Adam Schefter on Oct. 10, 2021.

A few weeks ago Adam Schefter was involved in the Washington Football Team email controversy that ended up leading to Jon Gruden’s ouster and then a quick decision to stifle the rest of the potentially damning email archive. But before the gag was in place, we learned that Schefter once submitted an entire piece to a WFT exec for approval, jokingly referring to him as “Mr. Editor.”

In the aftermath, Schefter admitted he shouldn’t have done it. It was pretty embarrassing, yes, but also probably not that surprising to anyone who knows even a little about how media members like Schefter get all those scoops to begin with.

Last night, though, that information-trading and favor-doing took a different turn, when Schefter tweeted this (and then left it up without any follow-up or context for nearly an hour.)

If Schefter’s intention was not to definitively state Cook had been found to be a victim of domestic abuse and distortion, but instead to note that Cook’s agent was claiming those things, it’s hard to imagine a worse way to word that tweet. When a follow-up did arrive, it was this:

Even that, which buries the “per Hiller” after recounting events that are currently the subject of legal dispute, serves purely to advance Cook’s side of the narrative; and considering the timing, with all of this coming seemingly out of nowhere, it likely did a pretty decent job of pushing Cook’s claims out front, which is the entire goal of Zac Hiller and the rest of Cook’s camp.

Within a few hours of Schefter’s initial tweet, the Star Tribune broke the full story, which at the very least puts a lot of things into question.

So that pending litigation referenced in the actual tweet is apparently a suit brought against Cook, not by him. It’s not hard to see what happened here; Cook’s camp knew this story was coming, and they fed Schefter the message they wanted to push out. Schefter obliged, and arguably went way beyond what he had to do by presenting that version of events as confirmed facts.

Schefter sent a few more tweets that focused on Cook’s contention:

Once it became clear to the public that there was in fact another side to the story, Schefter finally mentions that, although only when sharing Cook’s attorney’s statement without any challenge or context or even linking to the Star Tribune report:

About thirty minutes later, Schefter finally shared a link to an unbylined ESPN.com story:

There’s no real good way to spin this coverage. Schefter either consciously carried the water for Cook here, trying to turn public opinion against a domestic violence accuser to curry favor, or he didn’t even consider what he was doing and simply rubber stamped whatever was sent to him.

Even in the (statistically very unlikely) scenario that everything Cook is contending about what happened is eventually found to be true, Schefter had no way of knowing that when he stepped up to the plate to help shield Cook here. It’s at best grossly irresponsible, and at worst it’s just impossibly gross.

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.