I Smell a Rat in Jay Glazer: And I'm 10,000 Percent Sure

jeff ircinkCorrespondent IOctober 23, 2008

For fear of beating a dead horse (or a dead story), I need to clarify a few points regarding the Favre/Glazer thingy (not sure what to call it now anymore). Some points I make may be considered picky, but if you’re going to accuse someone of something like Glazer did and base your entire story on unnamed sources, then Glazer’s story deserves to be “picked on” as well.


I first wrote this as a comment to another story on this site, as well a retort to Dan Shanoff's story on SportingNews.com. I felt it deserved a wider audience and, thus, it's own slot. This applies to ALL so-called sports journalists who think they have a handle on what they're writing...when they don't.


These are facts, folks. With named sources. Read it. And try and understand it.


1. There’s one point I keep seeing in the press that came from Brett Favre's press conference Wednesday morning. Tom Pelissero's Inside Blog on Packernews.com (which, on the whole, was a pretty fair summary of the events up until that point) echoed what I found in many articles that reported on the press conference (including those written for Bleacher Report)—that Favre's admission that he talked to the Lions was, "a far cry from Favre's initial reaction to Sports Illustrated's Peter King that Glazer's report was 'total B.S.'" In other words: Brett lied at first, THEN said he talked to the Lions.

But that's not what Favre texted Peter King. According to King, "he (Favre) texted me before the Jets-Raiders Sunday to call the story 'total BS ... not true and pretty ridiculous. I'm telling you it's not true. What the hell is their [Fox's] problem?'

If you can't read have someone read it to you. Favre's quote was non-specific. It's not in reference to talking to anyone OR to the content of the story itself. He just states it without directing it to any one thing. Since Favre stated Wednesday morning that ex-Lion President Matt Millen called him, I'm to infer that Brett's text to King was in reference to the content of Glazer’s story, not whether or not he talked to anyone from the Lion’s organization.


It doesn't matter if you THINK Favre lied by denying talking to anyone and then saying he did at his press conference because he never actually said "I never talked to anyone from Detroit - it's B.S." in his text to King. If you want to be a writer, you read first.


2. Glazer's article contained information that wasn't sourced to Jay himself, but by unnamed sources. Regardless of this being the norm in journalism today, it's pretty much equivalent to hearsay in a court of law. Brett Favre's account of the same information in Jay's article comes from Brett himself. Brett’s source...is Brett. 


I have no names for Glazer's sources. If Brett calls me a bonehead for whatever reason, I know where it's coming from. If Glazer refers to me as a bonehead in an article but attributes it to his unnamed source...I mean, what can I do with that?


3.  As far as Glazer saying he backs his story 1000 percent, he can’t say that because Favre refuted two points: First, Brett said his conversation was maybe 25 minutes, compared to Glazer saying it was 60-90 minutes. Also, Glazer made it sound like all Brett talked about for 90 minutes was “prepping” and “nuances,” but nothing specific—as if Favre were going page-by-page through an old playbook.


Secondly, Brett said Matt Millen from the Lions called him. Glazer reported that Brett called Millen. Now I suppose one could say Brett’s lying or fibbing. Go ahead...but once again, Brett’s his own source. Until Glazer’s sources step forward, the responsibility rests with Glazer to prove his story is true–NOT for Favre to prove it wrong. And Glazer's sources ain't talkin'.


4. Another minor point but it goes to the credibility of FoxSports.com. At 12:10 PM, Wednesday after Favre’s press conference (unless it was a joke), FoxSports.com posted a poll that was put up along with the article FoxSports.com ran after Brett’s press conference (half of which was devoted to regurgitating what Glazer already said in his piece). “WHO DO YA TRUST – JAY OR ESPN?” And the choices for readers to click on were (a) Jay, or (b) Jay.


Now if that was a joke, it’s not funny. Not when you’re attacking someone's credibility. If that isn't a blatant admission of FoxSports' biased and slanted reporting, what is? Also, it's pretty brazen...Showing that they don't really care about their reader’s opinions when asking them to vote on stories their company "broke" by not giving you a choice to vote on.


Silly? Sure. But why call attention to yourself? Wouldn't you want to maintain decorum and a sense of fairness at such a time? I called Fox Sports here in Los Angeles and left a message chastising them for it. Others did the same by commenting on the article online.

Then, magically...sometime before 4:01 PM, a NEW POLL appears on the same article. New question: “DO YOU BELIEVE BRETT FAVRE GAVE INFO TO THE LIONS?”


Someone at FoxSports.com must have realized what a bunch of idiots they looked like. Talk about "character" and "truth" and "non-biased reporting."If it was a joke, it didn't help the credibility of FoxSports.com as a news organization. More importantly, it should make anyone question Jay Glazer’s reporting as an employee of FoxSports.


5. ESPN.com and NFL.com never addressed the issue until after Favre's press conference. We all read ESPN’s statement, so if ESPN says their unnamed sources refute the story, why can’t anyone believe that? Everyone seems to want to hang Favre based on Glazer’s unnamed sources.

What’s the difference?

I've also read in multiple stories that since ESPN is a news agency, it's their duty to report on the FoxSports.com story. Duty? To report on another agency's unfounded, unnamed sourced article that ESPN believes is false? Forget about the "ESPN loves Favre and would never do anything to trash him" connection. That's not the issue.

The fact that the public—and so-called journalists—believe that one news agency should have to report the news of another news agency simply because they're both in the same business is ludicrous.

6. Glazer stated he didn’t bother contacting Favre to get his side of the story because Glazer surmised (sounds a lot like “alleged”?) Favre would run to ESPN and ESPN would publish a watered down version of the story to shed Favre in a better light, THUS beating Glazer to the punch—and Glazer's breaking story. Glazer said this. 

Translation: Glazer’s byline and the "breaking story" is more important than “fairness in reporting”. That’s credible journalism? But that's OK, Glazer's got a "great track record."

7. Tom Pelissero of Packernews.com states in his Insider’s Blog on Oct. 20 that Glazer said, when he first got wind of the news, he was told that Favre may have been helping several of the Packers' opponents. "I did not find that to be true," Glazer said. "But that was the original tip I was given."

Yet Glazer stated in his article, “In addition, there have been rumors that Favre has spoken to other teams giving them information, but most of those teams insist they have not heard from the famed gunslinger.”

So if Glazer found this information to be false, why did he still mention it? “Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, please disregard the comment I'm about to make...there are rumors that Jay Glazer is going to really grow hair on his head and shave off his goatee, but I've found most of those rumors to be untrue. 

Am I to assume that FoxSports.com's modus operandi is the publishing of stories solely based on rumor and innuendo?

I keep hearing about Glazer's track record as a writer. Does that mean Glazer doesn't have to "prove" himself any longer? He has carte blanche to write whatever he wants? No real proof of his source's information but HIS, Jay's, word?

Glazer can wake up one morning and write a scathing article on...oh, how about four of the women on the UCLA volleyball team who had a lesbian orgy two weeks ago at some undisclosed location in Brentwood and he confirmed this with three unnamed sources, and we're just supposed to believe him because his track record says so?

People are asking questions about Brett Favre’s integrity and character, but aren’t these points enough to question the integrity and character of Glazer’s and FoxSports.com’s, OR should we all continue to follow whatever they say blindly?

That's sad. Sad for those of you who think that way. Not me. I question everything. My sources for this article are Jay Glazer, Peter King, Tom Pelissero, Brett Favre, and me—Jeff Ircink. How can I be objective when I'm a supporter of No. 4, you ask?

I just gave you seven reasons—if you'll take them time to read them.