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WFAN’s Craig Carton Mocks Josh Hamilton

By Mike Silva ~ July 15th, 2011. Filed under: Mike Silva, Sports Media Commentary.

Craig Carton has done many cruel things during his tenure on radio. Among his list of accomplishments are racial profiling, mocking postpartum depression, and animal abuse. Earlier this week he added insensitivity to drug and alcohol addiction when bringing up Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton.

NYBD reader Corey informed me of a conversation that took place between Carton and his sidekick Boomer Esiason during their daily morning show on WFAN:

Boomer & Carton were talking about how Boomer has been out of NFL nearly as long as he was a player. Of course, Carton makes it all about him and makes fun of Boomer for being old. Boomer & Jerry Recco (update guy) point out to Carton he’s not that much younger. Boomer asks what Carton was doing while he was playing in NFL? Carton says he was betting on the Bengals (Silva adds: illegal gambling is a big part of WFAN culture).

Again, Carton makes himself the center of attention and turns the conversation to maybe WFAN will get him a “younger sidekick” to replace Boomer. Esiason takes exception to that, but Carton continued to go on. He says that when Colt McCoy’s NFL career doesn’t pan out, he’d be a good sidekick. Boomer points out to Carton that McCoy is born again and wouldn’t tolerate his nonsense. Carton said he’d take McCoy out in Manhattan and he’d change him. 

Somehow Carton then starts talking about Josh Hamilton being born again too and how maybe he’d be a good partner. He believes he would change him too, but he wouldn’t be reliable. Carton was saying if he took Hamilton out it would be all over for him. He was cackling and said: “You couldn’t take Hamilton out on a Friday night. Hey Hamilton didn’t show up for his Saturday morning shift, call up Neer.”  He was literally cracking up at Hamilton’s struggles.

This is a continued pattern of behavior that WFAN management should be ashamed of. Is this good radio? Is this professional? I am all about having fun, but how can you do this to Hamilton a week after he was dealing with throwing the ball to the fan that fell and died. How can you mock someone that has overcome drug and alcohol addiction and made himself a productive member of society? I wouldn’t call him a role model- I don’t believe athlete’s are- but I do admire his ability to pull himself off the ground. He fell off the wagon last year, but it doesn’t appear to be more than a small blip in the road. How do you think his wife and kids would feel if they heard this tape? You think they would find it funny that their husband/dad was the butt of a joke by a narcissistic morning drive host?

Don’t be surprised if this tape “disappears” from the archives at WFAN. It’s a big part of their playbook when a host makes a mistake. Sweeping it under the rug in the name of ratings seems to be part of the mission statement.

Craig Carton continues to make other people’s struggles the butt of his jokes. In reality, his whole career has been a failure. He’s used cheap stunts to gain notoriety in small radio markets. His prominent status in New York is due to the real estate left behind by Don Imus and the celebrity of his co-host. His venture into television (Spike TV) was a disaster.

Only a sad person like Carton would feel better about himself by making light of the daily struggle of those that suffer from addiction. I believe he should issue an apology and be disciplined in the form of a suspension. Don’t you agree?

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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13 Responses to WFAN’s Craig Carton Mocks Josh Hamilton

  1. Pat

    I can’t take Carton anymore. His act has gotten old and he’s really not funny and he really is not a sports fan at any level. He just makes things up to sound like he’s interested. But, you can hear him quoting things he’s heard Evan or Mike say. Just to try to fit in to the sports host mold.
    I did happen to catch that last sentence about not showing up on Saturday…… What I think he was doing there was getting a dig in on Sid who didn’t do his 10-2 shift on Saturday on WFAN. Richard Neer had to stay until 12 and ATB had to come in early. Neer said he had throat issues. I had seen a tweet from Sid late Friday night. But nothing on Saturday. There never seemed to be anything about him not doing his show anywhere.

  2. Mike Silva



    Throat issues for Sid. I did pick up on that shot to Sid. Who, by the way, is a recovering addict and deserves better. Using Hamilton as the butt of his Rosenberg paranoia is pretty despicable in my opinion.

  3. Stu B

    If Sid failed to show up for a morning gig, maybe he’s not recovering so well. Just saying…

  4. Mike Silva

    I would agree Stu, but it was a throat issue, no different than calling in sick to work. He has been working tons of shifts at different stations. It can take a toll on vocal cords. He is going to see a specialist I believe.

  5. Susan S.

    I did not hear this segment, but considering the source, I’m not surprised.

    Besides “racial profiling, mocking postpartum depression, animal abuse”, and “insensitivity to drug and alcohol addiction” that you mention, Carton’s blatant sexism is a big turn-off for me. I realize that, as a woman approaching fifty, I am not in the typical WFAN listener demographic, so I usually just turn the show off.

    I’d like to think, though, that New York sports fans are, in general, more sophisticated and knowledgeable than WFAN must assume we are to pander to the lowest common (and in my case, NOT common) denominator.

    At least I have Joe and Evan, Steve Somers, and Richard Neer for intelligent sports discourse.

  6. FakeMikeSilva

    “I did not hear this segment, but considering the source, I’m not surprised.”

    Don’t worry, I didn’t hear it either! That shouldn’t stop us from commenting on it, though! Carry on and judge with second hand and probably biased information! That’s how media should operate! It’s not at all irresponsible and hypocritical!

  7. FakeMikeSilva

    “Don’t be surprised if this tape “disappears” from the archives at WFAN. It’s a big part of their playbook when a host makes a mistake. Sweeping it under the rug in the name of ratings seems to be part of the mission statement.”




  8. Mike I

    It is only a matter of time before Craigy Crapon says something really over-the-top. I have not listened to any sports radio in the morning in at least a year and I have satellite as well, but nothing there is really appealing except during football season.

    That is the sad part why their numbers are still good, there is practically nothing for a typical male to listen to in the morning on AM and certainly not on FM anymore with Stern and O & A on Sirius XM.

    We know Mike is hitting the big time when someone comes up with a fake twitter account.

  9. John Autin

    I do think it’s insensitive to joke about Hamilton so soon after the death of that poor man.

    However, putting that bad timing aside, I do not agree that Hamilton’s status as a recovering addict puts him in a protected class that renders any jokes about his past behavior or his present struggles automatically insensitive.

    Everyone’s foibles are fodder for jokes on this type of morning radio show. Why should Hamilton be exempt? Does calling something an addiction create a special “get-out-of-mockery-free” card that isn’t extended to, say, Jets coach Rex Ryan, who is often a target of fat jokes?

    Now, if you don’t like that entire radio genre, I’m with you — I don’t like it, either. But to say that Carton’s riff on Hamilton as an inappropriate Friday-night sidekick deserves a suspension is going too far.

    P.S. On a more general note, I think the argument against Carton is not aided by the repeated generalized characterizing of Carton’s behavior in a disparaging way:

    “Of course, Carton makes it all about him….”
    “Again, Carton makes himself the center of attention….”

    If you want to persuade someone who doesn’t already agree with you, a straight description of Carton’s comments would be more effective.

  10. FakeMikeSilva

    Hey John,
    Back off! To be in this business you have to have a thick skin…unless Carton is making fun of somone. Then, the jokes are not allowed. Craig Carton jokes = thin skin, it appears to be a proven scientific fact!

  11. Russ Cress

    I can not believe I just read this comment….

    “At least I have Joe and Evan, Steve Somers, and Richard Neer for intelligent sports discourse.”

    In the 24 years of WFAN’s existence, I’ve never heard a single intelligent, informed sports comment come from the mouth of Steve Sommers.

  12. Will in Central NJ

    I’ve heard it said that, there is no use in wrestling with pigs. You end up rolling in the mud, the pig derives pleasure from it, and you end up covered with mud despite your best efforts. The lesson to draw from this, as applied to the topic at hand? I stay away from the pigpen, at least while the swine are present. My radio dial is never on WFAN during the Carton/Boomer timeslot.

  13. PatG

    I’m just reading this for the first time. I can’t watch that show for even 5 seconds because of Craig Carton in particular. It’s amazing how they even get guests on that show as Carton does nothing but insult them and tries to put them on the spot.

    It’s also amazing how biased both Carton and Esiason are. If you are a Yankees and Giants’ fan, there’s no point in watching as they are always knocking both teams.

    One day I was surfing the channels and heard Craig Carton say “Jose Reyes is no longer a Met. You heard it here first.” I went to ESPN and they said nothing about it. I went back to MSG and Boomer was trying to clean up the mess made by Carton as Reyes was still a Met.

    I just don’t know why one of the greatest sports towns in the country doesn’t have a decent local sports show.

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