Love Triangle? ESPN’s Bizarre Deadspin Slander
Deadspin and ESPN do not have a harmonious relationship. The gossipy sports blog has a tendency to point out all of the Worldwide Leader’s faults and failings (including its Tim Tebow obsession).
In contrast, ESPN, which is the biggest sports media organization on the planet, tends to be resentful at being called out by a publication whose previous editor took acid and filmed himself playing a video game in tribute to Dock Ellis. Most recently, Deadspin writer John Koblin caught Lynn Hoppes, a writer for ESPN, repeatedly plagiarizing in articles. ESPN never responded or corrected the articles–until now.
While speaking to a journalism class at the University of Maryland, ESPN executive John Walsh accused Koblin of making these claims out of jealousy because Hoppes, a male, had stolen Koblin’s girlfriend. Now that’s hardball.
But, in making the accusation, Walsh whiffed. Not only was the claim untrue but Koblin has never had a girlfriend. He’s gay. As Koblin told Capital New York,
“It’s confusing. And, obviously, I assumed it was a joke. But I spoke to the kid who asked the question in the class and he told me there was a ‘zero percent’ chance it was a joke. He said Walsh was agitated by the question. [Walsh] also said that Hoppes’ plagiarized work had been removed. It hasn’t and it’s been several months now. And I thought that was troubling! Why would he pass along that (theory?) to his class — a journalism class! — is absolutely baffling.”
Walsh’s accusation is just irresponsible. He already denied making the statements to Koblin and ESPN issued a statement about the plagiarized articles stating “Given that the level of attention to these posts has now significantly exceeded the relative importance of those items to our site’s archives, we will be removing or amending them in the near future and moving on.” This is not enough. Walsh still has a responsibility to apologize to Koblin and insure ESPN explicitly acknowledge that plagiarized articles appeared on its website.
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