Lots of media reports are later proven wrong, but it’s quite something to see one debunked within seconds live on TV. Bruce Drennan of SportsTime Ohio (also known for serving a prison term for not paying taxes on gambling winnings, ranting about how bad the Indians are, and getting mad at prank callers) was setting up the Cavaliers’ press conference Thursday, which came after ESPN’s Marc Stein wrote a piece criticizing LeBron James’ treatment of head coach David Blatt. Drennan apparently heard the press conference was going to be about Blatt’s resignation, so that’s how he threw to it:
— Will Burge (@WillBurge) June 18, 2015
“We have received word from one of my great sources, that has given us such valuable information over the years about the Cavaliers, that David Blatt is about to resign as head coach.”
The presser turned out to involve Blatt saying his relationship with James is nowhere near as bad as it’s been portrayed, and also featured talking about how he enjoys working with James and how he “absolutely” intends to keep coaching the Cavaliers. So, that great source must not have been all that great. Drennan later issued an apology on Twitter:
Bruce Drennan: Trusted source proved reliable in past, turned out to be wrong. I should’ve confirmed w/Cavs & apologize for misinformation
— Drennan Live! (@DrennanLive) June 19, 2015
This shows some of the problems with the rush to be first, though. What value is there to Drennan predicting Blatt will resign only minutes before it happens? Not a whole lot. If this was in question at all, why not just say “Here’s the Cavaliers’ press conference” and leave the analysis until after you know what they say? Predicting the results of press conferences is far from limited to Drennan, of course, and it’s been done erroneously many times, but in cases like this, it really shouldn’t be. There’s no particular need to try and beat an official announcement by a minute, other than to make yourself look good, and trying to do so can often make you fall flat on your face the way Drennan did here.