Before Rick Reilly strong-armed Stuart Scott into crediting his Twitter feed for reporting news everyone already knew, he was already a target of the blogosphere – mostly due to his recycled columns and absurdly cheesy one-liners. We didn’t think the target on his back could get any bigger, or that other well-known journalists would jump aboard the Reilly hate train. Well both of those things happened, and it now appears that Rick Reilly is the most hated person on the internet.
Besides the usual rash of fans on Twitter making jokes about crediting Rick Reilly for any piece of news at all, the likes of Ed Werder, Jason Whitlock, Mike Francesca and Jimmy Traina have all gotten their shots in.
And it even appeared on the front page of ESPN.com before Werder deleted the tweet:
Make sure I get credit for having this first: Rick Reilly hoodwinked ESPN out of $10 million and ESPN is dumb/stubborn enough to do it again
— Jason Whitlock (@WhitlockJason) November 13, 2012
Rick Reilly, reportedly making $10 million from ESPN, MUST HAVE THE TWITTER CREDIIT!!! (OK, I”m done.)
— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) November 13, 2012
Congrats to Rick Reilly for breaking Petraeus affair, D’Antoni hiring, Marlins trade and results of my wife’s ultra-sound. #that‘sjournalism
— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) November 14, 2012
I was going to tell the waitress my order but Rick Reilly had it first on twitter.
— Nicolas Tomboulides (@Tomboulides) November 14, 2012
Even the @NotBillWalton parody account tried to start a #RickReillyReports hashtag. But Reilly isn’t the only problem. ESPN has a well-documented past with sourcing issues, ignoring non-ESPN original sources and even ripping content word for word. This morning, Jay Glazer tweeted that Ben Roethlisberger won’t play Sunday, and ESPN picked up the story without crediting Glazer (via Awful Announcing):
“Byron Leftwich will start for the Pittsburgh Steelers at quarterback against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night as Ben Roethlisberger will sit the game out due to a sprained shoulder, the team announced Wednesday.”
A source confirmed to ESPN that Roethlisberger’s rib and shoulder injuries occurred on the same play. The source said it remains unknown how long the quarterback might be unable to play with the injury to the front of his throwing shoulder.”
Glazer, as you might assume, was pissed:
Hey @sportscenter just to clear up confusion, my last name is not spelled S-O-U-R-C-E. Unless my mom got it wrong all these years
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) November 14, 2012
The best part of this is that ESPN, according to Awful Announcing, updated their story to remove a reference to FOX Sports.
While all of this points towards the larger problem of ESPN’s integrity as a journalistic enterprise, let’s just laugh at Rick Reilly for now as he stews in Twitter silence.