Adam Schefter is once again driving discussion. This time, though, the discussion is about a story on Schefter rather than a story he reported on.
On Tuesday, the Washington Post published a lengthy feature on Schefter after a long six months in which he found himself in the middle of controversy several times due to the way he chose to frame his reporting. The Post interviewed Schefter for the story about his reporting practices and dug deep into how the insider rose to fame. They unearthed some unknown tidbits in the process that have stirred up the online media community.
One of the stronger discussion points concerns how much money Schefter spends on gifts to improve relationships. Apparently he is notorious for his holiday gift-giving in the NFL community and spent an exorbitant amount on chocolate one year. Also, he writes all of it off as business expenses.
There are other more consequential pieces of information, though, that have people talking. Speaking to the Post, Schefter dismissed any concerns about the fact that he invests in the same gambling company as Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
Back before Twitter ruled the information universe, Schefter apparently would file his news to the desk and send it to his NFL contacts at the same time.
Jimmy Traina of Sports Illustrated noted in his Extra Mustard column that Schefter's colleagues spoke anonymously to the Post about his reporting practices. Schefter responded to that by asking if they were going on the record with it (per the Post):
The Cook incident was the most serious, and multiple people who work at ESPN, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters, said they worried that it and the Watson reporting reflected a failure to understand the sensitivity of domestic violence allegations.
Told of those concerns, Schefter first asked, “Are they going to go on the record?” He denied not taking the issue seriously, and he denied he was framing the allegations favorably for Cook and Watson to curry favor from the players’ agents. “I’ve never put out information thinking I would get something back in the future,” he said. “If people want to work with me, great. If not, okay.”
All in all it's an interesting feature on what it means to be an NFL insider and specifically how Schefter stays ahead in an age where breaking news is the greatest currency in sports media. It does not seem that it has made the ESPN insider any more sympathetic in the eyes of the general public, though.