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ESPN EXPLAINS DECISION NOT TO REPORT FAVRE STORY

In conjunction with our stream of stories regarding the decision of ESPN not to mention the report regarding Brett Favre’s alleged Xs and Os session with Lions coaches, we’ve obtained the following statement from ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz.
“Like all reports that come in, we gave careful consideration to this one,” Krulewitz said.  “We couldn’t confirm it.  It’s obviously a judgment call.  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.”
Krulewitz, who says that ESPN will continue to monitor the situation, explained that the decision not to acknowledge the report “had nothing to do with” FOX, which originally reported the story.
“We consistently give credit to other news organizations,” Krulewitz said.
Frankly, we know more than a few journalists who would dispute that point.
Back to the crux of the story, we’re having trouble understanding the difference between the Favre story and the Boston Herald item regarding allegations that the Patriots had videotaped the Rams’ walk-through prior to Super Bowl XXXVI.  ESPN couldn’t confirm the Walsh story.  ESPN presumably brought “a lot of sensitivity” to the reporting.  And ESPN presumably did what ESPN felt was the most responsible thing.
So why did they acknowledge the Walsh story and not the Favre story?
In Favre’s case, the allegations relate to arguably petty conduct that was neither illegal nor a violation of the rules.  As to Spygate II, the claims against the Patriots struck to the heart of the overall credibility of an entire NFL franchise, and undermined all of its accomplishments during this decade.  The mere existence of the story created a significant distraction for key members of the organization only one day before Super Bowl XLII. 
Applying the standard that ESPN has employed regarding Favre, ESPN should have at least refrained from commenting on the Walsh story until the day after the Super Bowl.
But ESPN didn’t.  And our next e-mail to Krulewitz will ask him, politely yet directly, to help us understand the difference between these two situations.

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45 Responses to “ESPN EXPLAINS DECISION NOT TO REPORT FAVRE STORY”
  1. nerdmann says: Oct 21, 2008 8:00 PM

    So, they’re saying that PTF, Glazer, The Wisconsin State Journal, and the Milwaukee Journal “Urinal” Sentinal all have better sources than they do? All rightie then.l

  2. Newbold says: Oct 21, 2008 8:03 PM

    I’m assuming the response will be something like:
    Florio,
    We need Favre to like us so we can get him on our pre-game show after he retires. Please drop this story from your site and we will send you a free subscription to our insider section at http://www.espn.com.
    Thanks again and like all e-mails please keep this confidential
    Bristol

  3. nygiants2008 says: Oct 21, 2008 8:09 PM

    So when Chris Mortenson declared Eli Manning was going to be out for 2 months… repeatedly backed it up even when the team refuted it multiple times… and then Eli Manning played the next week ESPN was pretty willing to run with whatever Mort said…
    I guess they do not see Jay Glazer and multiple newspapers as credible but Morts BS is okay

  4. Rob0769 says: Oct 21, 2008 8:12 PM

    Simple truth. ESPN likes Brett Favre and hates Bill Belichick. ESPN has zero credibilty.

  5. Rob0769 says: Oct 21, 2008 8:18 PM

    BTW, ESPN took it one step further with Spygate II. They spoke to Matt Walsh and he threw out a lot of vague proclaimations of him having the goods on the Patriots. After the NY Times scooped them on his existence, they rushed the story out and helped to create the false impression that Walsh had the Rams’ walkthrough tape because they printed his quotes that he had damaging evidence against the Pats without confirming that the evidence was damaging or whether the EVIDENCE EVEN EXISTED. ESPN not only gave credence to the story, they helped to manufacture the story.

  6. samh says: Oct 21, 2008 8:19 PM

    nygiants2008:
    Of course ESPN believed what Mort said. He was wrong, but there’s no double standard there. They dont’ believe Glazer, but glazer doesn’t work for them.
    Florio:
    Maybe ESPN is treading more carefully because of the Matt Walsh storio, dumbass.

  7. Orangello_Jones says: Oct 21, 2008 8:21 PM

    My guess is their pathetic response will be along the lines of:
    “The Walsh incident taught us that we have to be more careful in the future so we are taking the opportunity to do so here”
    I think Florio has it right to be crying foul here. ESPN …my how far they have fallen since the days of Tom Mees.

  8. TheBozforPres says: Oct 21, 2008 8:24 PM

    What if the story is untrue (although highly unlikely)? After the constant barrage of the “Rams walkthrough coverage”, maybe ESPN was thinking, “Okay we already made a fool of ourselves once, maybe we’ll let somebody else do take the risk this time.”
    Again, it’s unlikely, but a possible counterpoint..

  9. strctlylo says: Oct 21, 2008 8:24 PM

    i don’t particularly like espn but maybe they learned their lesson as a result of their mistakes in the walsh case?!?! if they report this favre issue as true and it turns out not to be, wouldn’t you be blasting them for not learning anything from the walsh situation?

  10. tweinz says: Oct 21, 2008 8:24 PM

    Tuesday October 21st.
    By the looks of the headlines it was a slow news day.

  11. JimmySmith says: Oct 21, 2008 8:25 PM

    Maybe ESPN confirmed the tape of the walk thru but were simply out bid for it by Boob Kraft. With the tape in hand, Mr. Kraft, the NFL, the Patriots and the rest of the teams could get together and sing Kum bi ya and declare the matter is offically over and its time to move.
    Given the sheer amount of money that changed hands during that Superbowl, it makes uniquely different than Favre attempting to help the Lions. Favre’s legacy will take a hit but nowhere near the loss of credibility suffered by the cheating head coach and his morally bankrupt owner over Spygate.

  12. spyboots says: Oct 21, 2008 8:25 PM

    There seems to be there’s only 1 reason to me.

  13. spanky07 says: Oct 21, 2008 8:26 PM

    Someday there will be no ESPN, no PFT and no Brett Favre. Then the world will have Peace.

  14. McKnice says: Oct 21, 2008 8:26 PM

    I read the first few paragraphs of this and immedietly thought about all the drama and hot air blown out by those sock puppets at ESPN over “Spygate.” It was nice to see you follow up with that. This is ridiculous. They have a “Favre” category on their newsticker for about 3 weeks during the summer and won’t even make any mention of this. It seems like ESPN, like a lot of other media figures, are happy to wash Favre’s balls.

  15. JZuluaga1 says: Oct 21, 2008 8:33 PM

    Simple answer everyone loves Favre. Everyone loves to see the Patriots as the bad guys.

  16. OneLeagueSource says: Oct 21, 2008 8:34 PM

    Maybe they just learned their lesson after the Walsh fiasco?

  17. FF Geek says: Oct 21, 2008 8:36 PM

    Give ESPN a little break here. They are right in this case, and maybe they learned a little something from the Walsh fiasco. That would be better than the election coverage. I think that CNN called Florida in Obama’s favor last week!

  18. bucky says: Oct 21, 2008 8:41 PM

    espn has learned nothing. they are keeping there nose out of it so brett will talk to them. half their shows are rumor and conjuncture so to draw the moral line here with this – utter hypocricy

  19. favrefromover says: Oct 21, 2008 8:44 PM

    umm I wonder why Dan Rather went with that National Guard story???
    “courage”

  20. PackOne says: Oct 21, 2008 8:48 PM

    Favre’s a douche.

  21. regal says: Oct 21, 2008 8:49 PM

    I can’t wait for the day hte NFL Network takes over MNF. No more three useless hours of Monday night countdown, no more Kornheiser, no more Mort. It will be a great world.
    ESPN is a joke. Someone said it best, it is the MTV of sports.

  22. Randy Inman says: Oct 21, 2008 8:50 PM

    I wonder if Brett has a future ESPN contract for when he retires a few more times.

  23. snooop says: Oct 21, 2008 8:50 PM

    Why report the Walsh story, and not this one? Well, maybe they learned a lesson from their past error.

  24. reese says: Oct 21, 2008 8:56 PM

    Everyone saying “maybe ESPN learned from the Walsh fiasco and is acting responsibly” is COMPLETELY missing the point,,,
    IF they TRULY have reliable sources that claim the story is untrue, they have a DUTY to report it. ESPECIALLY if they love Favre so much. They would be the only news outlet out there openly refuting the report with “reliable sources.” They would be able to cast FoxSports and others as nothing better than “rumors” while THEY only have hard news. They would come off as true bastions of reliable reporting in comparison to their competition. PLUS please their Favrian overlord.
    The fact they are giving it the blackout treatment means one of two things:
    1) Their source isn’t reliable as they claim and they are nervous in going on record against it. So they are clamming up hoping they can find confirmation fast.
    2) Their “source” story is BS and they are hoping to make the story go away as a favor to Favre. For whatever things he is providing them in return…which could be numerous things all potentially lucrative.
    I’m guessing #2. ESPN is ignoring a story EVERY other major news service has picked up. What ESPN has greater journalistic standards than CBSSports, NBCSports, Sports Illustrated, and Yahoo!? C’mon! This stinks!

  25. JoeSixPack says: Oct 21, 2008 9:00 PM

    If Krulewitz is honest he’ll simply admit that the reason is that ESPN has absolutely no credibility nor regard for journalistic standards.
    But while you’re at it, why don’t you ask ESPN why they never followed up to ask Matt Walsh what the other team was he witnessed taping signals from the sidelines. Not one media outlet – not to mention Commissioner Goodell or Senator Specter – bothered to ask Walsh to identify that team.

  26. fightingirish says: Oct 21, 2008 9:02 PM

    Bull feathers.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1735039 is just one example of a story in which ESPN used reports from two other news organizations (Newsday/AP) and probably did some sourcing after someone else beat them to the punch.
    This is hypocrisy to the max. ESPN is being, in the words of Bud Selig, “disingenuous”.
    Get Le Anne on the phone!!!

  27. pfitz says: Oct 21, 2008 9:03 PM

    Because every one at ESPN has a man crush on Favre and most of them hate Belichick especially tom Jackson who makes himself look like a friggin fool when he says things like Romo is better than Brady..When Romo wins ONE playoff game it will be a first never mind the 3 rings Brady had before he was 28.Pleas post their explaination because I would love to hear it..ESPN sucks now they think they are bigger than the games they cover..

  28. reese says: Oct 21, 2008 9:05 PM

    Everyone saying “maybe ESPN learned from the Walsh fiasco and is acting responsibly” is COMPLETELY missing the point…
    IF they TRULY have reliable sources that claim the story is untrue, they have a DUTY to report it. ESPECIALLY if they love Favre so much. They would be the only news outlet out there openly refuting the report with “reliable sources.” They would be able to cast FoxSports and others as nothing better than “rumors” while THEY only have hard news. They would come off as true bastions of reliable reporting in comparison to their competition. PLUS please their Favrian overlord.
    The fact they are giving it the blackout treatment means one of two things:
    1) Their source isn’t reliable as they claim and they are nervous in going on record against it. So they are clamming up hoping they can find confirmation fast.
    2) Their “source” story is BS and they are hoping to make the story go away as a favor to Favre. For whatever things he is providing them in return…which could be numerous things all potentially lucrative.
    I’m guessing #2. ESPN is ignoring a story EVERY other major news service has picked up. What ESPN has greater journalistic standards than CBSSports, NBCSports, Sports Illustrated, and Yahoo!? C’mon! This stinks!

  29. promichael says: Oct 21, 2008 9:06 PM

    Every news organization looking to be the first with a story =
    Not Much Credibility! It does not matter how correct a news
    organization is. What matters is how quick they are with the
    Bull Sh_T. Break the news and include a question mark in the
    headline. Then a media organization will not be accountable
    for the Bull Sh_t.

  30. spyboots says: Oct 21, 2008 9:22 PM

    Why report the Walsh story, and not this one? Because they don’t believe this one.

  31. wkheathjr says: Oct 21, 2008 9:26 PM

    In case anyone haven’t noticed, Favre doesn’t care about Packers anymore. Joe Montana didn’t and he haven’t come back to San Francisco at all.
    Who care? Favre did it legally IF it is true! It wasn’t done during the game like NE Patriots did. Remember, NFL caught NE Patriots hot-hand so it lead to some theory stories and ESPN could run theories if they wanted to because if Bob Kraft tried to slap a lawsuit agains ESPN then everything must come out in the open including the walkthrough videotape (if it existed). The only person who fu– it up was an articulator working for some Boston newspaper..

  32. packers2337 says: Oct 21, 2008 9:32 PM

    It’s not just ESPN. NFL.com hasn’t said anything about the story either, and they also reported the Walsh story. I believe ESPN when they say they have sources saying the report is BS-it has sounded like a BS story from the beginning. Favre left Green Bay on bad terms, but he doesn’t like the Lions any more. Besides, he’s still friends with Driver, Harris, and some other members of the Packers. If he wanted to help someone beat the Packers, he’d talk to someone with a chance, like the Vikings or Colts. What’s the point of talking to the worst team in the NFL?

  33. ROMO4PRES says: Oct 21, 2008 10:13 PM

    ESPN not really a news organization are they?
    Pretty much a cheerleading Entertainment company.
    Tom Jackson hates Bill Belichick. He can’t be objective about them. Boomer loves the Patriots and Brett Favre.
    Everybody there hates on the Cowboys.
    It is what it is.
    Favre is good for their business.

  34. brian_21 says: Oct 21, 2008 10:18 PM

    Maybe ESPN, like other sports mediums, learned from its mistake and decided not to report on a story it could not confirm?
    Maybe that’s it.

  35. pfitz says: Oct 21, 2008 11:05 PM

    great point packers2337.You could give the Lions a copy of the other teams play book and they would still lose..There was a team that was caught taping a walk thru at the 01 Super bowl and it was the Rams NOT the Patriots..There was a report filed with NFL security..Pepper Johnson busted them filming out a window

  36. benniehifive says: Oct 21, 2008 11:15 PM

    here’s what I really don’t get…IF Favre was going to help a team game plan to beat the Packers, why would he pick the Lions?? given the fact that he openly admitted that he and Childress talk regularly and that the Vikings are a much better team than the Lions, wouldn’t it make more sense for him to have helped them try to beat the Packers instead?? I also find it interesting that people were all over the fact that he called Romo and hasn’t talked to Rodgers at all since he left…now it comes out that Romo called him…and what do you think the Packers coaching staff would think of Favre calling AR to offer advice…??

  37. ncoolong says: Oct 21, 2008 11:18 PM

    Reese, who said anything about ESPN having reliable sources that said this particular story is untrue? I must have missed it, reading over the post here, the spokesman simply says they chose not to pursue it. That’s not the same as ESPN breaking news that the story is false. How is this ever going to be proved anyway? Certainly not during the season.
    I think you are missing the point, not the people who think ESPN is doing the right thing. They are more or less just choosing to ignore it. Seems to me every reader on here despises ESPN with all their hearts and souls, so why do you all give a flip if they don’t report something? I know I don’t look to them as my only news source. I also know that I don’t care if Favre gave a scouting report to the Lions, it’s not like it helped or anything.

  38. pfitz says: Oct 21, 2008 11:25 PM

    Benny,I know what you mean..Why the hell did he pick the Lions?If you have to cheat to beat the Lions you are in deep trouble

  39. pfitz says: Oct 21, 2008 11:37 PM

    I cant believe any one gave Walsh any attention at all..He is a wack job who was pissed he was fired and lied.I cant believe a reporter like tomase ran with the story..I cant forgert how ESPN had a 2 hr show on about the Pats cheating and that was before goddell gave his findings..the convicted them on the word of a scorned former employee..

  40. blackglass3 says: Oct 21, 2008 11:38 PM

    Man, JimmySmith is just a bottomfeeding, conspiracy believing piece of shit. Please just do us a favor and die in a fiery wreck. And take spyboots and monger with you.

  41. geddyduff says: Oct 21, 2008 11:38 PM

    ESPN is just what Lord Favre needs. An entire network dedicated to nuzzling his crotch. See the highlights from the Jets/Raiders game. They do not show any of his 2 interceptions, or the possible third that was dropped in OT. No mention of his three fumbles (none lost recovered by teammates). Or of his miserable passer rating. What they do show is Bratt Favre throwing fit, er I mean, throwing a block. What integrity ESPN has!!

  42. dlmcc0505 says: Oct 21, 2008 11:49 PM

    This is why I have no respect for ESPN. Its obvious they refuse to pick this story up because they realize Favre is going to pack it in after this year. Lets be honest, the Jets arent going anywhere anytime soon and Favre knows it. ESPN would absolutely love to get him in their broadcast booth to make up for the horrendous job some of the former players they hired have done. Its common sense they are kissing ass.
    I cant respect that and want nothing to do with biased journalism. The media exists to give us the info. Not to pick and choose which info the players would want us to know

  43. edgerules says: Oct 21, 2008 11:55 PM

    It seems to me that, and it is true about all mediums, ESPN has some sort of an agenda. They like to promote and protect certain sports stars. I have several nick names for that network. I called it The Michael Vick Network, when that numbnut was around. The Cowboy Network, the Peyton Manning Network and the Brett Farve Network. ESPN pushes these guys like mad. When Michael Vick did something wrong, it was swept under the rug by ESPN, until the dog fighting stuff started and they could not ignore it any longer. Look at the Cowboys now, those dopes at ESPN are having hairy fits because their Super Bowl pick is going down in flames, at least they appear to be. They are making excuses for their Super Bowl pick’s woes. They are making excuses for Peyton Manning’s poor play. See a pattern?
    NOW, “Lord Farve.” They are so willing to protect Lord Farve that they are taking all consideration with this story about his supposed helping the Lions beat his old team. They don’t want Farve’s legacy ruined, etc. It was OK, however, the day before the Super Bowl, for ESPN to jump on an UNCONFIRMED story in the Boston Herald about more alleged cheating by the Patriots though. That was ok by their standards. It didn’t matter that the story was not confirmed, and it was allegations. Why wasn’t THAT being “taken under consideration?” I think it was because ESPN assumed that since the Patriots were already caught in Week One redhanded by the league, they automatically must be GUILTY. Besides, it would be a juicy story for them to cover, and partially create, one day before the Patriots attempt at history. Add Specter sticking his nose where it didn’t belong and voila……very convenient. Of course, everyone knows what happened in the game. Of course, a few months later, it was proved that the story about the Rams walkthrough videotaping was a LIE, but leave it to ESPN to not let facts get in the way of a good story. They are too concerned with protecting their cash cows (Farve, Peyton, etc).

  44. shuxion says: Oct 22, 2008 8:31 AM

    Jimmy Smith is retarded.

  45. Insomniac says: Oct 22, 2008 11:47 AM

    From my perspective, there’s a pretty big difference between “We couldn’t confirm it” and “WE HAVE BEEN TOLD BY RELIABLE SOURCES THIS REPORT IS NOT TRUE.”
    I’m sure they could have found a reliable source to tell them Spygate II was not true as well.

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