In the world of scoop-driven transaction reporting, it’s OK for a reporter to be wrong. It is not ideal, of course; it’s bad for credibility. But it’s inevitable. Sometimes you’re going to get bad information, or get used by a source with an agenda, and you’re hosed. The best thing to do in that situation is to eat shit and move on. The worst thing to do is to double down on your original claim in the face of visual evidence to the contrary.
Pitt lost head basketball coach Jamie Dixon to TCU yesterday, and the search for a replacement was immediately on. As with all coach-search feeding frenzies, this one began with FlightAware—a private jet from Tucson to Pittsburgh. Arizona coach Sean Miller?
KDKA’s Rich Walsh was the first with a scoop, and a story:
Big-ass news! Miller’s a good coach and a big name. The article repeated the substance of the Tweet—that Miller was currently in Pittsburgh meeting with athletic officials.
OK. Conflicting reports. It happens.
Except (Part II)...
Sure. Miller’s not taking the job, which happens. Coaches have their meetings, and exchange numbers, and sometimes don’t come to agreements.
Walsh was correct, if a little defensive, when he pointed out that he never reported a done deal.
Except (part III), a key item in Walsh’s report was that Miller was in town. That promptly got blown up.
That’s Tucson, 34 minutes after Walsh’s report. The Miller-in-Pittsburgh story now requires time travel, teleportation, or advanced animatronics. Inexplicably, Walsh refuses to take the L.
Walsh’s story on CBS Pittsburgh has been updated to include Miller’s statement denying he’s interested in the job. During that update, two sentences were removed—and memory-holed without mention, but still available in the story’s cached version. Those missing sentences:
Additionally, Walsh was told there is a “better than 50 percent chance” he accepts.
Miller is currently in town meeting with Pitt officials.