Our View: Newton scandal sad day for journalism, future journalists



The Cam Newton recruiting allegations perpetuated by The New York Times' Peter Thamel, ESPN and a "journalist" for FOXSports.com named Thayer Evans are a new low for the field of journalism.

Instead of thorough reporting involving numerous credible sources and attempted fairness and balance--you know--the founding tenets of journalism, these jackals, these self-serving leeches, are trying to sink the hopes and dreams of a student-athlete.

Hacks like Thayer Evans and Peter Thamel, who broke the "sociology classes are easy at state universities" story involving Auburn football athletes back in 2006, are more interested in creating a personal brand and garnering hits than actually using and obeying key journalistic principles.

Fabricate, exaggerate and wait for the hits and "buzz." That's their kind of journalism.

And their chosen medium, the medium forced upon today's journalists, the Internet, lends itself to sloppy journalism.

Today's news is all about immediacy and breaking stories.

Is this what journalism has become?

Former Mississippi State quarterback John Bond, who was said to have had contact with Kenny Rogers, the man who supposedly asked for $180,000 from Mississippi State on behalf of Cam Newton, said on the Atlanta radio station WCNN that there "were two people in between, but, basically, yes, that's what happened."

That was ESPN's, Thamel's and Evans' main source--"two people in between, but, basically, yes, that's what happened."

And somehow that's enough to crucify the Heisman frontrunner and a key player on an Auburn team 10-0 in the midst of a potential national championship run.

Not to mention this latest hubbub about Cam's academic record at Florida, which is all based off an unnamed source from the University of Florida.

Rightly, Auburn has started to fight back.

"I'm trying to defend something that is quite frankly garbage,'' said coach Gene Chizik in a press conference Tuesday morning.

Watching the video, you can see Chizik's barely controlled anger.

Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs released a similar statement: "Any discussion of academic records is a clear violation of federal privacy laws. We will not go down that path or stoop to that level as others have apparently done. We will, however, emphatically say that Cam is eligible to play football at Auburn University both academically and athletically."

Perhaps, sometime in the future, truth will emerge from this ever-more confusing situation, truth which will no doubt be brought to the public by actual journalists concerned with integrity and truth.

But until that day comes, we will stand with Cam Newton, not because he's Cam Newton, Heisman hopeful, but because he wears orange and navy and plays for Auburn.

And Auburn is a family who looks after its own.

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