So the other huge sports media story that happened Wednesday night revolved around DeAndre Jordan's decision to resign with the L.A. Clippers a week after verbally agreeing to a deal with the Dallas Mavericks. It sounded like a crazy story, with Clippers officials barracading themselves in Jordan's house and Jordan refusing to talk with Mavs owner Mark Cuban.
It got weird as news started to trickle out that Jordan had agreed to resign with the Clippers - and it got weird thanks to Chris Broussard.
Now, as many people pointed out, Broussard's first tweet seemed very weird because Jordan lives in Houston, not Dallas (apparently, the two cities aren't interchangeable. Who knew?). He then changed the tweet to say Houston instead of Dallas.
What this story shows, to me, is the absolute premium journalists put on their sources. This is nothing new. In my media sociology racket, it's one of the core concepts. In his canonical work on media organizations, Herbert Gans wrote that the journalist-source relationship is the central relationship of journalism.
That's what's on display here. Check Broussard's tone. There's no apology. No curiosity. No questions for Cuban. It's straight defensiveness toward. Look, I don't care what you say Mark, my SOURCES told me something and that's the truth. It's basically "stick and stones can break my bones, but my sources told me something and that's all that matters."
Of course, we don't know who Broussard's sources are. We don't know if they were correct or not. We don't know how removed they were from the story - if they were intimately involved or just hearing things through the grapevine. But what Broussard is doing is asking is to implicitly trust him and his sources without giving us a reason to do so.
Look - Broussard's sources may be right (his having to change his tweet from Dallas to Houston makes me a little suspicious of his reporting) and Cuban may be covering his tracks. But in an information vacuum, where we're being asked to trust a reporter's anonymous sources above all else.
"My sources said so," is not a position a reporter should ever put themselves in.