Florio posted an entry on his site (and in typical Florio fashion I cannot link directly to the entry), calling out ESPN for not giving proper credit for stories they "break" and for not citing their sources:
We've noticed an interesting trend over the past few weeks. After years of looking the other way, more and more members of the "real" media are calling out ESPN.com for hijacking stories reported elsewhere.
Writes Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat: "[A] fine report by Matt Barrows of the Sac Bee today about Mike Nolan wanting there to be two forms of pass interference. ESPN picked up the story but did not credit it properly, making it sound as if it was their own report. We don't have such hangups here about giving credit where credit is due. Click here for that story."
Recently, Adam Schein of Sirius NFL Radio lambasted the boys in Bristol twice in less than a week for creating the false impression that Len Pasquarelli had broken stories that originated on the official NFL satellite radio network.
We just don't get it. The readers don't care who breaks the stories; they simply want a source for information that they can trust. But how can anyone trust an organization that twists the truth in order to artificially inflate their own writers?
Believe it or not, we've got plenty of friends at ESPN -- and we're hoping that the folks there who have a strong sense of fairness and decency will press the right buttons in order to rectify a situation in which a few folks with no shame are making the entire operation look bad.
Mike Florio is NOTORIOUS for citing unnamed sources all the time on his site. "League Sources" is usually always the name of the janitor who works for X team that gives him the dirt that he pasters up on his site. Sometimes his dirt is true (he will often call a trade or signing a day or so before it actually hits the mainstream media), sometimes it isn't (he claimed Bill Polian attacked a NY Jets official when such an incident never occurred). But for him to get all pissy about ESPN not naming sources is like Karl Rove getting mad at Democrats for playing politics. Sorry for the political reference, but it's early.
And yes Mike, readers do indeed care who breaks the story. Readers read your site because you break stories before others do. Even if there is no story to break, even if it is a rumor, they come to you because you break it, and if they see that you are consistently breaking stories they will (shock!) read your site consistently and come to rely on it for news.
Amazing how this works, isn't it?
Mike, do us a favor: Just be consistent in your arguments. You peddle gossip and rumor in the NFL. You're kind of like the Access Hollywood or Entertainment Tonight for the NFL. You're Danny Devito in LA Confidential. Don't hold a place like ESPN to a standard you're not even willing to hold yourself to. When you do that, it makes you look like a hypocritical schmuck.
If Florio really cared about the integrity of news, he'd name his "League Sources" he always pulls out of his ass, and he'd allow people like me to reference and link to specific entries he makes on his site. This way, when his rumors turn out to be completely bogus, he can be cited and called out for being WRONG. I sometimes just wish Florio would admit what he is: A tabloid sleezo. The false pretense he seems to believe in has gotten old and tired.