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What if your source intentionally lies?

by on September 22, 2011

For this coming week we are supposed to be reviewing the journalists’ code of ethics. One of the codes is to seek the truth and to report it. In this article, what happens if your source straight up lies in your face?

Tom Brady basically tells the media that he lies on purpose to reporters and journalists because it’s not worth starting a controversy. So why in the world are reporters here if not reporting on topics of controversy? Sure, this is only covering sports journalism, but what if every source we interviewed were thinking the exact same thing, and saying they don’t want to provide certain facts just because they don’t want to rile up the media?

However, Brady does have a point. He states here:

“I don’t often say exactly how I feel,” Brady said. “And I don’t often say exactly what I think. Because you don’t want to cause controversy. When there is controversy, all your teammates start getting asked about ‘What Brady said.’ Really, it becomes a distraction to the team. You’re trying to get ready for an important game on the weekend, and then now, on Thursday and Friday, the only thing that people want to talk about is some comment the quarterback on your team made.

“When that happens, I feel bad and a certain responsibility to my teammates that in some way I let them down. That they have to be cleaning up a mess that I made for the rest of the team. And that’s never a position that I want to put my teammates in because we have too many other things to worry about.”

This also covers the point where journalists have to pick and choose what content to publish, and what actually informs the public. Since Tom Brady is such an important figure in sports media, many times reporters tend to cover “tom brady said this, he said that,” rather than concentrating on team performance and what not.

Personally, I’d leave out anything Brady has to say regarding UGGs.

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3 Comments
  1. Kaitlin Debelen permalink

    Sassy.

    To be honest, I think you have a valid point. But at the same time, what kind of serious questions do we ask people like Tom Brady? And even more so, is Tom Brady even a reliable source when asking about anything serious (i.e. the war in Iraq)? I don’t doubt his skills as a great quarterback or UGG spokesman, but I might doubt the importance of his knowledge on some hard-hitting news that is not football related.

    I’m not trying to be mean, but who is really interviewing him as a credible source for intense, hard-hitting news? So, so what if he wants to lie. Tom Brady is only as serious, as we make him.

  2. I understand–but there are people who often want to know what these people are thinking. Otherwise, Charlie Sheen wouldn’t be such a hot topic.

  3. camdunbar permalink

    I’m with you aejen, I think the people who really look up to athletes and care about the teams look for that analysis from the team’s top players. For this reason, the Red Sox leaders are Jason Varitek, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, and the day’s starting pitcher. The Bruins would be Zdeno Chara, Milan Lucic; the Celtics have the big three, and the Patriots are the head coach, quarterback, head guys from the offensive and defensive lines, etc. There are so many different individuals on sports teams that they think different things and say different things regularly. Pretty much all these athletes are good for is the standard line or two about the game, “I had to get the big hit to win, these guys are trying, playing hard, etc.” and nobody really asks any further. So is it a big deal that they don’t say everything they think?

    I think it’s pretty widely known that’s a rule among athletes. They are good spokesmen for both the team and their own personal interests and sponsorships, but look at Curt Schilling now. He’s just a talking head.

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