Longtime listeners of The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz likely weren’t surprised to learn co-host Jon “Stugotz” Weiner’s take on Charissa Thompson’s admission that she’s made up sideline reports before.
“Protecting the sanctity of the sideline report — give me a break. Charissa Thompson, she told the truth. And Lisa Salters and Tom Rinaldi, whom I have great respect for, I do. Their jobs are difficult, they do a great job at it. But Charissa Thompson — she is not the first, she is not the only, she won’t be the last,” Weiner said on Monday. “If you’re not embellishing your sideline reports, you’re doing it wrong. Dan, if I had that opportunity, I’d be slinging stuff everywhere. I would. You have no idea. I mean, no idea.”
Unsurprisingly, Le Batard — a former Miami Herald columnist — had a different opinion than his perpetually dishonest co-host, who was once the inspiration for the imaginary “Stugotz School of Fraudcasting.”
“I’ve got a pretty good idea,” Le Batard replied. “I’ve spent 20 years next to you, it’s not surprising that you would advocate on behalf of making s*** up. Like it’s not in any way surprising.”
After Weiner and producer Tony Calatayud continued to argue on behalf of embellishing reports, producer Billy Gil clarified that Thompson didn’t cop to exaggerating, but rather completely making up reports based on conversations she didn’t actually have.
“Billy, thank you. Because I’ve felt alone this morning listening to people argue on behalf of ‘What difference does it make if she made a little s*** up?'” Le Batard said. “And I’m like, ‘It kind of matters. You’re not supposed to make stuff up. Do your job. Your job isn’t to make things up.'”
After Weiner and producer Chris Cote continued to defend Thompson — “Oh, it’s sideline reporting for the NFL. Who cares?” Stugtoz said — Le Batard referred to Thompson’s admission, which she made on Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take, as a “fireable offense.”
While Stugotz’s response to Thompson’s admission seemed to be in-character, the discussion largely reflected why people within the sports media industry are having such a stronger reaction to it than those outside of it. While Weiner and Cote argued that it’s not a big deal to embellish — or completely make up — benign coach-speak, Le Batard and Gil (correctly) countered that such an admission not only undermines Thompson, but also her employers and the industry at-large.
Thus far, the fallout from Thompson’s punishment has yet to include any punishment. Taking to social media last week, the Fox Sports reporter and Amazon Prime host said that she “never lied about anything or been unethical” as a reporter and that she “used the wrong words” during her interview on PMT.