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Any Truth to Al Davis' Claims About Adam Schefter?

Dec 22, 2006 – 2:07 PM
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Michael David Smith

Michael David Smith %BloggerTitle%

I like Adam Schefter. I think he does good work on NFL Network and handles the balance between being a league employee and reporting on the league about as well as anyone could. But the Oakland Raiders' front office (which means Al Davis) called Schefter a "false rumor monger" yesterday when Schefter reported that Davis would fire coach Art Shell. I don't think that's a fair claim, but the Raiders made another comment about Schefter that has some merit.

The Raiders accuse Schefter of "Anti-Raider bias based upon his relationship with Denver and Mike Shanahan." That relationship includes a book the two of them wrote together, meaning that at one time Schefter had a financial incentive to want Shanahan to be thought of highly: If people like Shanahan, they're going to be more likely to like his book, and as a writer it's obviously good for Schefter for his books to sell well. When you consider that Shanahan has hated the Raiders ever since Davis fired him as their coach, it's hard to blame the Raiders for distrusting any reporter who is so closely aligned with Shanahan.

None of this means Schefter's report that Shell is done after this year is wrong. In fact, I think it's probably right. But when a reporter writes a book with one of his subjects and then becomes an employee of the very company he covers, it can't come as a surprise that people question his objectivity.
Filed under: Sports