Todd McShay garnered criticism for reporting there were “character issues” surrounding NFL prospect Jalen Carter a few months ago, but after recent events, Colin Cowherd says the ESPN draft analyst is owed an apology from the media.
“With Carter, there are some character issues,” McShay said shortly before national championship game. “Does he get along with everybody? What’s he like to deal with in the locker room? Those sorts of issues. I know it’s early in the process, but I’m forewarning everybody out there, Carter is going to be a hot-button name when we talk about some of the intangible aspects of it.”
McShay was widely criticized for spreading a negative report about Carter without providing tangible evidence or specifics regarding what those character issues were. In the following weeks, however, Carter was charged with two misdemeanors related to a drag racing accident that killed two people. And this week, Carter showed up to his pro day out of shape, giving some additional credence to McShay’s initial reporting.
Todd McShay has Colin Cowherd in his corner pic.twitter.com/LwkOSC1060
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) March 16, 2023
“The media is great at taking a comment and criticizing a politician, a CEO, a media person.” Cowherd said on his Fox Sports Radio host Thursday afternoon. “They’re great at that, that’s easy. But what happens if that person is right? Do you retract the opinion? Do you come back and acknowledge, that controversial opinion was right? No, the media doesn’t. The media does a lousy job of that. All of us are great at ripping people, but when they’re right and we’re wrong, we should address that. That’s fair.
“So Todd McShay got a lot of crap at ESPN, a lot of crap…when he said defensive tackle Jalen Carter at Georgia has some character issues. The media avalanche started, ‘How dare you, he’s a young man.’ Todd was right, Jalen Carter just came in out of shape to his pro day.”
“Last three weeks, he’s been very right,” Cowherd continued of McShay. “In three weeks, Jalen Carter got caught in a drag racing incident that killed two people. He left the scene. Two people died that he knew. I’d say that’s a character red flag. He also refused to work out at the Combine. That’s concerning. He also, recently…got pulled over and fined $1,000 for another speeding incident.”
Cowherd has been wrong plenty of times on his radio show. To his credit, he has a segment called “Where Colin was Right, Where Colin was Wrong,” to admit some of the inaccuracies he broadcasts. Cowherd also doesn’t hide from the fact that his opinions are fluid and he’s willing to change them within the same show based on new information or a new idea.
“We’re all wrong, you’re wrong, I’m wrong, but we have to admit it,” Cowherd said. “We don’t do that a lot. We are great at levying criticism, are we great at looking ourselves in the media? Todd McShay took a lot of heat. Todd McShay was right. There’s been a lot of stuff going on the last three weeks.”
The criticism of McShay’s report, however, was less about whether he was wrong and more about his failure to provide specific examples. Ultimately, McShay’s analysis of Carter may have been right, but was he right in presenting that information to the public before having concrete examples of “character issues” that he was willing to share?