Jets fans are concerned about the offensive line, they’re concerned about Aaron Rodgers meshing with his teammates, they’re concerned about beating the Bills. They’re not concerned about the team getting infiltrated by the Chinese government.
The latter theory, however, was accidentally, albeit hilariously, pushed by The Big Lead Wednesday morning. WFAN’s Gregg Giannotti does some great impressions, with former station midday host Joe Benigno among the best of them. Sometimes, however, those impressions are too good. Wednesday morning, Giannotti was reacting to Beningo broadcasting from Jets camp on Tuesday where Jets head coach Robert Saleh admitted he uses TikTok.
Giannotti went into a bit, pretending to be Beningo ranting about TikTok being controlled by the Chinese government. The rant was not Benigno’s, it was not real, it was in fact a radio bit. Sports Illustrated’s Jimmy Traina shared a clip of Giannotti’s bit and Kyle Koster of The Big Lead, who apparently is not a WFAN P1, accidentally fell for the impression, thinking it was a real rant from Benigno.
— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) August 16, 2023
“Going to have a miserable season now because the Chinese have all your information now, they have all your plays,” Giannotti joked in Benigno’s voice. “I’m telling you right now, there is someone in China right now who knows exactly what you’re going to do offensively Week 1 against the Bills and they’re going to get it to McDermott and then you’re going to lose. We all knew once you started scrolling TikTok that the Chinese would get the plays and the Chinese would go to the Buffalo Bills. The Chinese, they don’t like New York — they like Upstate New York, they don’t like New York, New York.”
The Big Lead, however, transcribed the above clip and attributed the quote to Benigno in their post titled, “Will the New York Jets Season Be Doomed By The Chinese Accessing Their Playbook?”
After reading The Big Lead’s article, you might assume it’s an attempt at playing off Giannotti’s impression to create a satirical post similar to one you might see on The Onion. But there is no mention of it being satire anywhere on the page. And when WFAN supposedly had the author on the phone to discuss the post, the line was disconnected after Giannotti set up the call by rehashing his bit and reiterating that it wasn’t actually a Beningo rant.
Giannotti should take The Big Lead’s blunder as a big compliment for how good his impressions are. It happens to the best of us. If you write and aggregate enough posts, you’re bound to get fooled by something that’s fake. Worst case scenario, this will serve as a reminder to exposed conspiracy theorist Aaron Rodgers to keep his playbook buttoned up.