The Boston Globe's Cheap Shot on Deadspin

The Globe got scooped. They should sound more gracious about it.

Deadspin.com scored an incredible scoop Monday, and they’re receiving some much earned praise from media outlets all over, some of it tinged with a little bitterness. Deadspin revealed that Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o’s girlfriend, who he said died of cancer on the eve of an important game, never actually existed and that a whole lot of media organizations failed to double check whether his tale of losing a loved one ever checked out.

In reporting on that story Wednesday night, The Boston Globe’s Jim McBride wrote this:

According to a report on Deadspin.com, a website that has broken some high-profile stories but not an outlet regarded for journalistic standards, Kekua never existed.

As people we follow have been noting on Twitter, this characterization of the new media outlet makes the old Globe seem a bit stodgy and bitter, especially because the Globe is one of the many outlets that breathlessly reported the tale of  Te’o’s loss. Here they are back in November:

And then, six hours after Te’o had been told of his grandmother’s passing, he got word that his girlfriend, stricken with leukemia, had died, too. His parents had been set to meet Lennay Kekua in November, at parents’ weekend. His father said he believed she could one day be his daughter-in-law.

There have already been several attempts from journalists to explain why they bought Te’o’s story at face value, but it seems a little lacking in self-awareness to cast aspersions on an outlet that just exposed some journalistic misses in your own house.

Update: Proving, at least, his site’s reputation for irreverence, Deadspin Editor-in-Chief Tommy Craggs gives Poynter this response to the Globe quote: “Whatever. Why should I care what a craven, slipshod outfit like the Boston Globe thinks of my ‘journalistic standards’?” Yikes.


Eric Randall
Eric Randall Eric Randall, Contributor at Boston Magazine ericrandall988@gmail.com