Some in the industry think Adam Schefter is trying to get fired by ESPN so that he can cash in one of the cash-rich sports books. If so, he may not have to resort to going streaking in a bodysuit.
Schefter stepped in it on Tuesday night, with this tweet: “Minnesota Vikings’ RB Dalvin Cook is the victim of domestic abuse and extortion — there’s pending litigation, according to his agent Zac Hiller.”
On Wednesday’s 6:00 p.m. ET SportsCenter, Schefter acknowledged as a by-the-way tag on an update regarding Cook that his Tuesday night tweet had been ill-advised.
“In a case like this, it’s important to reach out to all sides for information and comment,” Schefter said. “When I got the information the other night, I didn’t do that. And I could have done a better job reaching out to the other people, especially on a story as sensitive and as significant as this. Didn’t do that properly, and it’s a reminder to slow down in this world.”
But this wasn’t an issue of Schefter sacrificing being right in the name of being first, which is definitely a hazard in this specific. It was a case of carrying water for a source in order to preserve his maximum network of those who will let him know about transactions and contracts five minutes before they’re announced, and ideally before any other insiders get the text message. Hiller wanted Schefter to blast the notion that Cooks is the victim to Schefter’s massive Twitter following. Schefter did it, in consideration for past scoops and in anticipation of future ones.
That’s how it works for some in this industry. There’s no law against it, and there’s no law against those who understand what’s happening to call it out.
So, no, let’s not confuse it. Schefter’s ambition to beat the rest of the insiders didn’t lead to Tuesday night’s outcome. It was his desire to preserve the ability to beat the rest of the insiders in the future that prompted him to hold his nose and do Hiller’s bidding.