On the morning after yet another clash between John Tortorella and a member of the press...
Having been around the block a few times in this business, from news to politics to sports, you learn that it's almost always a touchy relationship between the media and public figures and coaches are no exception. (Unless perhaps, it's Rex Ryan and the Jets press corps, I guess.)
As far as I'm concerned, the basic rule in a public forum is: Answer the question or decline professionally. Keep it above board. If there's an issue between the writer or broadcaster and the subject, address it privately, not on deadline, not in public.
For what it's worth and in the name of transparency, yours truly and the Rangers coach had a nasty but brief post-game public clash back in November on the Western Canada trip. I was on deadline and livid, but we agreed to meet in the team hotel lobby the next morning before they boarded a bus. We exchanged our points of view, he apologized, and we turned the page. Doesn't mean it can't happen again, though.
The situation with the Post's Larry Brooks goes deeper. The veteran writer and columnist and the coach didn't just meet last week, of course, and it's increasingly clear that there's tension .
No matter, though.
The question Brooks posed was legit and asked politely. At least two us were going to ask about the response to the Carcillo-Gaborik fight (and did minutes later), Brooks just asked first.
But the response was over-the-top, especially in a group setting. It was uncomfortable and totally unnecessary.
Press scrums need to be conducted with the knowledge that information needs to be shared and gathered quickly and respectfully, so everybody (radio/print/TV) gets their job done and readers/viewers/fans are well-served. They're paying for this stuff, after all.
It's so simple, it's ridiculous.
The personal issues need to be discussed privately. Period.