So here’s a lesson I’m taking away from a hectic day working in the crucible that is chasing down leads on a white hot rumor while sitting in your home office wearing a Harry Potter shirt. The first is that, when you’re trying to confirm something before you run with it because you don’t want to damage your company’s reputation on something that might turn out to be Fake News, your co-workers might not agree with your choice. In this case, they all thought I was nuts to want to get it right.
And since since I was the source of the info and Dave had no problems putting his name on a trade that didn’t happen, generated all the Twitter buzz and the pageviews? That’s a lesson that is not lost on me. I promise you all in the future I’ll definitely work on being quicker and less accurate.
Second, the intel I was working on was probably on the money. At least if you want to believe this Blue Check Mark with the same last name as a respected baseball writer:
Although the Patriots deny all of it.
And the guy who seems to be the one who got Reddit pregnant with this particular stillborn rumor, is claiming victor in the war to troll the media:
There is no news! I have zero sources. I’m just some random bozo on the internet that was able to fool national media outlets (listed below), into taking me seriously.
Why? To prove journalism in 2018 is an absolute joke. I literally guessed on the Edelman news and when it would be reported. As soon as i saw some random beat writer on twitter say “I’ve got bad news about the patriots”, I took a wild guess about Edelman and posted it to Reddit. Anyways I’m sure the patriots fans here will be a mix of happy there’s nothing negative and anger for being lied to. When I first made the post I thought “oh this will just be funny if it ends up being correct”, and that would be the end of it. But then things changed to be more about trolling the media than you guys…
I wake up the next day to the Edelman news breaking, and NBC’s profootballtalk (among others) writing serious articles about me, speculating that I was an ESPN employee. Even local Boston radio stations were talking about me as if I’m some sort of vigilante. After laughing hysterically for awhile, I decided to see how far I could take this. I thought the best move would be to build hype around a new story coming out, and see if people actually would continue to take me seriously. Sure enough, they have. My inbox has blown up, everything from fans to freelance journalists asking me for tips. All when IM JUST A RANDOM DUDE, I SHOULDN’T BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY.
Anyways the point is…national media, do better. Don’t take some random guys word on the internet. Sorry to the people of this sub, but hopefully you’ll get some enjoyment out of the hysteria that this caused.
So what went on here? As we sift through the crime scene here and shine a black light over the bedspread to figure out whose DNA is whose and where it all came from, what sense can we make of all this? Well I have a theory.
I think I know who put this out there. The rumor that “something big” was going to happen with the Patriots today. Followed by the hot rumor that something was a Gronk trade. The rumors shooting down that rumor. Followed by the report a deal was done but ownership vetoed it. And the subsequent – and patently false – claim by u/redditlover1981 that news would explode at the end of the day? The one man who would benefit from all of this:
What do when you’re the head of a secret organization that can’t keep secrets? How do you ferret out the moles that are running to the press with classified info? You feed different people misinformation and see which fake story surfaces. Then you have your rats. That’s how you counter-espionage the counter-espionagers. If redditlover1981 is not his burner account, it’s probably someone on his payroll. Someone he can trust, like Ernie Adams. It makes perfect sense that Belichick would compartmentalize all these different stories to different underlings, sit back, and wait for the leaks. One of them was talking to someone who was talking to me. Various media members I checked with were hearing some parts but not others. In the long run, he knows now whom he can trust and who he can’t.
And he learned that I won’t run a story until I can have some certainty it’s accurate. At least I wouldn’t have before today. Thanks to this story, we’re all better and wiser.