As you may have guessed, the disappearing “LeBron takes on Vegas” story has become a pretty big deal. It’s become such a big deal that ESPN had to make a statement explaining their rationale behind removing the story from their website.
From Rob King, Vice President & Editor-in-Chief, ESPN Digital Media:
“ESPN.com will not be posting the story in any form. We looked into the situation thoroughly and found that Arash did not properly identify himself as a reporter or clearly state his intentions to write a story. As a result, we are not comfortable with the content, even in an edited version, because of the manner in which the story was reported. We’ve been discussing the situation with Arash and he completely understands. To be clear, the decisions to pull the prematurely published story and then not to run it were made completely by ESPN editorial staff without influence from any outside party.”
And from Arash Markazi:
“I have been in conversations with ESPN.com’s editors and, upon their complete review, understand their decision not to run the story. It is important to note that I stand by the accuracy of the story in its entirety, but should have been clearer in representing my intent to write about the events I observed.”
Now, all of this sounds good, but I gotta say, I don’t completely buy it.
For one, why would LeBron and the gang let Markazi follow them around without properly identifying himself? Markazi is a writer. LeBron and the crew know that. What other intentions would he have to hang with them other than wanting to write a story? That just doesn’t make much sense to me. The only way that it could is if Markazi lied about his intentions.
Secondly, how does Markazi recall all of the events without some sort of “note-taking”. Markazi probably didn’t trail the crew writing in a notepad, but his story is filled with very specific details. Not saying that Markazi couldn’t have written the piece from pure memory, but it is something to think about. And if he was somehow “taking notes” on what was going on, it’s pretty far fetched to think that someone in the LeBron entourage didn’t notice.
And lastly, if ESPN is really being truthful about all of this, what took so long for the explanation? If the story is as cut and dry as they want us to believe, this statement could’ve came yesterday. Instead, it’s comes more than 24 hours since the sorry disappeared.
I just don’t buy it.
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