Yesterday, reports surfaced of ESPN pulling a very unflattering LeBron James story a mere moments after posting it. Today, the company’s Vice President & Editor-in-Chief of ESPN Digital Media issued a statement on the matter:
"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."
The story’s writer, Arash Markazi, also issued a statement:
"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."
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Could ESPN look like any less of a credible source for future James stories right now?