Massie denies rumor about Saban

Another smear against Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban was proven false. Deepsouth Sports posted a fabrication from an Ole Miss message board which was picked up by national blogs including Sports By Brooks and the Wiz of Odds. The blog was the topic of conversation on talk radio’s Paul Finebaum Show. There was a very good post and discussion earlier this week at Roll Bama Roll about the rumor launched on an Ole Miss blog.

Now thanks to traditional reporting, we know it never happened.

“Man… what you saw on that blog wasn’t even true,” Massie told Ian Rapoport of the Birmingham News. (Read the report at the Rap Sheet.) The biggest repudiation of the entire lie? Massie said he never told Saban he was going to Ole Miss.

As former Reagan administration labor secretary Ray Donovan asked after being acquitted of corruption charges, “Where do I go to get my reputation back?” Where does Nick Saban go to repair his reputation from all the lies formulated on the Internet?

There is a cottage industry in smears against the Alabama Crimson Tide coach. It would be a 60-hour per week job to correct every lie told about Saban. When I read NY Times editor Bill Keller said, “”Saving the New York Times now ranks with saving Darfur as a high-minded cause,” I was prepared to laugh. But Deepsouth Sports just proved how important traditional media with traditional standards are to our way of life.

How do the blogs respond to the lie?

The Wiz makes note of it in a daily Reporter’s Notebook piece. It doesn’t rate a correction of equal size tp the original smear.

Nothing so far on Sports By Brooks.

DeepSouth Sports continues the lie. Here is how the blogger defends his story: “According to Ian Rapaport, Bobby denies it…Kinda. He admits he’s read the post, but he doesn’t go into detail about what is true or false. He does admit talking to Saban the night before signing day (like it says above), and he does admit that he never told Saban he was going to Ole Miss (like it says above). He just says ‘my words got switched around,’ so take that for what it’s worth.

“Sounds to me like someone at Ole Miss asked Massie to kindly “shut up” and put this in the past. I’m thinking young Bobby just learned a valuable lesson in fan/media relations.”

DeepSouth Sports needs reading comprehension skills. Massie said the blog wasn’t true. In other words, the blog is wrong, and to defend it is to perpetuate a lie making the blogger a liar. (I don’t like to use that word because most of the time people make honest mistakes, but the sophistry used in defense of the story reflects poorly on every Internet site.) Massie said he talked with Saban during the day before national signing day, but NEVER told Saban he was going to Ole Miss. Massie repudiated every line of your story.

You sir, are a liar. You sir, are everything wrong with the Internet. You sir, are a disgrace.

Maybe saving traditional media is more important than anyone thought. If it weren’t for the traditional reporter working for a traditional outlet, all we would know about this story are the lies told by blogs. And that would be sad for everyone. Sad for Nick Saban because of the wound to his reputation. And sad to the nation because the people deserve to read the truth.