John Bond never spoke directly to Kenny Rogers about Cam Newton. Bond admitted on an Atlanta radio show there were two people between him and Rogers. He heard from someone, who heard from someone who said Kenny Rogers was offering Cam Newton to Mississippi State for $180,000. It was not a first-hand account. It was hearsay. Bond was the fourth participant in a game of telephone.
From Gregg Doyel speaking to Bond’s attorney,
“John Bond never named Kenny Rogers,” Abernathy told me, implying that ESPN.com and The New York Times had erred in their reporting.
But don’t take Abernathy’s implication for it. I can do better than a stinking implication. The day after ESPN.com and the Times pinned their expose of Cam Newton’s recruitment to a conversation between Rogers and Bond, that conversation was torpedoed — by Bond himself. He went on a radio show in Atlanta on Friday and confessed that Kenny Rogers had never asked him for money for Cam Newton.
This story’s primary evidence is fourth-hand hearsay. That’s not acceptable journalism. That’s not even acceptable gossip. Why did this story not come out before? Because there does not appear to be one. No one outside the incestuous media world cares about who is first with a story, but people do care who is credible and who is trustworthy. You would think, of any publication, the New York Times would ensure their sourcing was accurate. Cam Newton may not be blameless, but the cursory and irresponsible reporting casts serious doubt on every allegation.
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