The race to be “first” claims another victim

Cross-posting at Mostly Modern Media

Today, we hear Robert Griffin III will have surgery on one ligament and possibly another, but he’s likely to be back next season.

That’s not what we heard earlier in the week from WRIC News 8 in Richmond, Va., which said RGIII had torn his ACL and PCL and would be out at least 14-18 months. (Wouldn’t that be just “at least 14 months”?)

If you’re thinking it’s a little strange that a TV station 124 miles from FedEx Field would have such a major exclusive, good. And as an hour or so passed with no other confirmation, it got a little fishier.

Then that story disappeared.

Then things broke loose on Twitter:

Deadspin and D.C. Sports Bog have plausibly traced back the rumor to former Redskins player Fred Smoot’s comments on a local radio station.

News 8 came back to Twitter to offer up an apology and clarification:

Follow the link, and you’ll learn “the erroneous information was not posted by our Sports Dept.”

Which probably means an inexperienced staffer posted it, and the Sports people are angry and fearful for their credibility. I’ve seen it happen at plenty of news organizations.

But I have no sources to confirm that.

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