Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Who do we Believe? Media Veteran or Tweeting Athlete?

By Chris Daley

If you follow sports, you’ve heard the Tiger Woods story today regarding Corey Pavin’s tweet. In the story, Pavin denies he made comments to the Golf Channel that Woods is a lock to be on the 2010 Ryder Cup team.

Listening to “Mike and Mike in the Morning” on ESPN Radio this morning, I was intrigued with the story because it’s so common these days to hear about errors in reporting, and the classic misquote and correction statement to follow.

The latest “error” comes from media veteran Jim Gray who was reporting for the Golf Channel, stating that Corey Pavin - this year’s U.S. Ryder Cup team Captain – said of the possibility of selecting Woods to the team… "Of course I'm going to (pick him). He's the best player in the world."

Pavin later made an official statement via his Twitter account, "For the record, @golfchannel and Jim Gray has misquoted me re: picking Tiger. I never said such a thing and will not say a thing until 09/07.”

Although Pavin only has a little over 6,200 followers on Twitter, his tweet immediately was reported on the most popular sports radio show in America to millions of listeners on ESPN Radio and viewers on ESPN2. Show host Mike Greenberg repeatedly said he couldn't believe the power of Twitter.

Although ashamed to admit it, I listen to sports radio quite a bit, since many of our clients are related to professional sports. It has become common to hear show hosts repeating statements that athletes and celebrities posted on their Twitter accounts, and taking those comments very seriously.

With this story, I’m not quite sure who to believe. Jim Gray, to me, seems very credible, but Pavin's statement made via Twitter might be right.

It’s these types of news stories that confuse me. Where is this all heading? And are we to think that just because an athlete or celebrity has a Twitter account we should believe everything that they post? One thing is for certain, be ready for many more stories like this in the future.

Chris Daley is a Senior Account Executive. Contact him at


And this story continues… The Washington Post blog “The Early Lead” is reporting of a possible dust-up between Gray and Pavin.

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