It hasn't been an easy year for ESPN.
From Elle Duncan's woke virtue-signaling interrupting live broadcasts to Adrian Wojnarowski's lethargic reporting surrounding the top pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, talent at the Worldwide Leader is starting to bet on itself as the main attractor to the sports network. But people aren't buying the bloated personalities.
The Washington Post spoke with former and current ESPN employees regarding the network's premier voice for exclusive NFL news: Adam Schefter.
In Tuesday's profile on the NFL insider, colleagues expressed the resounding difficulties of working with Schefter: a microcosm of the rigid characters leading ESPN that have become quasi-celebrities based on online clout but also lost touch with what made them notable.
Among the colleagues that discussed Schefter's work in recent years, one of the anonymous features, a current ESPN employee, voiced how Schefter has gotten away with inadequate reporting time and time again without any correction issued by the network.
Included in that personality's gripes were Schefter's poorly worded tweet moments after former Steelers backup quarterback Dwayne Haskins passed away due to a fatal collision; Schefter handing editing responsibilities to Washington Commanders executive Bruce Allen while writing a story on Allen; and some misfires regarding Deshaun Watson and Dalvin Cook's respective legal battles.
"He is your preeminent journalist for the preeminent sport in America," the ESPN personality noted. "I would hope that as a network you’re embarrassed by that, but I’m blown away that ESPN doesn’t seem to care.”
The whistleblower added, “The Cook incident was the most serious, and multiple people who work at ESPN, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters, said they worried that it and the Watson reporting reflected a failure to understand the sensitivity of domestic violence allegations.”
Throughout WaPo's highlight on Schefter, a sense of hubris was also detected when the reporter kept asking photographers to get the perfect shot of him. He also asked the publication if the anonymous colleagues were going public with their feedback. "Are they going to go on the record?" Schefter asked.
“I want you to get what you need,” Schefter reportedly told the photography team.
“I hope I never f---ing see them. I don’t need any more attention,” he added.
In March, ESPN reached contract extensions with Schefter and Wojnarowski, paying out a salary of roughly $10 million per year to each reporter.