Blog Entry

ESPN releases statement regarding LeBron party

Posted on: July 29, 2010 8:24 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2010 11:13 pm
 
Posted by Matt Moore

ESPN has released a statement to explain the series of events surrounding the phantom LeBron story which appeared briefly on ESPN's servers before being yanked. The story has come down that the problem lies not with James, nor with ESPN.com's editorial staff, but with the writer, Arash Markazi.

Rob King, Vice President and Editor-In-Chief, ESPN Digital Media released a statement today:

ESPN.com will not be posting the story in any form. We looked into the situation thoroughly and found that Arash did not properly identify himself as a reporter or clearly state his intentions to write a story. As a result, we are not comfortable with the content, even in an edited version, because of the manner in which the story was reported. We’ve been discussing the situation with Arash and he completely understands. To be clear, the decisions to pull the prematurely published story and then not to run it were made completely by ESPN editorial staff without influence from any outside party.

We knew the story was going to get complicated. James was clearly unaware that his actions were going to be reported on. The question was whether he was unaware Markazi was a reporter or if he was aware Markazi was a reporter but believed he was off-record. Now we have the official position regarding that.

So was what Markazi did unethical?

If this were a drug ring, Markazi could not identify himself as a reporter. He couldn't ask if people involved in illegal behavior were on-record without jeopardizing both his safety and the story. There are a number of illegal stories broken where a reporter has had to refrain from revealing both his position and intention.

LeBron James did not do anything illegal. He has done nothing against the law, nothing that would warrant this kind of deception. There's no crime in being an egotist, no fault that goes against human decency is partying like a rock star. He simply comes off looking bad. And that's not enough to warrant such tactics. Perhaps it was a misunderstanding. But the onus is on Markazi to notify James or one of his representatives that he is a reporter, and that he is writing a story on the night's events.  LeBron James has every right to be whatever kind of person he wants to be at a private event held for him, among friends.

For his part, Markazi also released a statement, though I would not particularly call it contrite:

I have been in conversations with ESPN.com’s editors and, upon their complete review, understand their decision not to run the story. It is important to note that I stand by the accuracy of the story in its entirety, but should have been clearer in representing my intent to write about the events I observed.

ESPN takes a lot of flack for not being responsible with their coverage, and will of course take flack for protecting James' PR theoretical rear. But Markazi leaves little option by admitting he did not specify that what he saw that night would end up in front of the eyes of millions. Their hands were tied when Markazi did not approach the story with the right set of practices. We live in an age where the media seems to know no bounds. At some point, those lines have to be drawn by those with the most reach.

None of this makes any part of this story any less funny.
Comments

Since: Jul 22, 2010
Posted on: July 30, 2010 1:14 pm
 

ESPN releases statement regarding LeBron party

2 MVP's
1st trip to Finals
Sell outs every game for 3 or 4 years
66 & 61 Win Seasons
Make a irelevant Franchise the biggets draw and hottest ticket n the Sport


The nerve of that guy
Yeah I feel bad for the Cleveland fans also
..

n lets not 4get the 7 years of pre game Powder Claps



Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: July 30, 2010 2:31 am
 

ESPN releases statement regarding LeBron party

 There is no question LeBron quit on his team, teammates and the fans. You know there was collusion, there is no doubt about it. The day Z cane back and said he was going to be a free agent I stated that where ever James goes he goes. Go ahead and look at my posts. This whole thing was planned in conjunction with the Heat, too bad there is no way to prove it. That would be worth a fortune! If it ever does come out the HEAT are finished and so will the careers of the almighty James, Bosh and the real king Wade. What losers... LeBron wants what is best for basketball? That is what was coming out from the media. What a joke. I feel real bad for the fans of Cleveland basketball and I truly hope the owner can and will keep his word instead of bailing out and selling the team or worse yet move them. How bout those Las Vegas Cavs....



Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: July 29, 2010 8:49 pm
 

ESPN releases statement regarding LeBron party

So now we know the who the real Lebron James is..and not sure it is very pretty.

Has any athlete that did not committ homicide had their reputations destroyed as fast as James has the last two months??   The guy has gone for being the poster boy of the NBA to one of the most hated players in the league. James whole personna has changed.

Now it makes you wonder if James quit on his team during the Celtics series to keep his plan of playing with Wade and Bosh alive.

Very sad.


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