Bill Leslie Responds To SFN Criticism

First, I grew up as a huge NCSU fan and I still pull for the Pack. Yes, I am a UNC grad and I do believe Gregg Doyle’s article was reckless. I would say the same thing if State were in this situation. We are thoroughly covering this story but I think a few more facts need to come out before you can say the kind of things that Gregg Doyle is saying. By “cutting some slack” I was referring to his “turd floating in the water comment.” I think that statement was unnecessary and overboard. I promise you I will not hold back in reporting the truth on this investigation no matter what the outcome. And yes, I will be pulling for State to win tonight against Cincinnati. I work hard to be fair. Just ask my State friends here at WRAL. Sometimes I make mistakes. I apologize if I have offended any of you.


Bill Leslie

ACC & Other UNC Scandal

54 Responses to Bill Leslie Responds To SFN Criticism

  1. MrW00Fpack 09/16/2010 at 2:42 PM #

    isnt that kind of him. how sweet.

  2. BigRed 09/16/2010 at 2:45 PM #

    Fair enough. I would however ask Mr. Leslie if by “covering this story” he means simply reporting on findings that come out elsewhere (other reporters, UNC press releases, etc.). Or does he mean actually asking tough questions, digging for facts, developing sources and otherwise doing the work that we might expect of our local media in covering one of the area’s biggest sports stories in recent memory?

  3. ppack3 09/16/2010 at 2:46 PM #

    ^ That’s stand-up, Bill. Don’t expect anyone to let up on you, but good to see a response.

  4. WTNY 09/16/2010 at 2:46 PM #

    Props to Mr. Leslie for addressing his letter to Doyle.

    I believe Leslie learned something about Gregggg Doyle — he is a gotcha journalist and nothing more.

  5. Phang 09/16/2010 at 2:49 PM #

    “We are thoroughly covering this story”

    I would have snickered, except for the part about “thoroughly”.


  6. coach13 09/16/2010 at 2:56 PM #

    Leslie is the anchorman. He doesn’t go out and investigate. WRAL sends out investigators and Bill reports the results. The Brass calls the shots and NO i dont think they want to investigate this story. I like Bill OK but to think he calls the shots on what is/aint reported I think is a stretch.

  7. Phang 09/16/2010 at 3:00 PM #

    ^@coach, maybe so, but how do you explain

    “We are thoroughly covering this story”

  8. PackisRolling 09/16/2010 at 3:02 PM #

    backstrokin’ at its finest.

    he showed his true (blue) colors in his letter to Doyle (thinking it would never see the light of day). Only good that could come out of this is for him to try hard to prove he’s not biased.

  9. haze 09/16/2010 at 3:03 PM #

    Stand-up response, Mr. Leslie.

  10. Old MacDonald 09/16/2010 at 3:06 PM #

    Bill: Thanks for your reply. Too bad we did not get to enjoy your reasonable mindset in 1989/90.

  11. Redwolf2450 09/16/2010 at 3:07 PM #

    Apology accepted. I appreciate Mr. Leslie not hiding from the issue and addressing it promptly.

  12. GAWolf 09/16/2010 at 3:08 PM #

    I’m impressed he took the time to address this. I’m sure he’s a busy guy, and that shows a lot of class.

    I agree with him wholeheartedly that the “turd in the punchbowl” comment was a ridiculous cliche coming from CBS. I previously questioned when CBS went r-rated with the curse words Doyel used in that entry.

    That being said, Leslie as much as anyone being that he’s in the business should recognize a shock-jock statement to rile people up as much as anyone. I’m sure he wishes he hadn’t responded to it. We have all wished the same at one point or another. None of us can say we haven’t reacted to someone unworthy of a reaction, and it’s honorable… very honorable… that Mr. Leslie would send such an email.

    That being said… it’s a shame he went to the dark side. What is it with people growing up State fans and then switching? It’s sort of like those t-shirts: “Rehab is for quitters.” Certainly it’s an easier existence… at least it likely was until maybe now.

  13. Scooter 09/16/2010 at 3:15 PM #

    An interesting observation is that Bill Leslie realizes what Lee Fowler never did — those silly folks on the internet may have strange view, but they can reach a lot of people faster than the news at 6:00pm or a ridiculous radio interview wherein cougars are discussed.

  14. Redwolf2450 09/16/2010 at 3:16 PM #

    Scooter Says:
    September 16th, 2010 at 3:15 pm
    An interesting observation is that Bill Leslie realizes what Lee Fowler never did — those silly folks on the internet may have strange view, but they can reach a lot of people faster than the news at 6:00pm.

    Interesting point ^

  15. LKNpackfan 09/16/2010 at 3:17 PM #


    Seriously though – the reply is appreciated, but it just comes across as another UNCer regretting that they got caught. Homer is still appropriate, just not a shameless one.

  16. Prowling Woofie 09/16/2010 at 3:19 PM #

    Nice of Bill to respond – too bad he went Stackhouse on us…

    I’ll believe the ‘thoroughly covering’ part when I see/hear/read it, though.

  17. Skoll 09/16/2010 at 3:26 PM #

    “I grew up a Pack fan” doesn’t mean jack. As a unc alumnus, your loyalties have been exposed with your whining to Doyell. This weak mea culpa does nothing to convince me and many others that you and your station will do all it can to NOT truly investigate the absolute stench that is Chapel Hill. Doyell is rarely correct but he has been spot on lately. Calling you a unc homer was as accurate as it gets. Don’t pander to us here, spend your time doing some actual investigation into unc-ch and prove you are not biased. No one remembers any call for restraint from you when the V witch hunt was underway.

  18. tjfoose1 09/16/2010 at 3:41 PM #

    FWIW, after reading the Doyle article, I found it odd that Mr Leslie would respond that way, especially as a known rep of WRAL. I thought to give Mr Leslie the benefit of the doubt, temporarily… perhaps he was just another victim of the trolling troll that is GD. As GAWOLF referenced, we all have at one point or another, reacted to something in ways we wish we hadn’t.

    So, before I commented, I called the station myself to inquire if the opinion of Mr Leslie was that of the station’s.

    At first, they seemed uninterested, and did not know to what I was referring. They gave me the company line about the station being unbiased, not favoring any politician, political view, university, etc.

    They were very polite, and allowed the conversation to continue. When I ran down the litany of problems UNC is facing with their multi-pronged investigation, then recited Mr. Leslie’s “cut them some slack” quote, then added that I found it very inappropriate that a news anchor would make such a statement, WRAL got my point.

    The response I got from them was a moment of dead silence, followed by, and I’m paraphrasing, “point taken, I’ll need to look into this”. They took my information and asked where they could find Greg Doyle’s piece.

    At the time, I did NOT mention how I came across the article. No mention whatsoever of, the internet, blogs.. nothing.

    About 15 minutes later, Mr Leslie called me himself, to apologize. He started to explain Greg Doyle, that his words were taken out of context, etc… but I cut him off, telling him I was no fan of Doyle and considered him a troll myself. I understood where he was coming from…. He continued to apologize, acknowledging his error in responding and the words he chose in responding. I actually had to cut him off several times, as he kept trying to explain and apologize. I had to tell him, several times, I understood the situation…

    Anyway, at the time, as far as WRAL and Mr. Leslie were concerned, I was just one person. They took the time to hear my point, seriously consider it, and then provide a direct response and apology from Mr Leslie.

    Gotta give WRAL and Mr. Leslie credit for that, as ppack3 wrote “That’s stand-up”. A similar response we will never get from the N&O.

    Anyway, thought I should provide the back story for perspective. I think it is important to note that WRAL and Mr. Leslie himself jumped out in front of this, and responded to a single viewer who called in with a single question.

    An error was made, quickly followed by an acknowledgment of the error and an apology. Nothing more we can ask.


    In my conversation with Mr Leslie, I did provide him with contact information to this website. He wanted to address this immediately and asked who/how he should contact. I suggested he refer to their radio guys who occasionally have JB on as a guest.

  19. Skoll 09/16/2010 at 3:50 PM #

    I would love to see Leslie respond to this thread. His apology rings hollow to me. It is commendable of him and wral to call you and speak to you about this but imo it is nothing more than damage control. Their lead anchor, the face of the station, has in essence given us insight into the mindset of the local media. “Cut them some slack”. It is an admission to we won’t investigate because they don’t deserve to be investigated.

  20. GoldenChain 09/16/2010 at 3:52 PM #

    Please, give me a break. Packman, all the Daily Tarhole Southern Edition reporters etc answer my emails and I’m not anybody.
    What makes any of you think that Bill “pink tie” Leslie is any different. Its part of his job to answer emails, especially to media outlets AND ESPICIALLY WHEN HE’s DEFENDING HIS OBJECTIVITY!!!!
    To me your responses just go to show what has happened to the State Fan Nation over the last 20 years. “Thank you important Mr. WRAL journalist for responding to little ole NCSU fans”.
    Gesus, are you guys the same ones who cried that some unx students had painted the Free Expression tunnel????!!!! BO) HOO HOO!
    I’m telling ya, I don’t even know if this is the right blog for me any more. I need to revamp my pink wardrobe!

  21. McCallum 09/16/2010 at 3:52 PM #

    Dear Bill,

    We aint buying it. You boys have been caught dead to rights and you should get no special treatment. You deserve the same pasting we were given so many times in the past.

    And also: GO TO HELL!!


  22. tjfoose1 09/16/2010 at 3:55 PM #

    “…but imo it is nothing more than damage control”

    Quite possible, but he sounded genuine (I’m not easily snowed) and I have to take the man at his word. This incident may actually wind up causing WRAL to be a little more harsh on UNC. Who knows.

  23. GoldenChain 09/16/2010 at 4:01 PM #

    (I’m not easily snowed)

    BS! I looked at your CH101 exams. There is the right answer, the crazy wrong answer, the one decimial place off answer, and the SUCKER ANSWER (the one where you used the right numbers but put them upside down or something).
    You went for the sucker answers!

  24. Skoll 09/16/2010 at 4:04 PM #


  25. tjfoose1 09/16/2010 at 4:05 PM #


    “Packman”? If you’re referring to me, then I’ll respond by saying we’re all entitled to our opinions.

    Leslie erred, given that, how better could it have been handled?

    I don’t have the “Thank you important Mr. WRAL journalist for responding to little ole NCSU fans” attitude at all. To be honest, I expected a response more in line with that of the N&O.

    In fact, I’m still somewhat skeptical, but like I said, until a man lies to me, I have to take him at his word. If anything, this little episode should serve as ‘encouragement’ for WRAL to be more ‘journalistic’ in their coverage.

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