Chris Mortensen Gets Another "Breaking News" Story Wrong

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Mort's reporting has been well documented on this site as extremely suspect and now you can officially add another to his resume. On Sunday, Chris Mortensen had the breaking news that the Arizona Cardinals were choosing veteran Kurt Warner as their starting quarterback. Well that had every beat writer in the Grand Canyon State perplexed and scrambling for a statement from Cards' Coach Ken Whisenhunt. The coach refuted the item early yesterday morning and by the end of the day the AZ Central had the news that Mort's report was completely off-base.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, however, citing a team source, said Warner would be named the starter ahead of Leinart, who threw three interceptions against the Raiders.

“I haven’t read the paper today or seen the Internet,” Whisenhunt said. “Do we have a quarterback? … It seems like Chris Mortensen is making the decision on our quarterback for our football team. … But nothing has changed.”

Update: Leinart remains Cardinals starting QB

Matt Leinart remains the Cardinals starting quarterback, despite a news report on Sunday that coach Ken Whisenhunt had decided to replace him with Kurt Warner.
Whisenhunt denied that was his plan and said today that the evaluation process at quarterback is continuing. He met with Leinart this morning to talk about the reports, assuring the young quarterback that the information didn't come from the Cardinals.

Leinart took snaps with the first team in Monday's short practice but so did Warner. That has been the norm this off-season.
In the past two years alone Mort has been responsible for a laundry list of false reports. First, it was that Michael Vick unlikely to get indicted, we all know how that turned out. After that came the guarantee that Ron Rivera was the next Cowboys Coach, and when that didn't pan out he was chided by colleague Greg Easterbrook online. Next, it was Mortensen saying that Eli Manning would "officially" miss a month to start last season, Eli played every game. THEN it was Jon Gruden put him on blast. If you add to that this Cardinals story, the Parcells to Atlanta guarantee, and the lock that Brett Favre WAS NOT going to come back this season, you have grand total of eight....EIGHT!....breaking news items that Mortensen was dead wrong about.

Look, I'm not denying that Mort has sources or that he works his tail off, but good lord! How many times is ESPN going to go all-in with one of his guesses just to have it blow up in their face? It's not the fact that he gets reports wrong, that happens to everyone (obviously not that many times), but every damn show on ESPN then talks about them like they are gospel. Yesterday alone PTI, ATH, NFL Live, First Take and Sports Center all spent a good two to five minutes on the item when Whisenhunt had already refuted the claim. Hell, he said that wasn't the case at around 9am Monday morning! Anybody can make guesses like this, but if he was a reporter for a local newspaper, he would long been fired for so many errors.

The guy is obviously there to say, but can we please just tone down all the "Breaking News" reports the next time he happens upon some news, ESPN? I'm just looking out for you.

Whisenhunt says no decision yet (AZ Central)
Still No Named QB in Arizona ... Mort Guessed Wrong Again (Fanhouse)
Chris Mortensen is back in the game, baby (PaxArcana)

28 Comments:

Accuracy is one thing that ESPN doesn't subscribe to.

Anonymous said...
Aug 26, 2008, 1:35:00 PM  

Not that I have a problem with Mort, but there is nothing better than seeing ESPN look like fools when they run with stories that aren't true.

Anonymous said...
Aug 26, 2008, 1:39:00 PM  

The guy needs to go back to whatever college he graduated from and retake journalism 101. Oh that's right. He went to El Camino College and never graduated. He did serve his Country which was good but he might want to go and finish up that degree.

Mike said...
Aug 26, 2008, 1:44:00 PM  

which breaking stories did he get RIGHT? seriously...anyone?

mrf said...
Aug 26, 2008, 1:53:00 PM  

If this "journalist" thing doesn't work out for Mort, he can always fall back on his vast knowledge of Fantasy Football.

Aug 26, 2008, 1:54:00 PM  

When he finally gets fired by ESPN, he'll be snapped up in a heartbeat by Fox News.

Pip said...
Aug 26, 2008, 2:07:00 PM  

"ESPN's Chris Mortensen is reporting that the Bengals may be offering up Rudi Johnson (hamstring) in exchange for wideout help."

Does this mean that Rudi will not only start, but have a Pro-Bowl year in Cincy? If history is our guide...then I say yes..

Hammers said...
Aug 26, 2008, 2:22:00 PM  

Cant wait to see what Brady has to say about his "bone bruise". I think he has another ESPN rant in him.

Anonymous said...
Aug 26, 2008, 2:33:00 PM  

Chris Mortenson is the national medias Butch Stearns. Utterly clueless

steve said...
Aug 26, 2008, 2:37:00 PM  

It's bad enough Mort can't get his stories right, dude looked like a creepy aquarium-store owner with that ridiculous goatee.

Anonymous said...
Aug 26, 2008, 2:47:00 PM  

I kinda feel bad for him, he's one of the people on ESPN who doesn't ooze smarminess. He should just do what ESPN.com reporters do: wait for AP or someone else to break a story, then post it 15 minutes later with the disclaimer "OUR OWN _____ HAS LEARNED."

Kyle said...
Aug 26, 2008, 2:51:00 PM  

Mort has rested on his laurels for so long, he's forgotten how to do 'breaking' news.

He's forgotten to check to see if a story is true from more than one source, and he looks more and more like a tool.

Did anyone see his fantasy football picks in that 'celebrity' league? What an idiot!

Anonymous said...
Aug 26, 2008, 3:07:00 PM  

He gets all the wrong stories the quickest, but all the correct stories are broken first by Jay Glazer. So sad.

Anonymous said...
Aug 26, 2008, 3:12:00 PM  

Um, isn't anyone going to point out that it's a little early to say he was wrong? So what if Whisenhunt won't announce it two weeks before Week 1? Coaches are so paranoid they don't announce preseason starters. Even if he made the decision, he probably wouldn't announce it now. If Leinart isn't the Week 1 starter, Mort will be wrong. Warner is still probably the guy. Most likely, we'll get a post here in a few weeks saying this site was wrong.

Anonymous said...
Aug 26, 2008, 3:18:00 PM  

Too bad Mort seems to have forgotten his job is to report news, not invent it. It's also unfortunate ESPN seems to think of itself as an entertainment brand, like its parent Disney, instead of sports news source (among other things it does, of course).

Mike said...
Aug 26, 2008, 3:32:00 PM  

Couple this with Chad Ford's "scoop" of Larry Brown going to Cleveland a few years ago, and four letter is on fire!

Scott @ WFNY said...
Aug 26, 2008, 3:39:00 PM  

So a reporter gets a few stories wrong, what makes him so special? He's not the only reporter digging this stuff up right?


Alas, its just another attempt to take a jab at espn (or their reporters) from AA.

aa hates espn said...
Aug 26, 2008, 3:46:00 PM  

aa hates espn is clearly Mortensen.

ssreporters said...
Aug 26, 2008, 3:48:00 PM  

No doubt Mort has a voodoo doll of Jay Glazer at home

Anonymous said...
Aug 26, 2008, 3:51:00 PM  

"aa hates espn is clearly Mortensen."

SS - Not the case. Even Mortensen has said something correct in his life.

Anonymous said...
Aug 26, 2008, 4:09:00 PM  

If Jay Glazer doesn't say it, it's probably not true.

GMoney said...
Aug 26, 2008, 4:22:00 PM  

Is AA Hates ESPN getting this Thursday's guest post on The Money Shot?

Anonymous said...
Aug 26, 2008, 4:22:00 PM  

Cincinnati media are now reporting that Marvin Lewis had no idea that the Bengals were shopping Rudi. Now, it could have been done by the joke of an owner Mike Brown (see Chris Henry) but it would seem that Marvin Lewis would have a clue about his starting RB being "dangled out there" for a trade.

Taylor said...
Aug 26, 2008, 4:22:00 PM  

aa hates espn said...
So a reporter gets a few stories wrong, what makes him so special? He's not the only reporter digging this stuff up right?

When a decent chunk of your stories are wrong... and you ARE the only reporter digging it up.

Well.. that's a bit of a problem. As AA said, any other location and he would be fired by now. ESPN is sticking their name on what he is reporting, when you're wrong as often as he is you can't trust what's being reported... that's bad.

Jeff said...
Aug 26, 2008, 4:40:00 PM  

Easterbrook calling out Mort for inaccuracy is like Bob Saget calling out George Carlin for vulgarity.

Heef said...
Aug 26, 2008, 6:08:00 PM  

It is premature to say he was wrong because his "source" was more then likely one of Whisenhunt assistants and he probably wants to put Mort on blast because he got the scoop before the coach offically announced it. Even though Mort has been wrong alot of times more then likely Warner will be named the starter because Leinart is still performing badly and Warner gives them the best chance to win now

billy b said...
Aug 26, 2008, 8:50:00 PM  

On KTAR-AM 620 in Phoenix, the afternoon hosts, I believe Gambo and Ash are their names, potshoted Mort and while that wasn't nice, I have no qualms with it theoretically because they were right. Breaking news stories just stroke the egos of reporters. As a broadcast and electronic journalist myself, I know that if I don't hear something, it's not the end of the world if AP documents it. Every now and then, I know something before somebody else does but the important thing is that news is disseminated accurately. In reality, it should make no difference who breaks the story first. It's jacked up when the reporter becomes bigger than the story.

Anonymous said...
Aug 27, 2008, 1:51:00 PM  

It's good to see people that jump all over Mortensen when the coach "refutes" his report only to say a few days later that Kurt Warner is indeed going to be his starting QB. The fact is coaches don't like it when stuff gets out before they say it so Whisenhunt had this twist in the breeze for a little bit.

And yes...Rudi Johnson did get released after they tried to get something for him in a trade. But of course there's no update here saying any of this like there IS an update saying "Leinart remains starting QB"...if you are going to go after people for accuracy, you might want to practice it yourself.

Anonymous said...
Sep 2, 2008, 4:59:00 PM  

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