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Deadspin scorches source

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SnarkShark, Oct 16, 2014.

  1. SnarkShark

    SnarkShark Well-Known Member


    Conflicted about this. Deadspin made a big deal about a nothing story and from what I read, none of the sources definitively said Cory Gardner didn't play. The article says one "had no recollection of his football career" and the other said "no one remembers him as a football player."

    I guess my question is, if a source gives you bad info, but you also don't do your due diligence, should you be burning the source for giving you bad info or just fall on your own sword?

    I think I'm in the camp of falling on your own sword, instead of finger-pointing.
  2. ColdCat

    ColdCat Well-Known Member

    It seems like one call to the high school yearbook office could have cleared up that he was at least on the team. Gardner never said he was a star, just on the team and the yearbook team photo would prove that he was. Deadspin relied on what seems to be the faulty memory of a guy keeping stats 20 years ago.
    However, there is still some legitimacy in the reporting. Gardner brought football up to compare his opponent's tactics to the single-wing, which he said is outdated and everyone knows how to beat it when in fact single-win offenses work well, as Deadspin pointed out with the success of Akron.
    (Slight tangent: I covered a single-wing team at my first shop and other coaches would always say they knew exactly what was coming but they never had a clue how to stop it. That team was a regional power then and became a state power with several state titles later on. Sure, it's an outdated tactic, but when everyone else runs spread, the single-wing seems novel.)
  3. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    That is some bullshit buck-passing by Craggs, especially how he ended it - basically with a shot at a 77-year-old man.

    News flash: People's memories tend to fade as the decades pass, particularly about the details. It's Deadspin's fault and Deadspin's fault alone that they didn't check the information, not the retired stat keeper pushing 80. If anyone else had relied on a senior citizen's recall like that, Deadspin would be taking them to the cleaners. I like the site, but that was terrible reporting and an even worse correction.

    Shame on Deadspin.
  4. CD Boogie

    CD Boogie Well-Known Member

    Definitely shoddy reporting, but I thought the correction was fine. What else is he supposed to say? He owned the mistake, case closed.
  5. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    No, he didn't.
  6. SnarkShark

    SnarkShark Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I'm going to have to disagree with you there, too. He put most of the blame on the retired scorekeeper
    "changing his story," even though it's not clear in that article the scorekeeper ever said Gardner was definitively not on the team.
  7. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Yeah. And what the fuck happened to Dave McKenna too?

    Craggs is the absolute worst at accountability. Worse than Florio at PFT.
  8. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Here's his "owning it":

    "We're still not sure what happened with Pfalmer between his certainty Tuesday that Gardner hadn't played and his certainty Wednesday that Gardner had—Pfalmer told us last night he'd checked his records after our initial conversation and discovered Gardner's forgotten three years—nor can we explain why he is now giving Gardner a year on the varsity team that the candidate himself isn't claiming. But whatever the case, the most damning implication of our story, that Gardner didn't actually play high school ball, is wrong. That's shitty of us. As serial collectors of media fuck-ups, we add this self-portrait to the gallery. For more thorough coverage, you can read Erik Wemple over at the Post. As I told Wemple—and I sincerely meant it—given that our main source went and unsaid everything he'd said 24 hours earlier, the only thing for us to do now is to eat shit."
  9. CD Boogie

    CD Boogie Well-Known Member

    Like I said, he owned it.

    "But whatever the case, the most damning implication of our story, that Gardner didn't actually play high school ball, is wrong. That's shitty of us. As serial collectors of media fuck-ups, we add this self-portrait to the gallery."

    I guess we'll agree to disagree, but this section right here is pretty clear-cut. Is he supposed to just give the source a free pass for doubling back? As far as Deadspin apologies go, this is about the most you can expect from Craggs.
  10. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Yeah, by blaming an 80-year-old man for not having a photographic memory of every kid to ever play JV football at the school he retired from 20 years ago. Way to own it.
  11. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    It doesn't appear he ever addressed why Deadspin never felt like taking any steps to verify what the old man said.

    That's for stupid old reporters to do though.
  12. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    It reminds me of when the coach I covered got up after yet another humiliating loss and told us, "I'll stand up here and take full responsibility for this loss. You can blame it on me, 100 percent. I can take it, and I accept it. But behind closed doors, I can promise you there will be plenty of blame to go around."

    True story.

    And same shit here.
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