This week’s primary headline regarding Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has nothing to do with HGH. But last week’s HGH-related allegations have not gone away.
Appearing on CNN’s Reliable Sources, Deborah Davies of Al Jazeera claimed for the first time that the media outlet had a second source for the report that the Guyer Institute repeatedly sent HGH to Manning’s wife, Ashley.
Previously, the report had been attributed only to former Guyer Institute intern Charles Sly, who was secretly recorded connecting Ashley Manning to HGH — and strongly suggesting that it was sent to her for use by Peyton. Sly has since recanted the things he said without knowing he was being taped.
“[W]e had a second source,” Davies said, via quotes from the show distributed by CNN. “Absolutely impeccably placed, knowledgeable, and credible, who confirmed exactly what Charlie Sly said. Shipments of HGH were repeatedly, repeatedly sent to Ashley Manning in Florida and other places in the U.S. . . . There are different kinds of sources. There are some you can name, there are some you can’t. This is a source we cannot name. We could not name. The value of that source was to add to the level of confidence we already had in what Charlie Sly was saying.”
So why didn’t they claim they had a second source sooner?
“It would simply have led to another range of speculation, another set of fishing expedition questions,” Davies said. “The second source is credible, well-placed, knowledgeable, and cannot be named. And that’s all that we can say for now.”
The explanation is extremely weak. Regardless of whether there would have been “fishing expedition questions,” it was incumbent on Al Jazeera to bolster its report. And there’s nothing for which to fish if there was nothing more to say than, “We have a second source who can’t be named.”
Whatever the reason to not mention a second source earlier, the decision to disclose it now seems like nothing more than an effort to breathe new life into a story that quickly has been forgotten.