Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Professional Liar

Right on schedule. We are approximately one year from my last rant about "NFL Insiders" and their increasing role as rumor mongers. Perhaps they should be called NFL Gossip Columnists. "Lost the privilege" is the arrogant way to say it, but that pretty well sums up the National Enquirer's approach to journalism.

Note that the ESPN link above keeps growing. The original contained no rebuttal from Amy Trask and no email to the AP stating that the Raiders were no longer worthy of Mort's fact checking. Those items were added in the late afternoon. Now I see that further "elaboration" from Mort has been added. I'll copy it here in case the article continues to change:

"Upon further review, I should not have qualified any potential communication with the Raiders as a 'privilege.' I'd say they have repeatedly diminished and discouraged efforts to reach out for an official comment based on the repeated denials of prior stories," Mortensen said. "It also would be an assumption on their part that I have not had any contact with the Raiders while reporting on this story."

Here's what Jerry McDonald had to say about Mort on the subject of coaching candidate rumors in a live chat on December 23:

"Chris Mortensen does a good job getting names out there, and often he's right. But very often, agents for coaches are floating names through him to get interest drummed up in the client."

That sounds similar to what David White alludes to when he says, "When the investors started talking takeover and relocation, the Raiders probably told them where they could stick it ... and next thing you know, Sunday happens and the Raiders are forced into shaking angry fists and making blanket denials while league lifers snicker."

I'm sure Mort floats a lot of unfounded rumors for specific reasons, I'm sure there are grains of truth to many, and I'm most sure that the Raiders have such an impossibly tasked and apparently woefully underqualified PR department that it makes January just that much more dramatic for us as Raider fans.

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