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Rate Trollin Volin's Apology To Darius Fleming For Insinuating That He Made Up the Story About the Car Crash

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Trollin Volin’s Apology

 

I would first like to apologize to Darius Fleming, who acted like a true hero last week in helping save that woman from her car and did not deserve to be subjected to the scrutiny and criticism he faced for a few hours on Wednesday. I believe TMZ’s speculation did the most damage, but I contributed to the situation by not fully explaining myself on Twitter.

There was no malicious or underhanded intent, and I would like to explain what happened:

I saw a Facebook post Wednesday morning from Fleming’s high school that he had played in Saturday’s game against the Chiefs with 22 stitches after kicking through a window and pulling a woman from a car. Immediately my goal on Wednesday became to speak with Fleming during the Patriots’ open locker room period to write a story and share his incredible act of bravery and kindness.

Fleming could not have been more gracious with his time. We had a great five-minute conversation, and I thanked him for his patience and understanding. Shortly thereafter I tweeted about his acts, and as the other reporters surrounded him for further questioning, the story quickly mushroomed into national news.

On my drive home from Foxborough, my boss called, “Can you try to get the police report and call the woman and get her side of the story?” Of course I would, because that’s a natural next step in the journalistic process. I never once doubted the veracity of Fleming’s story, given what I know about Fleming as a person, and the fact that his story was full of vivid details. I just wanted to talk to the woman and get her account of being saved by a Patriots superhero.

The only problem was no one knew which police department handled the accident. I called the Foxborough police and was told quickly and brusquely that they did not handle it (they were getting swamped with media requests). Then I called Walpole police, and was told the same thing. Then Wrentham, Sharon and Massachusetts State Police, and got the same answer – “We didn’t respond to it.” Their answers were quick and decisive.

So I called up the Patriots and asked them if they knew which police department had dealt with it, or if they knew any details about the woman involved. The team did not. I tried to contact Fleming’s agent, but to no avail.

I then called each of the five police stations, including Walpole, for a second time. I called Foxborough a third time. Was told bluntly each time by each department, “It wasn’t us.”

Eventually my boss called and said, “There’s a TMZ story out about it.” Their report stated that all of the local police and fire departments denied responding to an accident described by Fleming, which is the same thing I was experiencing.

At this point, I began receiving messages on Twitter about the TMZ report, and questions wondering if Fleming made the story up. After TMZ had sent out its report to hundreds of thousands of people, that’s when I tweeted, “I’m having same issue as TMZ: Neither Foxboro, Wrentham, Walpole or Mass State police say they have record of car crash described by Fleming.”

I should have been a lot clearer with the tweet, and witnessed yet again the dangers of trying to communicate in 140 characters. But in no way did I think Fleming was making his story up, as TMZ hypothesized. I was simply acknowledging that none of the local authorities seemed to have a record of this incident. Forty minutes later I tweeted, “Not jumping to any conclusions on Fleming story. He described incident in great detail. Told same story to teammates that he told me today.” But it was too late. I should have tweeted it sooner.

Then, strangely, shortly before 4 pm the Walpole police discovered that there had, in fact, been a three-car accident on Route 1 last Thursday that matched Fleming’s description. The station put out a press release stating that no injuries were reported. I spent the rest of Wednesday evening tracking down eyewitnesses and reaching out to the woman and her family, who declined to return messages seeking comment.

So that’s what happened. There was no malicious intent to discredit Fleming or deceive the public. I regret that my tweet helped take the attention off of Fleming’s bravery. The article in Thursday’s newspaper will only portray Fleming in a positive light, which he absolutely deserves.

Thank you for your time.

 

I’m not sure what I think about this apology from Benny Volin. I guess it’s good he apologized and I guess it’s long, but at the same time I don’t think he believes he did anything wrong. He kind of blamed it all on TMZ, his bosses and the fact twitter only has 140 characters.

Listen I know I’m not a journalist but I am sort of an internet expert and a multi millionaire so I figured I should chime in. The problem here is that the Globe still pretends to be journalists when they are actually Buzzfeed. Real journalists shouldn’t care about being first or getting credit. They should care about getting the story right. TMZ doesn’t give a fuck about any of that and they are fairly open about that fact. They compared Darius Fleming to Manti Te’o to generate buzz. Who cares if they are wrong? They were determined to break this story and get credit for breaking it. If they are wrong they just move on to the next one.

Clearly Volin and his bosses at the Globe wanted the clicks and notoriety as well. They didn’t want to get scooped by TMZ. That’s why Volin’s bosses called him and yelled at him for TMZ beating him to the punch. That’s why Volin tried to interject himself back into the story. “Hey look at me I’m doing the same thing TMZ is doing! Don’t forget to give me credit too! “ He basically endorsed the TMZ article which compared Fleming to Manti Te’o.  Once he did that it’s impossible to say you weren’t doubting him or you were neutral. If TMZ never published that story then Volin never would have starting dropping tweets about it either. He would have let it play out. But again that’s the Internet. It’s not about being right it’s about being first. It’s not about being a journalist which Benny Vollins loves saying he is, but about being an agitator. Volin fucked up plain and simple because credit was more important than the truth.

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