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ESPN’s Vice President Speaks Out On Criticisms Of The Way ESPN Covered The Bernie Fine Sex Abuse Story

Vince Doria is ESPN’s Vice President and Director of News, and, per his bio on the company’s site, is “responsible for news content on all ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNEWS studio programs.” Recently, one of those studio shows, Outside the Lines, aired a tape from 2002, in which the wife of a Syracuse assistant coach spoke with a former ball boy who was allegedly molested by that assistant coach.

On the tape, Laurie Fine, the wife of former Syracuse coach Bernie Fine, sounds like a woman who knows her husband has done something wrong. She mentions Fine’s ”issues,” and the fact that “he needs that…male companionship.” It’s dark stuff, twisted stuff, and most of all, incriminating stuff. This lady sounds like she knows her husband’s been molesting kids.

Which is why ESPN has come under the fire for sitting on the tape for so long. It’s almost 10 years old, and seems to corroborate the former ball boy’s story, which is that he was sexually abused as a child. Despite this, the Worldwide Leader sat on the story and never turned the tape over to police.

On Sunday, CNN will air an interview between Howard Kurtz and Vince Doria. CNN was kind enough to send over this preview clip, in which Kurtz asks Doria why ESPN put two of their sources in touch with each other. Both of those sources — Zach Tomaselli and Bobby Davis — have accused Fine of sexually abusing them. Davis was the one who taped the conversation with Fine’s wife, and gave it to Outside the Lines.

Putting the two sources in touch with each other seemed like an odd choice for a journalistic enterprise. The thing, though, is that ESPN’s not really a journalistic enterprise. It’s an entertainment enterprise that doubles as a journalistic enterprise, which is the uncomfortable thing about Vince Doria going on TV and answering questions about his company’s journalistic integrity.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FSPIVAFYI672OH5NOKVRTEZA4U MadCharles

    So that’s the blowhard that helped cover up and shut up for access at Penn State ? I never saw his mug. It’s good to put a face to the top scum. Maybe one of his daughters will fall victim to one of his kind one day.
     Not a single worldwide leader in sporting news had a sniff of this Sandusky guy is a disgrace. I suspect the PR spin about Syracuse basketball coach and the latest  Shu’s car crash are in the same vain.
    I imagine it must be hard for ESPN to hide all the thugs, criminals, murders, wife beaters and drunks in the sport pro world from the public view.  They’re giving it a good go at it though.
    ESPN’s history with on camera analyst racist remarks & off camera sexual harassing is probably even tougher to cover up.  Every once in a while the sleeze slips out. Can you imagine being at one of their Christmas parties ?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WDWBOM3U3CUS6IDBRCUB3ITGAI theone6643

    “The thing, though, is that ESPN’s not really a journalistic

    But it is. It has a news center thus it should have journalistic integrity. They either  go all in with their reporting or don’t bother. They made a choice a long time ago that they weren’t going to just replay highlights and live sports and this is part of it

  • Kilcardy

    What a bunch of sanctimonius bullcrap that spews out of places like ESPN and their talking bobbleheads! These so called “sports commentators” crack me up. A bunch of cackling hens who wouldn’t know a fact from a fart. Not only are the ESPN hens incompetent, they’re a bunch of hypocrites as are the rest of the media. Where’s the outrage in the media? Where’s the calling for someone’s head to roll? Who were the cowards at ESPN who held onto a tape with Fine’s wife confirming Bernie Fine’s abuse FOR 10 YEARS??!! How many cases of abuse is ESPN responsible for as a result of its staying quiet for 10 years? You media hack-hypocrites are sickening. You destroy a man’s career and reputation at will with no factual basis for doing so — all on supposition and innuendo premised on a one-sided grand jury presentment — all to make a buck. What a disgrace.

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