Tuesday, October 21, 2008
When I was away this weekend, Jay Glazer broke news about Brett Favre being a virtual snitch within the NFL. The story obviously set waves throughout the NFL, MSM and blogosphere, but one network has decided to completely avoid the topic, and that network is of course....ESPN.
A lot of sites took the time to mention this yesterday, but I personally wanted to give it a day. Sports Center occasionally skips past items of this nature, but when NFL Live, Monday Night Countdown, MNF, Primetime at Halftime and late night SC, fail to mention it....something has to be up. That something was an inner-office release that stated Glazer's story was "not true" and was not to be mentioned under any circumstance. Via PFT....
Under the heading “DO NOT REPORT . . . DO NOT REPORT . . . . DO NOT REPORT . . . DO NOT REPORT” (um, we get the point) appears the following:Well then. That's odd, huh? I don't know why they would go to that length to not mention a story, but it becomes even more odd when you consider that it involves Brett Favre. I'm also pretty sure that Jay Glazer isn't making these items up as he goes along, so there has a deeper meaning to that message, right?
“Yesterday, FoxSports reported that Brett Favre spent 60 to 90 minutes before the Week Two game between the Lions and the Packers educating the Detroit coaching staff regarding the Packers’ offensive strategies. WE HAVE BEEN TOLD BY RELIABLE SOURCES THIS REPORT IS NOT TRUE. We did NOT report it yesterday. Today, the NFL responded to the report, saying even if Favre did this he did not break any league rules. We are NOT reporting it today, because that would mean airing the erroneous report. DO NOT REPORT IT.”
ESPN obviously picks and chooses which athletes they want to have relationships with, so they can attempt to break stories first, but this takes it to a whole 'nother level. This brings in a ton of questions regarding fair reporting, but I don't think I'm blowing anyone's mind when I say that ESPN has a laundry list of biases. I have an email into ESPN PR to see if they want to comment, but I'm not expecting anything groundbreaking.
Update: Here's the statement from ESPN PR....
"Like all reports that come in, we gave careful consideration to this one, but we couldn't confirm it. Its obviously a judgment call and given the nature of the story, we needed to bring a lot of sensitivity to our reporting and do what we felt was the most responsible thing. We will continue to monitor it, and to be very clear, our approach had nothing to do with the outlet that originally reported this."
So there you have it.
ESPN Issued Internal "Do Not Report" Warning On Favre Story (Pro Football Talk)