ESPN, batting .000 on factual reporting this week

ESPN coverNot sure if you’ve been following this week, but ESPN has basically gotten it’s ass kicked on reports it released.

First was the news that Bills’ tight end Kevin Everett would never walk again.

Now, this would seem like something one might want to research before reporting, after all, it is an individual’s life.

Also, personally, I find it hard to believe that a doctor would say that Everett was never going to walk again before his sedation was even lifted.

But I won’t lump all that on ESPN, because it seemed most media outlets were assuming the worst. It was a rush to declare the worst possible news on Everett, which is really sad when you think about it. The guy is still in surgery, most definitely with a long road to recovery ahead of him, but the Leader has already decided his fate.

Then came EliGate.

Mortensen reported that Eli Manning had separated his shoulder in Sunday night’s game against the Cowboys, something the team, nor its doctors, ever reported. Mort said Eli would be out a month — something that was then quoted in other espn.com pieces.

Today’s story? He could be starting Sunday.

The real problem with Mortensen’s story is that it sites numerous anonymous sources. Memo to Mort: This isn’t Watergate. This is Eli Manning’s potentially injured shoulder.

The only instance in which sources should not be named is if their lives or jobs are in danger. I’m guessing Mort’s sources didn’t have to worry about losing their lives. Or their jobs.

The best part of the Mort report is the end:

Manning himself has said that he was not in a great deal of pain and believed he has a chance of playing Sunday against the Green Bay Packers in a home opener.

Manning? What does he know?! Mortensen has sources! He just can’t tell you who they are.


2 Responses to “ESPN, batting .000 on factual reporting this week”

  1. September 14, 2007 at 7:34 am

    I hear what you’re saying here, but I think it’s unfair to be overly critical about Everett. I mean, the guy’s doctor said it would be extremely doubtful that he would ever walk again, and he said something to the effect of “right now, we’re just worried about his life.” Of course ESPN is going to pick up on that. As for Manning, it is funny how things got blown out of proportion, and I love citing your own publication as a source, shaky and unsubstantiated thought it may be. Very solid journalism.

  2. September 14, 2007 at 7:38 am

    Right, I tried to make sure and note that everyone kind of assumed the worst on Everett…maybe I should have made that a little more clear.

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