Like sand through the hourglass, so comes another sourcing controversy at ESPN. It seems like reporters being upset with Bristol for swiping their stories and attaching "SOURCES" is becoming a weekly thing. The latest reporter to be caught in the sourcing crossfire is someone that has his own history with ESPN – Bruce Feldman.
The man at the center of #FreeBruce, who left ESPN under spectacular circumstances, broke a big story last night. Feldman reported the news of Florida State All-ACC DE Brandon Jenkins missing the rest of the NCAA season with a left foot injury.
That's when ESPN's sources stepped in…
At halftime of last night's ESPN Georgia Tech-Virginia Tech broadcast, Bristol reported the news using "sources" to relay the information, knowing full well that Feldman had the story much earlier. This led Feldman to publicly respond on Twitter. Everyone knew who he was talking about…
C'mon…Sources?!? You guys are better than that, aren't you? Are you going to keep doing me like that?!? Weak.
— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) September 4, 2012
Immediately, others came to Feldman's defense, starting a mini-#FreeBruce movement.
— Brent Ray (@t_brent_ray) September 4, 2012
@bfeldmancbs name was changed to Sources.
— Nolan Mullins (@nm084) September 4, 2012
It's easy to criticize ESPN when you don't know that
@bfeldmancbs is Beetlejuice.
— sir broosk (@celebrityhottub) September 4, 2012
— Brian Floyd (@BrianMFloyd) September 4, 2012
— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) September 4, 2012
Online, ESPN has a report from their FSU affiliate site Nole Nation that gives credit to CBS Sports for earlier reporting the story. If an ESPN collegiate site can credit CBS Sports, why can't the TV side do it at halftime when there are millions watching?
At some point, even the most strident ESPN supporter has to recognize there's too much smoke to not have a raging fire concerning Bristol's alleged stealing of scoops. Imagine this kind of trend happening in the real, hard news world. Imagine NBC News taking ABC or CBS reports and attaching their own "sources" almost immediately after an original report is filed at a rival network. Imagine the New York Times taking Washington Post and Chicago Tribune and LA Times stories for their own. It would be the journalistic scandal of the century.
And yet, time after time, ESPN just happens to report all these stories using their own "sources" that have been broken minutes earlier by other outlets. If you believe that, there's a bridge I want to sell you. Sources tell me it's a great deal.