Many of you read last night's amended Pat Murphy story where one rogue emailer decided to punch-up his Ali autograph-seeking story with some silly false details about ASU's coach. This happens sometimes.
It's ridiculous to blame Drew for "not vetting" this story as thoroughly as possible given that he's doing a series that's built on first-hand accounts about supposedly asshole coaches. Drew came to me with this story and suggested this one was unique enough to stand on its own outside of the series. I agreed. It was amusing and given Murphy's reputation as a hot-head and the other details of the event that were clearly true, it seemed completely plausible.
Obviously, that was wrong. When you run one-sided versions of stories, which we often do here, the goal is just that — to show one person's side. That's it. It's been my experience, more often than not, that putting these first-person accounts on items reveal a larger truth or open the door to finding out the bigger story. This is how we've successfully done many things on this site over the years from "You're With Me Leather" to Josh Hamilton.
Of course, this is not how traditional media outlets do things. Most people read Deadspin for various reasons but I don't think any readers come here with the idea that what they'll find will be something they'd find in magazines, newspapers, or websites that they'd find elsewhere. This site has been built employing both traditional journalism practices and non-traditional ones, which has tremendous benefits but plenty of risks as well. I don't think it's that difficult to distinguish between when we're practicing journalism and, especially, when we don't. But when facts are wrong, they get corrected, as they should. And unlike other traditional publications, I think we draw a lot more attention to our mistakes than just a 10 word correction buried on page A12.
We've already run the correction on the story and Drew did his best to rectify that situation. This is simply me underlining that fact that he was doing what he was told to do by me and he's not the bad guy in this situation. The real culprit is the misguided fellow who emailed the bullshit story to begin with and, of course, the very elastic editorial policy employed here by Deadspin which is championed by me.
Regardless of this unfortunate incident, I'm confident that we're doing the right thing most of the time. When we don't, well, it has to be addressed. This is me addressing it.
'Til the next episode.