First, New York Times columnist Murray Chass took the buyout.
Then he started a blog, except he isn’t calling it a blog, even though it clearly is a blog (WordPress is blogging software, after all).
The Big Lead was all over this story. Deadspin covered it too.
But we at Umpbump were a bit skeptical.
Sure, the site’s url is murraychass.com. But anybody could buy that url. There’s no guarantee that Murray Chass is in anyway associated with the website that bears his name.
The screed on the site’s “about” page is almost too intentionally-unintentionally-hilariously Chass-like to be true. Yet, if the blog is a fake, why hasn’t Chass stepped forward to say so?
We did a little digging through the site’s CSS code and found a name, Ryan, and an email address. Jackpot!
Alejandro emailed Ryan and asked if Murray Chass was really behind murraychass.com. Here’s what Ryan wrote back:
I cannot comment on your inquiry. However, I’d be more than happy to let you know you should direct your question(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org for a more official response.
We directed our inquiry to the email address Ryan suggested. A few days went by. And then this – a post on murraychass.com asking if “the folks at umpbump (do) not have anything better to do but wonder about the author of this site?”. Ouch.
The post concludes with this cryptic line:
Perhaps by now the umpbump guys have figured it out for themselves; they should be able to figure it out. If they haven‘t, though, they will have to wonder for a while longer.
We’re still wondering.
We’re wondering why Ryan promised to answer our question, but never did?
We’re wondering if Murray Chass even knows there’s a website out there that bears his name?
We’re wondering what it will take to get to the bottom of this mystery?
But one thing we’re sure of: we won’t rest until we know who is behind murraychass.com.