In case you haven’t heard: Deadspin unleashed the scoop of 2013 (so far) last night by revealing an elaborate hoax involving Manti Te’o, star Notre Dame linebacker. Deadspin’s well-reported account showed that Te’o's “girlfriend” that died of cancer never existed, and either Te’o, his family, and his friend were all involved in scamming the media, or Te’o was the victim of an insanely complex and malicious practical joke by someone he didn’t know.
The facts are still being uncovered, but this much is clear: Deadspin has a huge hit on its hands. As of now, Deadspin’s post has been viewed over 2.7 million times, and in being the first to break the story, Deadspin out-reported a slew of media heavyweights that didn’t bother investigating Te’o's claims.
Here are just a few of the major media entities that Deadspin beat:
- Sports Illustrated
- USA Today
- The New York Post
- The Boston Globe
- The Associated Press
- The Los Angeles Times
That’s quite a lineup. It just shows how the media can get swept up in the “entertainment” portion of their story, and then ignore anything that disputes that narrative. In the case of Te’o, here was a star football player who not only had to deal with the death of his grandmother, he had to cope with his fantastic girlfriend passing away as well.
This story is far from over, but every journalist who was involved should send a congratulatory note to Deadspin. Not only for doing a great job, but for showing all the others how to do theirs.