When sports commentator and pregame show host Charissa Thompson admitted last week that she fabricated some of the NFL halftime reports she gave during her time on the sidelines, Americans and journalists alike were predictably angry.
“I’ve said this before, so I haven’t been fired for saying it, but I’ll say it again – I would make up the report sometimes because A, the coach wouldn’t come out at halftime, or it was too late, and I was like, I didn’t want to screw up the report, so I was like, ‘I’m just gonna make this up,’” she explained on the Pardon My Take podcast.
The veteran media employee emphasized that she faced no retribution for the act because she knew the NFL coaches she was supposed to interview wouldn’t correct her.
“No coach is gonna get mad if I say, ‘Hey, we need to stop hurting ourselves, we need to be better on third down, we need to stop turning the ball over … and do a better job of getting off the field,’” she continued. “Like, they’re not gonna correct me on that.”
Thompson, who previously admitted to cheating in school, said she only manufactured information while she was a Fox sideline reporter from 2008 to 2009, not during her current roles as host of Fox NFL Kickoff and Amazon Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football.
In a statement posted to her Instagram story, Thompson downplayed her initial confession by claiming that she “chose the wrong words to describe the situation.”
“I’m sorry,” she wrote. “I have never lied about anything or been unethical during my time as a sports broadcaster.”
Thompson’s so-called apology, which came days after she divulged this information, did not convince her fellow journos who expressed outrage that Thompson would treat a hallmark of original journalism, accurate quotes and interviews, so flippantly.
One USA Today article called for Thompson to be fired. The Athletic claimed Thompson’s behavior was an “assault on journalism” that “is an extension of the assault on truth by powerful people — in autocratic governments, in multinational corporations, garden-variety jerks — who don’t want to be regulated or challenged or criticized.”
“It is a sign of journalism’s ongoing power that it is under such relentless attack by so many,” the publication quipped.
“Charissa Thompson’s Fabrication Admission Leaves Sideline Reporters Aghast,” a New York Times headline stated.
The Times claimed the sideline reporter is “a role that centers on establishing trust with both the teams and leagues being covered and with the viewing audience,” which is why Thompson’s viral comments hit hard with viewers and reporters alike.
The collective fury over Thompson’s lack of regard for truth, accuracy, and objectivity is understandable. It is, however, no different than the kind of malpractice Americans see demonstrated by the corrupt corporate media daily.
If Thompson did make up some of her halftime interviews as she previously claimed, she doesn’t deserve to continue as one of the most prominent faces of NFL coverage. The same standard, however, should be applied to the corporate media mouthpieces who make their money by making up stories that advance their preferred narratives.
Smoke And Mirrors
The newsrooms feigning shock and surprise that Thompson got away with reportedly cooking up quotes without consequences are the same ones who make their profit by cranking out serial propagandists, plagiarists, and fabulists. Many of them have quite literally staked their reputations on stories that use shady anonymous sourcing to communicate breaking news, especially when fronting smears against Democrats’ opponents.
Federalist Editor-In-Chief Mollie Hemingway recently noted that a “record-high percentage of Americans (39 percent) have literally no — as in none, zilch, nada — trust in corporate media to ‘report the news in a full, fair and accurate way.’”
Americans’ feelings about the press should come as no surprise to anyone who has paid attention to their collective manufacturing and amplification of the Russia collusion hoax, Brett Kavanaugh smears, Jussie Smollett deception, Covington and Nick Sandmann libel, Biden family business coverup, Covid misinformation, abortion deception, anti-gun rhetoric, and thousands of other hot button current events in recent years.
History proves that corporate media outlets such as ABC, The Atlantic, Politico, BBC, Forbes, NPR, NBC, Axios, PBS, CBS, CNN, NYT, Reuters, MSNBC, The Washington Post, Time Magazine, USA Today, and more don’t deal in accuracy, precision, or fact. Members of the legacy media maintain a purposefully hostile stance toward truth and, more often than not, act in bad faith because it suits their political agenda.
The people who staff these outlets and do the political dirty work for Democrats aren’t fired or even held accountable for constantly betraying Americans’ trust and committing egregious offenses against fact and dignity. Instead, journos like leftist mouthpiece Yamiche Alcindor, public masturbator Jeffrey Toobin, and in bed with the White House Alexi McCammond are elevated by their respective media bosses. Outlets that routinely publish misinformation are rewarded with prizes and intra-industry fame.
The backlash against offenders such as Thompson is a good sign that Americans won’t stand for at least some perversion of the truth and objectivity that is supposed to drive journalists. But the few days of angry social media jokes and headlines demanding accountability for Thompson are not enough.
Agony over the blatant disregard of journalistic standards shouldn’t stop with football reporters who tease listeners about spinning sideline yarns. Every corporate media liar — and there are many — deserves the wrath of Americans for their deliberate dereliction of duty, even if they don’t admit or do everything in their power to covertly cover it up.
The Dan Rathers, Brian Williams, Jayson Blair, and even the Thompsons of the journalism world were once viewed as anomalies in newsrooms, but now, they are the standard. The quicker Americans realize this, the better off they will be.