LISTEN: Manish Mehta Defends Himself Against Criticism From Joe & Evan

January 11, 2019 - 1:23 pm
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By WFAN.com

WFAN's Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts have recently accused the Daily News' Manish Mehta of being a mouthpiece for the Jets. On Thursday's show, Roberts even referred to Mehta as "Sarah Huckabee Mehta."

The Jets beat writer wanted an opportunity to defend his coverage of the Jets' coaching search, which he received in a Friday interview that was contentious at times.

 

Mehta started out by saying he took it personally when Joe and Evan referred to the "character assassination" of former Packers coach Mike McCarthy in the press. The WFAN hosts -- who are both passionate Jets fans --  had rooted for McCarthy to be hired as the team's head coach. 

Mehta, meanwhile, wrote a column critical of McCarthy. He insisted that he only attacked the coach's in-game blunders, not his character.

LISTEN: Joe Benigno, Evan Roberts Fume Over Jets Hiring Adam Gase

"I know you guys are big Mike McCarthy proponents, and evidently he's Vince Lombardi or Bill Walsh," Mehta said sarcastically.

When the debate turned to the man the Jets did hire, Adam Gase, Benigno told Mehta: "You would be a great politician. You would be one of the greatest because you don't answer the questions. You double talk."

Mehta fired back: "You're telling me to stop, yet you're not giving me an opportunity to start."

Roberts then told Mehta that "some of the garbage" he tweeted out over the past few days made it sound like he worked for the Jets, including one tweet about how CEO Christopher Johnson and general manager Mike Maccagnan asked great questions during the interview process.

MORE: Lichtenstein: Volatile Gase Has Potential To Be As Wacky As Jets’ Process That Hired Him

"I work my ass off," Mehta said. "So I talked to people who interviewed for the job but did not get the job. These are people who actually sat in the room with Christopher Johnson and Mike Maccagnan. And I asked them, 'Hey, look, neither of these guys has even been involved in a coaching search. How did they handle it?'

"It wasn't a team mandate. I don't work for the team. I have a mind of my own. And I know that people inside the building, outside the building sometimes can get ticked off at me, but I don't really care because I don't work for the team."

In the end, Mehta maintained a sense of humor about the criciticsm he's received from Joe and Evan.

Benigno wrapped up the interview by telling Mehta, "Say hello to (Jets vice president of player personnel) Michael Heimerdinger and Maccagnan for me."

Mehta replied, "I was reading off like a typed sheet from the Jets (during the interview)."

To watch the interview, click on the audio player above.