She’s Far from the Only One

Peter King is an excellent football reporter. While I could do without his occasional editorial sallies into politics, which reliably offer typically retarded left-wing takes, he follows in the well-respected tradition of Paul Zimmerman. If he reports on something football-related, you can guarantee that it is honest, legitimate, and well-sourced, and it is probably true.

But he clearly has no idea how flagrantly dishonest most of the mainstream media is on a regular basis, or he wouldn’t be calling for sideline fabulist Charissa Thompson’s pretty little head:

We live in a time when the media is more distrusted than I ever remember. Thompson is a high-profile person who hosts the Thursday night pregame show on Amazon Prime, who hosts a Sunday pre-game on Fox, who co-hosts a podcast with Erin Andrews. She says on the Pardon My Take podcast that in her former role as a sideline reporter at Fox she would “make up the report sometimes.” It’s outrageous. It’s fireable. Thompson’s not covering the White House, but I don’t care if she’s covering the Chula Vista Little League. Her job is to report the truth, and she admitted she made up things. When Thompson says that, it’s fodder for media-haters to say, “See? They all lie.” Now, in these high-profile roles at Amazon and Fox, how do you trust she’s not inventing some of the things she’s saying? And where are the programming people, the bosses, particularly at Fox, where Thompson said these sideline reports occurred? The silence says one of two things: Sideline reports don’t really matter. Or the truth doesn’t really matter. Or both.

Thompson’s statement after the firestorm didn’t solve anything. Thompson didn’t say on Pardon My Take that she’d almost make it up, or use some qualifying words. She said she “would make it up.” And she repeated it: “No coach is gonna get mad if I say, ‘Hey, we need to stop hurting ourselves, we need to be better on third down, we need to stop turning the ball over and do a better job of getting off the field.’ They’re not gonna correct me on that. So I’m like, it’s fine, I’ll just make up the report.” In her Instagram statement the next day, Thompson said: “I understand how important words are and I chose the wrong words to describe the situation. I’m sorry. I have never lied about anything or been unethical during my time as a sports broadcaster.” Twice Thompson said she’d made up reporting. A day later she said she never lied or was unethical. So, what’s true? What she said on the podcast? What she said in a clear CYA statement that made things worse?

So she lied a few times. And then she lied about having lied. So what? The vast majority of reporters lie, or at the very least report things they don’t actually know to be true, on a daily basis. It’s not as if Congress is sending tens of billions of dollars to the Carolina Panthers because she gave them cause to believe they might possibly be able to win a few games.