The Boston Globe's Cheap Shot on Deadspin

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

  • MJ

    I disagree. I think the Globe was merely setting the stage for readers unfamiliar, as many might be, about Deadspin.

    • Eric Randall

      Except that if you’d never heard of Deadspin and you didn’t read carefully, the Globe’s description would basically encourage you to dismiss the whole story out of hand. It doesn’t serve any purpose to suggest that Deadspin didn’t apply high journalistic standards to the Te’o story when there’s not yet any evidence that they did anything other than a stand-up job, a job outlets like the Globe had plenty of opportunity to do first.

  • agingcynic

    Wait until they get scooped by the Herald again. Until the move, they referred to it as “Wingo Square”. These are the most pompous, arrogant aholes in the city (and in this town, that’s saying something). Self awareness is not their strong suit.

  • Plan

    In the parlance of those crazy, unreliable kids who post “blogs,” I believe Jim McBride and the Boston Globe are “jelly.”