It is true that La Rocca suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous critics, starting with Marshall Stearns in the mid-1930s, but if ever a man shot himself in the foot with his responses it was La Rocca. He had every right to defend the ODJB and try and remove some of the tarnish that stained its reputation - but his constant tirades were often vindictive in nature and at worst racially abusive.
As a consequence, La Rocca unwittingly provided ammunition to those that deride the ODJB, to the point where the band is now regarded amongst many jazz writers as a pariah, the untouchable outcast of jazz history. That is a great shame, because it is obvious to anyone who is not in some way biased and partisan, that the ODJB played an important role in the development of jazz during its nascent days and a crucial one in popularising it globally. But it is equally obvious that the heart of jazz beats to a profoundly black rhythm, and for La Rocca to dismiss this is as unfair as it is for jazz purists in their puritanical stance to deny the importance of Italian, Jewish, Spanish and a myriad of other "white" cultures, each of which brought its own folk music to the great American musical melting pot of the early 20th century.
Ironically, La Rocca's indignation reminds one of Jelly Roll Morton's attacks (also through DownBeat magazine) on W C Handy in the late 1930s. Indeed, Morton criticised Handy for very similar reasons. The kudos that "The Father of The Blues" received drove Morton to accuse Handy of being nothing more than a plagiarist and peddler of other people's songs, while he was the true "inventor" of jazz. The claims of both La Rocca and Morton were often unreasonable, but made by men who felt outcast. In La Rocca's case, the marginalisation continues posthumously, while Morton receives an altogether more deferential assessment of his achievements.