ESPN Hack Lynn Hoppes Copies Press Releases, TooS

It's not hard to spot the biggest hacks in any newsroom. The biggest hacks are the reporters who rewrite press releases. Emphasis on the word "rewrite," since the laziest, most unimaginative journalist can typically muster the energy and self-respect to tweak a predicate or two. Even hacks don't want to look like they're entirely beholden to a publicist.

Remember Lynn Hoppes, the ESPN entertainment writer and senior Jonas Brothers correspondent who has mastered the art of the Wikipedia copy-and-paste? In its statement on Hoppes's peculiar tactics last week, ESPN said his crime amounted to "journalistic laziness" and excused him by noting—truth-strainingly—that Hoppes used "multiple legitimate news sources" to gather "background information" to buttress those ripped-from-Wikipedia statements of fact. OK, fine. We'll see your "journalistic laziness" and raise you one "flagrant hackery." It turns out Hoppes was also copy-and-pasting directly from press releases.

Hoppes on a History Channel show (h/t to SportsJournalists.com for spotting this one):

A professional auctioneer and appraiser for Duane Merrill & Co., Ethan Merrill has conducted more than 300 auctions and appraisals. He pitched for the Boston Red Sox organization for four seasons before returning to his roots in the auction and appraisal business.

History.com Page:

A professional auctioneer and appraiser for Duane Merrill & Co., Ethan Merrill has conducted more than 300 auctions and appraisals. [...] pitched for the Boston Red Sox organization for four seasons before returning to his roots in the auction and appraisal business.

Hoppes on Tony Hawk's Cupcake Wars:

Four cupcake bakers try to skate their way into the Tony Hawk Foundation's celebrity event in Las Vegas.

A Food Network press release:

Four cupcake bakers try to skate their way into an exclusive party for Tony Hawk's Stand Up for Skate Parks event in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Hoppes on Matt Cain receiving a samurai sword:

Mizuno bestows the samurai sword honor to recognize the most significant athletic achievements of its Mizuno ambassadors, like Cain's perfect game against the Houston Astros last Wednesday.

A Mizuno press release:

Mizuno bestows the samurai sword honor to recognize the most-significant athletic achievements of its Mizuno ambassadors, such as Cain's historic perfect game against the Houston Astros in his previous start last Wednesday at At&t Park in San Francisco.

Meanwhile, we found another matching pair that appears to be a case of Hoppes copying the PR boilerplate from a newspaper brief copying a charity's PR boilerplate. A Hoppes story on wrestler John Layfield climbing mountains:

All proceeds will benefit the Family Centre of Bermuda. Since 1995, the charity has provided early intervention services to children who are suffering from family-based problems such as abuse, neglect and other emotional challenges.

A Miami Herald brief about Layfield's climb:

All proceeds will benefit the Family Centre of Bermuda. […] Since 1995, it has provided early intervention services to children who are suffering from family-based problems such as abuse, neglect and other emotional challenges.

(Here's how the Family Centre describes itself.)

At last check, Hoppes—doll-collecting, pizza-shilling, Dan Snyder-stroking, fraud-enabling, Wiki-lifting Lynn Hoppes—was still employed by ESPN.