearlman emails me to "apologize" and invite me to meet him for coffee.

That's nice. Yet when I try to pin him down he is evasive (emails follow below)

Now, I live a few blocks from the Wykagyl Starbucks and am in there regularly so meeting there is not a problem and, as I indicated, I am always willing to meet readers and debate a particular topic. So, over the next two weeks I keep an eye out for him at Starbucks without success. I decide to email him to see if I can get a specific time from him when he expects to be there. He responds by reneging on his offer to meet because he has "moved on".

On Thu, May 30, 2013 at 2:35 PM, Jeff Pearlman wrote:

Howdy, Jeff Pearlman here. I wanted to apologize for the Tweets. I strongly disagree with you on the Bramson photo, some other stuff on your site. However, battling these points via Twitter is both juvenile and stupid. My bad, 100%. Sincere apologies.

We don't agree, but I have great respect for your passion. Most just sit around like lemmings. At least you bring the heat.

Anyhow, lemme know if you ever wanna grab a coffee. I pretty much live there during book-writing season.




On Thu, May 30, 2013 at 2:46 PM, Robert Cox wrote:

I am not clear when book-writing season is or where exactly you are saying that you live during that season but I am always willing to talk with any reader whether they agree with me or not.

Can you be more specific?


Bob Cox


On Thu, May 30, 2013 at 2:49 PM, Jeff Pearlman wrote:

oops ... my bad. I write books for a living, and my office is pretty much Starbucks.


On May 30, 2013, at 3:28 PM, Robert Cox wrote:

OK. And I am going to guess that you are a NR resident and so that would be the Wykagyl Starbucks?

I am in there often enough as it is the nearest Starbucks to my house (near NRHS). Do you have a regular time that you are in there? I can make it a point to look for you next time I am in there.



On Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 2:20 PM, Robert Cox wrote:
Are you at the Starbucks this afternoon?

If not, will you be there tomorrow?

Robert Cox

Managing Editor
New Rochelle's Talk of the Sound


On Jun 17, 2013, at 2:26 PM, Jeff Pearlman wrote:

nope. nope. oy.

hey, have you tried swirl? very good.


On Jun 17, 2013, at 3:26 PM, Robert Cox wrote:

You had asked me to meet so I am attempting to do that; can u give me a time and place that would work for you. I will do my best to accommodate your schedule.

On Jun 17, 2013, at 3:29 PM, Jeff Pearlman wrote:

Uh ... it was a friendly suggestion. I've decided to pass.


On Jun 17, 2013, at 4:48 PM, Robert Cox wrote:


I am sorry to hear that.

It had been my hope that you were genuinely interested to meet. I am sorry to learn that you were not sincere in making your offer.

Please note that I intend to run a story about our exchange and will reflect that you apologized for your tweets, proposed we meet and then reneged on that offer after I accepted.

I trust that my willingness to meet and hear your side of the story is sufficient to meet your standards for journalistic integrity.

Robert Cox


On Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 5:05 PM, Jeff Pearlman wrote:

You want a quote?


From: Robert Cox
Subject: Re: from: jeff pearlman
Date: June 17, 2013 5:15:04 PM EDT
To: Jeff Pearlman


It had been my hope that you were genuinely interested to meet. I am sorry to learn that you were not sincere in making your offer. Please note that I intend to run a story about our exchange and will reflect that you apologized for your tweets, proposed we meet and then reneged on that offer after I accepted. I trust that my willingness to meet and hear your side of the story is sufficient to meet your standards for journalistic integrity.


Robert Cox

Managing Editor
New Rochelle's Talk of the Sound


On Jun 17, 2013, at 5:19 PM, Jeff Pearlman wrote:

Here's my statement. Please use it if you decide to run a story: "When I apologized to Bob Cox, and suggested we meet, it was because I felt silly having gone back and forth on Twitter—the modern-day juvenile way to snipe. I thought it would be gracious to apologize and, ultimately, meet. And, indeed, the whole Twitter thing was inane, and my apology was sincere. However, when Bob reminded me earlier today of a possible coffee sit-down, I realized it just doesn't interest me any longer. This isn't anything personal; just me moving on."

Jeff P.


From: Robert Cox
Subject: Re: from: jeff pearlman
Date: June 17, 2013 5:56:49 PM EDT
To: Jeff Pearlman


I hope you can understand that I am not terribly interested to hear from you at this point. I would urge you to desist.

Just to be clear, you and I have never met or spoken. Without any provocation, you targeted me several weeks ago in a series of public tweets to your 14,000+ followers. You made a series of personal attacks against me couched in the form of derogatory comments about an article I wrote which you did not appear at the time to have read. You went so far as to accuse me of criminal behavior (stalking children), then sought to justify your comments by various uninformed remarks and closed by disparaging my journalistic integrity. You then describe the entire matter as "This isn't anything personal".

I do not doubt that for YOU this is nothing personal. I believe I have good reason for not sharing your view.

Please appreciate that I do not consider your apology to have been gracious any more than your offer to meet was sincere. However, you offered to meet. I have sought on a number of occasions to locate you when I have been in the Wykagyl Starbucks to no avail. When I reached out to you to schedule a time you reneged on your offer to meet. My readers can draw their own conclusions.

Your subsequent justifications are of no interest to me. I am certainly not interested in your view of what should or should not appear in any article I may write about this matter. Nor am I interested in accommodating any personal requests you might make especially publishing something like the gratuitously self-serving remarks you have served up below.

Your refusal to meet with me to clear the air is particularly ironic given the context of your accusatory remarks.

I would again encourage you to desist from further communications.

Thank you.

Robert Cox

Managing Editor
New Rochelle's Talk of the Sound

So perhaps his entire exchange is a little insight into the world inhabited be people like Jeff Pearlman and Noam Bramson -- do as I say and not as I do, free speech for me but not for thee, casting stones from glass houses -- and then acted offended when called on their BS.

In this case, Pearlman makes various personal attacks, then sends a private email to "apologize" for his "juvenile and stupid" tweets, and offers to meet for coffee. He fails to inform his 14,000+ followers on Twitter than he is making this so-called apology, never addresses the question of his own hypocrisy, and refuses to meet for coffee.

The only you can do with people like Pearlman (and Bramson) is point out the inconsistencies between their words and their actions and let readers draw their own conclusions.

And so, what you are conclusions?

There are 3 Comments

After reading your most recent articles, it seems to me that Noam is desperate. He cannot help himself. Does he fear New Rochelle will not vote for him? Is he fearful of debating Astorino? What positive contributions has he made to New Rochelle? All I know is that Jeff Pearlman made a $100 political contribution in 2006 and Catherine Pearlman made a $100 contribution in 2012. That's what friends are for.

Robert Cox's picture


I had not seen this article until you pointed it out. Thanks. It's interesting.

Let me see aside his stating that the reason he voted against me, and thus for my opponent by default, even though he recognizes me as a "thorough, knowledgeable man", is supposedly based on his false assertion that I sent someone to Rye to take pictures of the Mayor and his family. As already indicated, I was completely unaware of the Mayor sending his kids to summer camp in Rye until a reader sent me the photo and pointed out Bramson's hypocrisy, with which I concurred in my article.

Let me also set aside his stating that my main professional experience is that of the founder and editor and writer for a website called Talk of the Sound. I started this site 5 years ago. While important to me, this site is a tiny fraction of my professional experience as my bio on my campaign site made clear.

What I would point out instead is his premise

"I live in New Rochelle, N.Y. It’s a lovely town with lovely people, and it features everything one would want in a home. Good people, safe streets, proximity to New York City, excellent schools…"

At this risk of being accused by him of stalking Mr. Pearlman, let me just point out that he lives in the neighborhood just north of Quaker Ridge Road

One of his neighbors is Dr. Walter Lipow.

Dr. Lipow wrote an Op-Ed for the Journal News: New Rochelle is able to take pride in its diversity

That article prompted a reply from Warren Gross: Walter Lipow's Liberal Agenda and its Negative Role in New Rochelle City Planning

I then commented on Warren's article: Dr. Lipow Twists King Message to Exploit Race in Politics

When Pearlman is describing a "lovely town" with "safe streets" and "excellent schools" he is not talking about the City of New Rochelle. Pearlman is describing the 10804 zip code which might be called the "town" of Wykagyl. It is the place he says he does most of his work -- at the coffee shops in Wykagyl. This is where he lives and works. This is where his kids go to school.

In short, he is describing the same sort of romanticized version of the City of New Rochelle and reflecting absolutely no understanding of the City as a whole just the small, affluent section of the City where, by his own account, he spends most of his time.

It is the same mindset that allows Lipow, a fellow traveler, to imagine that he is celebrating diversity by living in the City of New Rochelle while living in a section of New Rochelle that is among the most white, most affluent areas in Westchester County -- a higher white population than the famously exclusive (read "white/affluent") Scarsdale.

If you believe you are living in a highly diverse community while living in a white enclave then you can convince yourself of anything.

Pearlman has certainly convinced himself that my reporting on New Rochelle must be based on fabrication and exaggeration. For Pearlman, my research on a story is "thin" or non-existant.

Since starting the site, Cox has mastered the art of slanted reporting; of damning those he disagrees with while utilizing thin (if any) research to make sure multiple sides are rarely covered. He accuses people of lying when—it’s quite possible—they’re simply inept; he goes out of his way to condemn those who don’t share his values. There are multiple times when I read his digital rag and think, “How is this guy not getting sued … by someone?”

Given that the one example he cites -- the photo of Noam and his family in Rye -- is entirely incorrect, it is hard to take this critique seriously. It sounds to me an awful lot like the critique often made to others about me by Noam, Barry Fertel, Mitchell Tarnapol, Theresa Kump-Leghorn, Mary Jo Jacobs and so on.

To that extent, I forgive Pearlman his ignorance.

He is not basing his opinion on facts or research or even direct communication with me but what he has been spoon-fed by Noam and his gang.

And therein lies the reason for my addressing Pearlman's various tweets and posts.

Pearlman is one of many people who believe the Bramsonian vision of New Rochelle -- that we live in a diverse community with low crime and excellent schools where only the disgruntled "CAVE" people complain, people who would complain if Noam came up with a way to turn straw into gold.

When you believe you live in a diverse community but actually live in one of the least diverse zip codes in Westchester County, when you believe crime in New Rochelle is low because you live in the one part of town where crime is actually low, when you believe that stories of corruption, malfeasance and incompetence are fabricated because Noam tells you so, then you can only conclude, as he does, that Talk of the Sound is a hyper-local version of the National Enquirer.

This is why I tweeted back to Pearlman that he does not understand how the City of New Rochelle works.

The fact is that the people who run the City of New Rochelle are largely corrupt.

The people who run our city routinely take bribes and kickbacks and special favors, create sweetheart deals often involving real estate transactions with public property and otherwise feather their own nest and those of their friends by feeding at the public trough.

Another fact is that the people who participate in this or turn a blind eye to it for their own advantage (political or otherwise) are heavily invested in convincing people around them that there is no such corruption and therefore must attack anyone who brings it to the public's attention.

I am the only person who does this with any frequency and so attacking me, specifically, and Talk of the Sound, generally, is critical for them.

The best way to do this is to convince otherwise earnest and honest people -- and I put Jeff Pearlman in this category -- to carry the lies forward for them.

Such people are often called "useful idiots" (Stalin used this term to describe liberals in Western countries) but I prefer the phrase "useful innocents".

Wikipedia has a good definition:

"people perceived as propagandists for a cause whose goals they do not understand, and who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause."

Pearlman claims that his turning point with me and Talk of the Sound came in 2011 when published the article about Noam sending his kids to summer camp in Rye yet somehow he failed to raise his concerns until 2013, in the midst of my campaign for school board, when Noam and his people were pushing the very line of attack Pearlman makes.

To that extent, I believe Pearlman is being disingenuous.

Based on a quick review of his web site and Laraine's comments, Pearlman is a North End/Liberal/Jewish/Democrat/Bramson Friend, Apologist and Political Donor who says the "turning point" in his view of me came two years ago. Really?

Sorry, but it is hard for me to believe but that for a photo of Noam on Talk of the Sound two year ago he was just about to vote for me in the last school board election and then changed his mind at the last minute. Maybe this is the case but I find it difficult to believe.

Let me close by circling back to Pearlman's supposed concern for journalistic integrity.

Take a look at the photo Pearlman uses in his article about me where he questions my integrity.

Pearlman DebatePhoto jpg

You will see that the photo he uses to illustrate his point is one taken by Ned Rauch that he lifted from the Journal News web site and then published without attribution on his site while writing about watching the debate. This appears to me a lot like Pearlman implying he was present at the debate and took the photo himself. Whatever it is, this is not his photo and he does not provide attribution.

JN DebatePhoto

Wikipedia: Plagiarism is the "wrongful appropriation" and "purloining and publication" of another author's "language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions," and the representation of them as one's own original work…Plagiarism is considered…a breach of journalistic ethics…Plagiarism is not a crime per se but in academia and industry it is a serious ethical offense, and cases of plagiarism can constitute copyright infringement.

This is just another example of Pearlman's hypocrisy, which goes a long way towards explaining his need to excuse Bramson's hypocrisy while making false and misleading assertions about the provenance of the photo from Rye, Noam's willingness to respond to questions from me about the photo from Rye and more generally how I research articles on Talk of the Sound and the quality and integrity of my reporting.

I would say to Mr. Pearlman if he cares to cite examples to support his claim that my stories are not true he should do so. That he cannot do so despite years of supposedly reading my site speaks volumes.

It reminds me that two years ago Mary Jo Jacobs sent around an email during my previous school board campaign stating that I had written all sorts of terrible things on my web site, that when she went through my site she could not find any such stories and that I must have purged my site of these terrible things I had written.

That there were no such terrible things written in the first place is unfathomable to Jacobs who would rather believe that I would take the time to comb through my site to delete any articles or comments that I might imagine Mary Jo Jacobs might find objectionable.

More broadly, Pearlman is an archetype.

He is an otherwise uninvolved, uninformed New Rochelle voter who believes himself to be informed but who in reality is simply accepting at face value tales he is told by Noam & Company. He then projects that information forward as fact and joins in a "shoot the messenger" approach to public discourse.

So why waste time with people like Jeff Pearlman?

I do not believe that Pearlman is a pure ideologue. I believe he is sincerely convinced that what he has been told is true and therefore when he hears or reads anything that contradicts what he believes he dismisses it out of hand. He is what you might call a "social ideologue", a person part of a groupthink mindset. In this case, that Noam is a "good guy" and thus anyone who criticizes him is necessarily a "bad guy". Having thus poisoned the well, he can then fabricate motives and scenarios to reinforce his prejudices.

People like Pearlman are important to me because when I get a chance to talk to them at length and answer their questions, they experience a sort of cognitive dissonance. They come to realize that I am not some lunatic, hell-bent on destroying New Rochelle and that what I am describing about New Rochelle and the people who run it is actually true (even more so), that we have some truly bad people making some truly selfish, sub-optimal solutions that revolve around cronyism and corruption, that a lot of what they have been told are distortions or lies and the people who have been influencing their opinions have not been honest with them.

The 1972 film The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean sums this up in its own off-color way:

There is nothing worse than a harlot turned respectable. A reformed anything is bad enough, but a reformed harlot is the direct wrath of the Devil.

It is for this reason that I wished to meet with him and was disappointed when he reneged. I would also suggest that Pearlman did not simply get bored with the topic but was advised not to speak to me by someone else from the Noam & Co. crowd if not Noam himself.

There is nothing Noam fears more than useful innocents like Pearlman sitting down and talking with me because they then might start to ask questions that Noam does not want to answer.

Anyone familiar with the lack of support I had among North End Jewish Democrats in 2011 and the support I added in 2013 knows this.

Anyone familiar with the people involved with the Echo Bay Facts web site, many of them current and former "Friends of Noam" knows this.

Noam knows this.

For that reason Noam would want to make sure people like Pearlman never hear a reasoned argument against his imagined vision of New Rochelle.