So Here's Why ESPN Completely Ignored The Jay Glazer-Favre Story

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:

“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.”
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?

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)

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 3:45 PM

39 Comments:

OK, now that I see this memo from ESPN I'm 100% convinced that this is true about Favre. After all, if ESPN doesn't break the news, then it never happened.

Oct 21, 2008, 3:50:00 PM  

Yeah good point....it's one of those non-denial/denials.

Oct 21, 2008, 3:51:00 PM  

I guarantee you that Favre asked them not to report on it and they obliged. I promise this happened. Do you really think Jay Glazer would just make something like this up? Would he really not verify everything? The Wisconsin State Journal has also publically stated that the report is TRUE. After yesterday's NON-reporting I lost ALL respect for ESPN. Even if it wasn't true, it's still a story.

And to top things off, Jay Glazer gets the Nolan firing before ESPN. Good work world-wide leader in sports, good work.

Anonymous said...
Oct 21, 2008, 3:55:00 PM  

had espn broke the story that's ALL they would have talked about on monday.

it's not about favre breaking rules, it's about him being a baby.

-dan

-dan said...
Oct 21, 2008, 4:02:00 PM  

I just want to add that I really like this website/blog and everything you do. I hope that someone sheds light on this because there could be more "non-stories" that ESPN refuses to report out of some stubborn reason. Please continue to dig into this and shove it into ESPN's face because they need to start showing more journalistic integrity. This is a real shame.

Anonymous said...
Oct 21, 2008, 4:05:00 PM  

ESPN should put the big "DO NOT REPORT" heading every time Chris Mortensen answers his phone/opens his mouth.

GMoney said...
Oct 21, 2008, 4:06:00 PM  

Man, just imagine if Belichick had that kind of relationship with ESPN.. last year would have been COMPLETELY different..

Anonymous said...
Oct 21, 2008, 4:08:00 PM  

"We are NOT reporting it today, because that would mean airing the erroneous report."

And yet Chris Mortensen, the king of false reports, is still employed.

Anonymous said...
Oct 21, 2008, 4:22:00 PM  

Right you are, Anon 4:22! ESPN (and Peter King for that matter) have no credibility as far as Favre is concerned.

shawn kemp said...
Oct 21, 2008, 4:25:00 PM  

They should've done that the morning of the Mitchell Report when they falsely accused players of being in it. Or any one of Mort's mistake. Or Kirk Herbstreit saying Les Miles was the next coach of Michigan.

I think you get my drift...

Sean O said...
Oct 21, 2008, 4:30:00 PM  

You guys have this completely wrong. It's one thing to be a critic, and another to be a fair critic. Just because you don't like ESPN (in many cases understandably) doesn't mean they do everything wrong all the time.
But in this case they did everything exactly right. They heard a story, they called the people involved (Favre, Lions) were told it wasn't true and immediately issued guidance that the story should not be reported. I can't believe a site that questions their journalistic standards so often faults them for not going with a rumor when they were told by sources they deemed to be reliable that the rumor was false.

Paul said...
Oct 21, 2008, 4:35:00 PM  

ESPN (and Peter King for that matter) have no credibility as far as Favre is concerned.

In a completely unrelated matter, work has just begun in Bristol on a solid gold Brett Favre statue.

Side note: Frank Caliendo's on WDFN right now? Wonderful!

/boils radio

Oct 21, 2008, 4:51:00 PM  

Paul- I read that Rod Marinelli said "no comment"...but so be it. I guess that is a denial of the story as far as ESPN is concerned.

I love ESPN and have watched ESPNEWS almost every day for the past 5 years. However, when it comes to Favre they simply don't have any credibility.


p.s. I plan to be there when the Favre statue is unveiled!

shawn kemp said...
Oct 21, 2008, 5:00:00 PM  

It'd be one thing if they flat out refuted the report by Jay Glazer. It'd be one thing if they checked with their sources and issued their own story saying how it's all untrue. BUT TO AVOID IT COMPLETELY is unacceptable. They make you pay to hear stupid NBA trade rumors and yet to deny something that EVERY OTHER sports-media outlet is reporting (SI, NBC, Sportingnews, Foxsports, etc.) just REEKS of bad judgment and management. I have always loved ESPN until yesterday when I realized just how BIAS they actually were.

Adam said...
Oct 21, 2008, 5:06:00 PM  

And the fact that none of their talking-heads had the BALLS to speak up about this non-story blanket that ESPN is pulling over their heads - it makes me lose more respect for shows like PTI, ATH, and OTL. At least Jim Rome has the balls to talk about it... and I HATE Jim Rome.

Adam said...
Oct 21, 2008, 5:08:00 PM  

To go with what Paul said, this is kinda like when the MSM didn't go with the John Edwards affair story even after the Enquirer had been publishing it for months. The MSM could not find a reliable source and therefore decided not to run anything about it. I'm not comparing Jay Glazer to the Enquirer by any means, but they were kind of in a darned if they do darned if they don't scenario. That doesn't mean they shouldn't do more of their own research to find if this is really true (that's a whole other criticism), but in this case they went with a decision and that's really all they can do.

Ed said...
Oct 21, 2008, 5:08:00 PM  

Thank god for Jay Glazer? Where else would we get unbiased reporting from? How does Glazer feel about covering college football, pro and college basketball, hockey, golf, soccer, horse racing, professional bowling, baseball, curling, and the spelling bee?

Mark said...
Oct 21, 2008, 5:08:00 PM  

Two things of note (FWIW):

1. Remember Glazer is the one who beat ESPN to the punch on the Favre to the Jets story.

2. Favre's BFF Peter King said this morning on Boomer and Carton that he texted his boy Sunday morning and he vehemently denied it (As Billy Wagner would say, f-ing shocker)

Anonymous said...
Oct 21, 2008, 5:14:00 PM  

Now here's your ESPN double standard...

JFein said...
Oct 21, 2008, 5:15:00 PM  

It's situations like this that boggle my mind. Why hasn't another network tried to step in and turn it into a competition? I hate monopolies, they breed situations like this.

Mark said...
Oct 21, 2008, 5:16:00 PM  

I think of this like that movie "The Insider" where CBS refused to air the story because it could be damaging to their company if they did so. ESPN knows what they're (not) doing and they accept it. No journalistic integrity. Brett Favre is a traitor and a SOB, and they're just giving him a free pass because "he plays like a kid!!"

Anonymous said...
Oct 21, 2008, 5:18:00 PM  

I love ESPN and have watched ESPNEWS almost every day for the past 5 years.

I see I'm not the only one who gets more than the daily recommended amount of Michele LaFountain & Ani-sh Sh-roff.

At least Jim Rome has the balls to talk about it... and I HATE Jim Rome.

I think when he signed the deal to be on ESPN, the execs gave Rome a certain amount of autonomy in what topics he can cover on TV. That or they don't really give a shit.

Oct 21, 2008, 5:48:00 PM  

Now you all know how we truth-seekers feel when the MSM absolutely REFUSES to entertain the evidence that the government of Israel was responsible for the September 11 attacks. They don't even comment on it.

Maynard said...
Oct 21, 2008, 7:33:00 PM  

The New York Post has posted the PFT item at the top of their sports blog.

The Worldwide Leader is covering its arse for corporate reasons: The Jets' radio flagship is owned and operated by ESPN.

As far as I can tell WFAN in NYC has also avoided the Favre-Lions story.

Anonymous said...
Oct 21, 2008, 7:49:00 PM  

Another "non-story" that ESPN absolutely REFUSES to cover with all its "worldwide leader" might is Reggie Bush's court case with his alleged USC sports marketing agents. Yahoo! Sports has been the leader on this story for as long as its been going (almost a year or more now), but it has only been mentioned once or twice by ESPN during the time it has been going. If you don't know anything about this story, below is a link from a new story printed TODAY:

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/news;_ylt=Ajoav5.vg9d4Dz5mRwhwWBE5nYcB?slug=ys-bush102108&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

ESPN should be ashamed of itself for simply being a shill for the athletes that they are in cohoots with to promote.

Anonymous said...
Oct 21, 2008, 10:03:00 PM  

ESPN just loves favre, doesnt it

Anonymous said...
Oct 21, 2008, 10:41:00 PM  

I assume that even if shows like ATH and PTI wanted to do the story, the higher ups in Bristol would have put the ki-bosh on it.

odessasteps said...
Oct 22, 2008, 1:53:00 AM  

ESPN has no credibility as a news sdource.

It cannot(if even though it tries to) objectively report news about leagues and players that it has business relationships with.

On the flip side, no business relationship with ESPN means little to no coverage at all.(ie. NHL or any other sport)

Anonymous said...
Oct 22, 2008, 2:07:00 AM  

Hopefully a few of the "suits" at ESPN have read your post and the comments from some of your very astute readers. Lately it seems like ESPN has tried to incorporate recommendations from fans/viewers/readers and this is another situation that calls for immediate action.

Once an entity loses credibility, it's very difficult to be taken seriously and there is a genuine risk of becoming professional wrestling or Elite XC (may it rest in peace).

It is going to take a lot to plummet into professional wrestling territory, but this Favre story is a very dangerous precedent.

shawn kemp said...
Oct 22, 2008, 3:12:00 AM  

I would suggest everyone mail in your comments to the ESPN Omsbudsman, maybe she'll write about it.

Anonymous said...
Oct 22, 2008, 8:17:00 AM  

fuck pete king. fuck brett favre. glazer is usually not wrong.

Anonymous said...
Oct 22, 2008, 9:13:00 AM  

This is totally unacceptable by ESPN. I have lost total respect for them as a network. Other than games, I will no longer watch their network.

Even if the story is false (which it isn't), it's ESPN's duty to refute it with whatever evidence they have.

Rod Marinelli says "no comment"; their PR flack says it didn't happen...well, how bad do the Lions look if they say it's true?

Jay Glazer was on local Milwaukee radio and said he stands by his story 1000%. He says he has even heard about Favre calling other teams on the Packers schedule (they have played Holmgren and Gruden this year) but couldn't get confirmation.

The only reason he could get confirmation on the Lions story was because Matt Millen no longer works there. If you are still employed by the team, how bad does your team look about getting insider info and still losing??

ESPN, you're dead to me.

alan said...
Oct 22, 2008, 9:14:00 AM  

ESPN reports:

"Aaron Rodgers told his current team's opponent what plays they were running at the line of scrimmage for the entire game. He then used a Hitler analogy."

-Chris Mortensen

Bigface said...
Oct 22, 2008, 9:37:00 AM  

It's just like the news media burying all negative stories (questionable friends, Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac $, marxist upbringing, etc.) about Barack Obama. No difference in the level of unfair bias here.

bowlalpo said...
Oct 22, 2008, 10:07:00 AM  

I CANT TRUST OBAMA, HE'S AN ARAB!!!

Gigantic eye roll.

Anonymous said...
Oct 22, 2008, 10:35:00 AM  

i cant trust white people they are all gay. i cant trust black people with the big tits. i love dana and rachel nichols.

Anonymous said...
Oct 22, 2008, 11:21:00 AM  

Only now does ESPN report the Favre-Lions story -- this noontime when Favre denied everything. The AP story is linked on the ESPN homepage as I post this.

Anonymous said...
Oct 22, 2008, 1:40:00 PM  

I guarantee that my co-worker at Mid-Utah Radio in Manti, Utah, J.D. Fox, moonlights as an ESPN executive. He has the most disgusting, nauseating mancrush on Brett Favre. Believe it or not, he is mortal and a pretty big jackass as well.

Brad James said...
Oct 22, 2008, 1:46:00 PM  

Favre is, not J.D.

Brad James said...
Oct 22, 2008, 1:47:00 PM  

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