More information was leaked late yesterday regarding an investigation into the workplace culture of the NFL’s Washington Football Team, this time involving ESPN Senior NFL Insider Adam Schefter. The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that Schefter sent Washington Football Team President Bruce Allen a draft of a story about the NFL lockout for him to scrutinize before filing it to ESPN, referring to Allen as “Mr. Editor” in the correspondence.
On Wednesday morning, BMitch & Finlay gave their perspective on the news while on the air at 106.7 The Fan in Washington, D.C., saying that Schefter’s actions were a part of common journalistic practice; that is, confirming details with or sending copies of stories to sources prior to publishing.
“Do people think that doesn’t happen often?,” questioned Brian Mitchell, a former NFL running back and return specialist. “You don’t want to say something wrong because the person that is your source is trusting you to do it right. Adam Schefter gets so many stories [that] I have to believe [Allen] is not the only person he’s done that with. As long as this story didn’t have some topless pictures or some other stuff, I don’t see anything that can affect Adam.”
As the Washington Football Team insider at NBC Sports Washington and co-host of BMitch & Finlay, JP Finlay was able to relate to Schefter in terms of the process of reporting and drafting a story. Finlay expressed that he has found himself in similar situations at his job, and looks at the situation as the beginning of what could be a profusion of information being leaked out to the media.
“It feels a little bit like we are at the tip of the iceberg with this Washington Football Team investigation,” said Finlay. “I want all the information. Everybody wants all the information. Now that these emails are leaking out, a lot of folks are clinging to this hope that something will be in there that will force Dan Snyder to sell the team.”
Schefter, who has been with ESPN as an NFL reporter since 2009, appeared for a weekly segment on “The John Kincade Show” on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia, Pa., and explained his perspective when it comes to communicating with sources in trying to formulate a story.
“I’ve learned for a long time in this business not to discuss sources, or the process, or how stories are done,” Schefter expressed on Wednesday morning. “But I would just say that it’s a common practice to run information past sources. And in this particular case, during a labor-intensive lockout that was a complicated subject that was new to understand, I took the extra rare step to run information past one of the people that I was talking to. It was an important story to fans [, and] a host of others, and that’s the situation.”
On 106.7 The Fan in Washington, D.C., Brian Mitchell and JP Finlay proceeded to speak about the implications releasing all of the information could have on the National Football League, and on the media coverage of the entire story. Jon Gruden, who had been serving as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, resigned from his position Monday after The New York Times reported that he had sent emails while employed by ESPN as an NFL. analyst containing misogynistic, homophobic and racist language.
“People have to understand those who would make Dan Snyder sell the team are those who are in possession of those 665,000 emails,” said Mitchell. “The information that came out from Friday until yesterday is probably being leaked by someone in the NFL office in New York. This is not somebody just, out of the blue, leaking stuff.”
Mitchell cautioned the National Football League in selectively choosing which emails to leak out, and which ones to withhold, saying that it could result in litigation on behalf of affected parties, including the National Football League Players Association, whose executive director, DeMaurice Smith, is a former Assistant United States Attorney in Washington, D.C.
“The NFL is trying to protect [itself] more than [it’s] trying to protect Dan Snyder or anybody else,” said Mitchell. “That man that’s running the NFLPA — he’s a prosecutor. That’s what he’s been doing all his life. He’s a fighter; He knows how to litigate. He has propositioned [sic] the NFL. His next move won’t be asking the question again. His next move will be [obtaining] legal documents coming after you.”
Derek Futterman is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. In addition, he serves as the production manager for the New York Islanders Radio Network and lead sports producer at NY2C. He has also worked on live game broadcasts for the Long Island Nets and New York Riptide. He previously interned for Paramount within Showtime Networks and wrote for The Long Island Herald. To get in touch, find him on Twitter @derekfutterman.
Nick Wilson: Deshaun Watson Press Conference ‘Insulting’ To Local Media
“You — neither Deshaun, his lawyers, or anybody involved in this — get to dictate what those reporters get to say, ask, or think.”
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson met with the media for the first time yesterday since being reinstated by the NFL after the league ruled he was guilty of violating the Personal Conduct Policy due to improper sexual advances towards more than two dozen massage therapists. 92.3 The Fan afternoon host Nick Wilson called Watson’s press conference “trash” and “insulting” to local media.
Watson told reporters he would only answer football related questions from the assembled media members, which Wilson took issue with.
“You can’t bury this story simply by saying ‘I won’t talk about it’,” Wilson said. “It is insulting to the media who covers this team. This is not about Nick Wilson, I promise. This is about the beat reporters who cover this team. It is insulting — intentionally or not — to say ‘You know what, guys? I love y’all, but I’m going to dictate what you ask me’.
“You don’t do that. You dictate when you speak, your opening statement, or how you respond. You — neither Deshaun, his lawyers, or anybody involved in this — get to dictate what those reporters — who work very hard day in, day out covering this organization, covering Deshaun Watson, covering this town — get to say, ask, or think. That was trash.”
Co-host Dustin Fox added the whole job of the media is to bring information to fans, and Watson wouldn’t allow reporters to do that Thursday, and may never do that.
Gregg Giannotti: Biggest Issue With Craig Carton, Jon Jastremski Feud Is “Mole” At WFAN
“The thing that bothers me the most about this is the leak from within the building. Someone here is sending this audio out to a former listener…to cause problems.”
A feud has sprung up between WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton and former WFAN host John Jastremski. Boomer & Gio discussed the spat on Friday morning’s show, with Gregg Giannotti being troubled by a revelation.
During his New York New York podcast, a voicemail left for Jastremski asked about Carton’s comments, but the caller said a WFAN employee sent him the clip of Carton’s criticism.
“So that means we have a mole,” Boomer Esiason said.
“That right there is a problem,” Gregg Giannotti added. “‘We both have a mutual friend that still works over there’ and that person shared a link of Craig talking about JJ (Jastremski). So, clearly, that person is on JJ’s side and they’re still working here. That’s a mole! That’s someone going against the team! And I think know who that is!”
Esiason then asked if he knew the person, to which Giannotti said he did. He then asked if he would be upset by who it was, which Giannotti affirmed as well.
The show then played the final portion of Jastremski’s rant, which included him saying to Carton “I’m not listening to a crook. So you know what? Go take a f—ing hike.”
“Jesus!” Esiason exclaimed. “Good for JJ, though. Standing up for himself.”
“I like both of these guys. I do. I got respect for both of them,” said Giannotti. “Everybody doesn’t have to go to the jail, crook thing with Craig every single time. Do they? It’s low-hanging fruit. Everybody goes there. There’s no way he can defend himself in that way because everybody saying ‘You went to jail’ didn’t go to jail, and it’s not apples and oranges. But the business stuff is apples-to-apples.
“So when I hear that, I’m just like ‘Ok, you went there. Be a little more creative than that’. As far as I listen to legend things, please, nobody has given me worse advice in my life than Mike Francesa did. Nobody. I would still be out in the newsroom cutting Islander highlights if I listened to that guy. And the only reason why Mike liked JJ was because he didn’t feel he was a threat. The only people Mike likes is the people he feels non-threatened by. And that’s where that comes from.”
After concluding Jastremski’s rant was a “little over the top”, Giannotti then turned his attention to the “mole” inside the station.
“The thing that bothers me the most about this is the leak from within the building. Someone here is sending this audio out to a former listener…to cause problems. That — to me — is an issue. The guy on the voicemail said ‘We may or may not have a mutual friend that still works at the radio station’ and this guy just slammed the radio station. And he’s friends with the guy who slammed the radio station and then slammed Craig and this guy’s on their side?! And this guy that works here is on their side?! That to me is a major, major problem.”
Dan Dakich: Craig Carton is ‘The Way Talk Radio Should Be’
“If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”
Craig Carton has prided himself on being one of those hosts who tells it like it is, especially when talking about New York’s pro sports teams.
That willingness to call a spade a spade and levy criticism on teams like the Jets and Giants, especially when things are not going well on the field, is something Dan Dakich has always seen as a recipe for success in the industry.
Interviewing Carton on Thursday on his Outkick show Don’t @ Me, Dakich praised the WFAN afternoon host for essentially creating a blueprint for how sports talk should be done.
“In Indianapolis I’m the bad guy right, because I say look the Colts stink, this regime is 46-49-1 – why are you telling me the GM is the best in the country – why are you telling me Frank Reich can really coach?” Dakich said. “New York’s different, though, right? I mean, New York they expect you to say look if you ain’t any good then you ain’t any good. Yu don’t sugarcoat nothing, and I think that’s the way talk radio should be.”
Carton noted that what’s key in how you critique a team or a front office, executive or owner is finding a balance. He said you can’t as a host be the ultimate homer and blow smoke up everyone’s behind.
“You have to be able to be critical when it’s warranted,” Carton said. “If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”
Carton pointed out that the fan bases in both New York and in Indianapolis are ultimately the same, because at the end of the day it’s all about making sure you have competent people calling the right shots. He added that the organizations are the same too because of how sensitive they can be to criticism, which he said if they don’t like it, “too bad.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.