When sports website Deadspin published its huge scoop that Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o’s girlfriend (the one who allegedly died tragically after a battle with leukemia thus helped inspired the linebacker’s amazing year) did not exist, it wasn’t the only news publication that knew of the hoax, according to a New York Times piece about the mess. According to the report, ESPN was holding the big story about the Te’o hoax before pressing “publish” because of an internal debate about the story’s accuracy and a lack of comment from Te’o. As they were debating, they got scooped — which means that yet again a fleet-footed new news establishment outsmarted an old media news publication. As ESPN scrambled to get an interview with Te’o after the news broke, Deadspin’s huge scoop helped its parent company Gawker to its best week yet (at least by page views).
In an age of such widespread social networking it may even be surprising that Te’o had to appear on Katie Couric’s show to own up to “briefly lying” about his non-partner instead of confessing on Facebook or Twitter. But after parts of the interview aired Wednesday morning on Good Morning America Te’o’s first on-camera interview doesn’t seem to have helped his reputation — at least in the Twittersphere.
I believe the entire internet is a figment of Manti Te’o’s imagination.
— THE @Kathy_L (@Kathy_L) January 23, 2013
Before you crack a joke about Manti Te’o, keep in mind that 2 nonexistent parents had to bury their nonexistent daughter. So, stay classy.
— David C. (@nerddad) January 23, 2013
Manti Te’o admits he lied to Katie Couric. Shocking *sarcasm* es.pn/UU2TiS
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) January 23, 2013