On today's edition of Joe & Evan on WFAN in New York, Mike Francesa broke into the broadcast to break the story that the New York Rangers had fired coach John Tortorella. ESPN then did what ESPN does when a competitor breaks a big story: credits "sources", and doesn't name the source. I thought that policy was supposed to be changing.
Anyway, after ESPN aired the report, Francesa went on the warpath.
"Yeah, ESPN 'source' [confirms] John Tortorella dismissed as Rangers coach. I mean, what a bunch of clowns they are, 'source'…OK, the Rangers announced it now. We announced it 20 minutes ago, the Rangers announced it now, and 'source', they have a 'source' that Tortorella is dismissed. The Rangers announced it before they even put their source up. I mean they are just embarrassing. Embarrassing. OK? Tortorella's out, Rangers have now told you that."
ESPN's John Buccigross didn't take Francesa's criticism lying down though, firing back with a tweet that brought the house down.
— John Buccigross (@Buccigross) May 29, 2013
Jay Glazer has taken ESPN to task numerous times for refusing to source him on breaking news, but he has a reputation as a reporter who gets numerous scoops. Francesa really isn't known as a newsbreaker, so maybe there's a possibility that ESPN independently attempted to verify Francesa's report before running with it. But at the end of the day, this is just more egg on ESPN's face, no matter what the truth is this situation. It really doesn't seem to take much effort to say something like "An ESPN source confirmed an initial report by WFAN's Mike Francesa…", but apparently, it's more difficult than we think.