One of the core tenets of journalism has always been, if the story is juicy enough, go for it. Well at least that’s what Jason McIntyre would have you believe.
The Fox Sports host caught plenty of well-deserved flak this week for tweeting an unsubstantiated and ultimately false rumor about Joe Judge, contending the Giants head honcho threw down with O line coach Marc Colombo, resulting in the latter’s firing. McIntyre’s so called “scoop” was universally dismissed with countless beat writers refuting his outlandish (though admittedly amusing) anecdote. McIntyre jumped the gun and paid dearly for it, with many in the sports media field calling his journalistic integrity into question.
You’d think, after having his credibility all but tarnished for circulating a story so flimsy even his own network wouldn’t stand by it (at no point Wednesday did the faulty Judge/Colombo rumor make it onto Fox’s airwaves), McIntyre would be eager to redeem himself in the eyes of the general public. But apparently his recent public lashing has done little to deter McIntyre’s concerning affinity for presenting gossip as fact.
“Joe Judge goes to fire him and Colombo does not take it well. There was an incident. Led to a little fisticuffs and it was ugly and I hear this from a reliable source and you guys know me!” said McIntyre on his daily podcast, Straight Fire with Jason McIntyre. “I’m not out here, I’m not a reporter trying to break news left and right. That’s not my job. I’m in the opinion business. Okay? When I hear stuff that is juicy, yeah I’m going to put it out there.”
Rather than eat crow for his embarrassing gaffe, McIntyre doubled down, detailing the thought process that led to him perpetuating a blatantly false rumor to his nearly 81,000 Twitter followers. “The local reporters covering the teams, they don’t want to look like they got scooped, they’re missing out on stuff,” said McIntyre who, despite numerous requests from local stations, declined to appear on New York radio after posting his widely debunked tweet. “Then their editors go to them and are like, ‘How can you not have this? How the hell can this guy get this?’”
This isn’t the first time McIntyre has flouted his journalistic responsibilities in pursuit of a sexier narrative. As noted by Ben Koo of Awful Announcing, McIntyre once fell for an April Fool’s prank during his tenure at the New York Post, printing a story on then-Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez’s completely fabricated relationship with Macedonian model Katarina Ivanovska. When panel moderator Spencer Hall questioned his methods during a symposium in 2010, McIntyre somehow made himself look worse.
“There are plenty of cases where I will do nothing and run with something and I’m wrong,” said McIntyre when asked how he verifies his sources. “I have made plenty of mistakes.” When asked point blank why he would publish the Sanchez report without first checking its validity, McIntyre offered, “It was the middle of a Tuesday. That’s why I ran it.”
That's a much different approach than the one I learned at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, but if clicks are what he’s after, there’s no denying McIntyre got plenty of those from his bogus Judge story.