When we think of media outlets doing the NFL’s dirty work, we’ve come to think of ESPN. Rightfully so. The leak to Chris Mortensen and Gerry Austin as well as their consistent false statements on the Patriots really cement that fact. ESPN has seen Disney stock drop, and with more and more people cutting the cord, their subscribers fees to cable companies, already the highest in the industry, are not going to continue. They need to cozy up to the NFL to keep their hope alive of being able to retain their partner status with the NFL.
So besides access, what is the excuse for Peter King and his little web startup, Monday Morning QB?
King was called out by Ben Volin (That guy again?) this weekend for the fact that he also parroted the “11 of 12 footballs…” leak.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen gets a lot of heat for overstating the deflation problem in his Jan. 21 story, but he wasn’t the only one getting bad information from the NFL office. Sports Illustrated’s Peter Kingwrote on Jan. 23 that he was “told reliably that . . . either 11 or 12 of New England’s footballs . . . (I hear it could have been all 12) had at least two pounds less pressure in them. All 12 Indianapolis footballs were at the prescribed level. All 24 footballs were checked by pressure gauge after the game. All 24 checked at the correct pressure.”
King responded in his column today:
I think you’re owed an explanation from me, in the wake of Ben Volin of the Boston Globe writing Sunday that it wasn’t just Chris Mortensen who got a bum steer from someone in the NFL about the deflated footballs in the AFC title game. Volin said it was me, too. I reported after Mortensen’s story that 11 of the 12 footballs were at least two pounds under the minimum limit of 12.5 pounds per square inch when tested by the league at halftime. I reported that I’d heard “reliably” that the story of the footballs being at least two pounds under the minimum limit was correct. As I said on Twitter on Sunday, I believe the person who told me this believed the story was accurate when, obviously, it clearly was not. So, were we used by someone to get a storyline out in public? Maybe … but the reason I’m skeptical about this is because with the knowledge that there would be a full investigation and clearly the air pressure in the footballs would be publicized at some point, the league would look stupid for putting out false information that would eventually come back to embarrass the league. Clearly, this story, along with the Ray Rice story from last fall, has made me question sources and sourcing in general, and in a story as inflammatory as this one, you can’t just take the story of a person whose word you trust as gospel. It’s my error. I need to be better than that. Readers, and the Patriots, deserve better than that.
Remember what he said at the time with the Ray Rice case? Remember that famously inappropriate line in that statement? No one from the league has ever knocked down my report to me,
But the rest of that statement. Does it sound at all familiar?
Who said these lines:
No one forced me to write that story, and it’s important to note I do not believe I was ever lied to. I believe my sources intended to provide accurate information, and it was incumbent on me to vet it more fully.
The Patriots deserved more time to investigate and respond.
I’m confident it will make me a better reporter.
I truly believe it’s a privilege to serve as a link between the fans and their team.
On Feb. 2, I let you all down. Today I hope to begin the long road back.
Oh, that’s none other than John Tomase when being forced to apologize to the Patriots.
Has any franchise every had more media outlets forced to apologize for things they’ve written or said about it?
King is lazy. He has twice now in the past year has been lied to by his sources because they know he won’t verify what they tell him.
It’s time for this Monday Morning Quarterback to hit the bench.
Oh, there’s one more thing. This Cris Carter bit. This is what King wrote about it today:
• You are kidding me, Cris Carter—and you are kidding me, NFL. My first reaction to the story of Carter telling NFL rookies at the 2014 Rookie Symposium that they have to find a “fall guy” in a player’s “crew” who will take the blame when the player commits a crime: My jaw dropped. My second reaction mirrored 12-year veteran Osi Umenyiora.
Have a fall guy? That's your advice? Have a fall guy?
— Osi Umenyiora (@OsiUmenyiora) August 23, 2015
Precisely. Carter apologized, and though the NFL tried to distance itself from Carter’s idiotic remarks, how could the league have placed the offending video of his talk on NFL.com until yanking it Sunday? This is so offensive it boggles the mind that some person with the NFL would say, Let’s show the world this great advice about obstructing justice from a Hall of Fame hero to impressionable rookies. Also: How could NFL VP Troy Vincent, who is in charge of the symposium, have allowed Carter to spew such venom? Carter, by the way, was in his yellow Pro Football Hall of Fame blazer. In all ways, this is the biggest example of inmates running the NFL asylum that I’ve seen in years.
Apparently this weekend was the first time that King heard about this, and that when he heard it, his jaw dropped. He describes this as so offensive it boggles the mind and the biggest example of inmates running the NFL asylum.
He never heard about this.
You, know it’s funny. King protege, the notorious Robert Klemko, whom he apparently loves like a son, attended that Rookie symposium, and wrote about it, including a very detailed bit about the session hosted by Carter and Warren Sapp.
Except he didn’t mention the part where Carter talked about having a “fall guy.”
So let’s get this right, A Hall of Fame player says something that makes a reporter’s “jaw drop.” It is described as so offensive it boggles the mind and the biggest example of inmates running the NFL asylum – but Klemko didn’t feel it worthy of being mentioned?
UPDATE – Klemko: Why I didn’t report Cris Carter’s “fall guy” comments in 2014
So, Klemko cooperates with the NFL and leaves that out of his story, but he doesn’t tell his boss? I’m not sure which is worse, the above scenario or this one.