Apparently, only 11 of 12 reminders about his WEEI appearance to Chris Mortensen went through.
Mortensen was scheduled to appear on the Dennis & Callahan show at 7:45 a.m. ET, but he has canceled.
“You guys made a mistake by drumming up business for the show and how I would address my reporting for the first time,” Mortensen informed WEEI. “I will not allow WEEI, [Patriots owner Robert] Kraft or anybody to make me the centerpiece of a story that has been misreported far beyond anything I did in the first 48 hours. Maybe when the lawsuit is settled, in Brady’s favor, I hope, we can revisit. Don’t call.”
They tried to call him anyway. No answer.
I like and respect Mort. As Adam Schefter of ESPN said on WEEI on Thursday, Mortensen is a pioneer in this business. But his false report should be the centerpiece of the story. Because without that false report there is no story. More specifically, without that false report, there is no finding of cheating.
The false report instantly changed the narrative from “the NFL checked the Patriots footballs at halftime” to “someone deflated 11 of the 12 the Patriots footballs by two pounds each; what did Brady and Belichick know?” It made another Ted Wells investigation logical, it put the Patriots on the defensive, and it kept the Patriots from responding to the accurate PSI readings by pointing out that, on one of the two air-pressure gauges used, they fall squarely within the range expected by the Ideal Gas Law.
On Thursday, Schefter suggested that Mort was given false information by one or more high-level NFL officials. On Tuesday, the circumstances suggested that Stephen A. Smith of ESPN was given true information by one or more high-level NFL officials to introduce to the public the notion that “Tom Brady destroyed his cellphone.”
This would be a perfect topic for an ESPN Outside the Lines investigation as to how the NFL manipulated the media on multiple occasions for P.R. purposes. If only a couple of prominent ESPN employees hadn’t been pulled into this mess.