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Charissa Thompson criticized for admitting to fabricating side reports

Charissa Thompson of Fox Sports and Amazon Prime’s “Thursday Night Football” drew criticism Thursday when a clip went viral in which she admitted to making up coaches’ quotes while working as a reporter secondary.

“I’ve said it before, so I didn’t get fired for saying it, but I’ll say it again. I would sometimes make up the report,” Thompson said in a recent interview on “Pardon My Take,” “because, A, the coach wouldn’t come out at halftime, or it was too late and… I didn’t want to I didn’t screw up the report, so I was like, “I’m just going to make this up.”

Thompson, 41, added that she assumed “no coach would get mad” if she misled viewers into thinking they had simply expressed well-known clichés, such as: “Hey, we need to stop hurting ourselves, we have to be better on third down, we have to stop turning the ball over and do a better job of getting out of bounds.

“Like, they’re not going to correct me on that,” she continued. “So I’m like, ‘Okay, I’ll just make up the report.'”

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Among the sports media members responding to Thompson’s comments Thursday was ESPN and ABC’s Molly McGrath, a college football reporter who wrote on X, “Young journalists: this is neither normal nor ethical. Coaches and players trust us with sensitive information, and if they know you are dishonest and don’t take your role seriously, you have lost all trust and credibility.

Tracy Wolfson, CBS sideline reporter wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, “This is absolutely not okay, it is not the norm and it is upsetting on so many levels. I take my job very seriously, I hold myself accountable for everything I say, I build trust with coaches and I never make anything up. I know my fellow journalists do the same.

Kevin Z. Smith, a board member of the Society of Professional Journalists who helped shape that organization’s code of ethics, said of Thompson’s admission: “This is simply journalism appallingly bad to engage in, and boasting about it and defending it as harmless is beyond. the pale one.

“The SPJ Code of Ethics addresses truth, harm, independence and accountability,” Smith added via email Thursday evening. “She wins the trifecta for destroying three ethical principles by lying.”

Thompson previously discussed coaches’ quotes during a January 2022 episode of a podcast she co-hosts with former sideline reporter Erin Andrews.

Recalling his time covering the 2008 Detroit Lions, who went 0-16, Thompson said of then-head coach Rod Marinelli: “I was like, ‘Oh , coach, what adjustments will you make at halftime? He said, “That’s a great perfume you’re wearing.” » I was like, “Oh, (expletive), this isn’t going to work.” » I’m not kidding, I made a report.

“I did it too,” Andrews responded at the time. “For a coach that I didn’t want to throw under the bus because he told me the wrong things!”

“You’re not going to say anything that’s going to put them in a bad situation,” Thompson said.

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Representatives for “Thursday Night Football” did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thompson and clarification on whether she would use their platform to address the backlash. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post.) As the hour-long pregame show she hosts unfolded, Thompson never mentioned the furor over his remarks on “Pardon My Take”. She also didn’t address the subject during a postgame show after the Baltimore Ravens’ win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Laura Okmin, Thompson’s colleague at Fox Sports, contributed to the argument that Thompson committed a serious ethical misconduct.

“THE privilege of a sideline role is being the only person in the world who has the opportunity to ask the coaches what’s going on at that moment,” Okmin, described by Fox Sports as the third oldest sideline reporter of the NFL, wrote Thursday afternoon on X. “I can’t express how long it takes to build that trust. Devastated by the texts I receive asking if everything is okay. No never.”

Lindsay Rhodes, a former NFL Network sideline reporter and host, responded to a question on a report.

“She tells the producer ‘he hasn’t stopped’ and they won’t go to the sideline reporter for an update she doesn’t have,” Rhodes wrote. “OR, she tells the public in her report. Or she observes things herself and reports them without misleading anyone into thinking it came from someone else.

Gn En sports

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