I’ve been debating if I wanted to write this article or not.
Typically I don’t like to acknowledge attention-seekers. Because as tempting as it is to call out someone like Skip Bayless for a terrible take, you’ve already lost the battle by giving them attention. The Bayless types don’t give a damn if you agree with their takes or not. They’re simply just trying to get your attention. That’s how they get their ratings.
So after I read an article titled “Eagles not happy Wentz went to QB gurus” yesterday, I really just wanted to ignore it and write it off as a bad take. But the problem is sometimes bad takes cross over into pure misinformation. And it’s at that point where I think that kind of bullshit deserves to be called out.
If you didn’t see the article already, don’t go read it. Because it doesn’t deserve your click. Instead, allow me to sum it up for you. The newspaper writer definitively claims the Eagles are unhappy with the fact Carson Wentz saw quarterback guru Adam Dedeaux this offseason. The writer claims the staff felt slighted by Wentz’s effort to seek help outside of the organization.
Now, there are no sources presented to back up the writer’s claim. Doug Pederson wasn’t even directly asked if he was unhappy with Wentz. This premise of this article was all merely based on (incorrect) assumptions based on Pederson’s press conference behavior.
I’m not the first to call out the newspaper article as being inaccurate. Kyle Scott of Crossing Broad already did a great job of explaining why the column is fake news. There’s a video in there disproving the claims the writer made about Pederson’s behavior. There’s also some quotes from anonymous local media members (disclaimer: I’m not one of them) about how the writer was out of line. There was even one quote entirely disproving the writer’s premise, bold emphasis mine.
Without reading the column, I know that’s patently false. Players train on their own all the time. I can tell you from people in Carson’s camp that they got the sense the team was fully behind him doing it. As long as it came after he took 1 to 1.5 months off from throwing first, which he did.
It’s worth noting how no other Philadelphia sports media members have come to this writer’s defense. Or even remotely agreed with their opinion at all.
In addition to Crossing Broad’s takedown, Howard Eskin ripped the writer on Twitter.
To Tina and all who realize @inkstainedretchze just writes things to get hits on site. He had story written before he heard either. More ... https://t.co/rudPUsximd— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) May 24, 2017
In story that Marcus Hayes, who is part of Voodoo Journalism, writes its his opinion, then writes it as fact. Disservice to other reporters— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) May 24, 2017
John Clark offered a quote from Pederson earlier this offseason when he was asked if he had a problem with Wentz seeking help outside of the organization.
In defense of his column, the writer claimed he was merely offering his opinion. But that’s not really the impression the article gives off. The headline definitively says “Eagles not happy Wentz went to QB gurus.” OK, so the writer didn’t write the headline. Still, there’s more definitive language in the column itself, such as: “The Eagles obviously were not thrilled.”
Unfortunately, the column gained national traction. Pro Football Talk, CBS Sports, and Rotoworld were among outlets to pick it up. This is exactly how fake news spreads. Now there’s a total bullshit story floating out there based on one misinformed minority opinion.
It really bothers me when stuff like this happens, which is why I felt the need to write this post. What bothers me even more is reading this blurb at the bottom of all Philly.com articles:
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We recently asked you to support our journalism. The response, in a word, is heartening. You have encouraged us in our mission — to provide quality news and watchdog journalism. Some of you have even followed through with subscriptions, which is especially gratifying. Our role as an independent, fact-based news organization has never been clearer. And our promise to you is that we will always strive to provide indispensable journalism to our community. Subscriptions are available for home delivery of the print edition and for a digital replica viewable on your mobile device or computer. Subscriptions start as low as 25¢ per day. We're thankful for your support in every way.
To be clear, I’m not saying all the paper writers are bad. There are other guys who do great work, and it’s honestly an even bigger shame for them that their quality writing is accompanied by another writer’s falsehood.
But it’s really insulting that they’d ask you for money after publishing something so obviously fictitious. This column about Wentz isn’t “fact-based” at all. It’s not “quality news” or “watchdog journalism.” It’s total fake news.