Our Daily Dread: Outsourcing our sources close to this situation, it can be denied


The actual paragraphs from a story in many of today’s sports sections and online avenues:

LeBron James did not tell Trevor Ariza he would stay in Cleveland past 2010, sources close to the Cavaliers’ superstar told ESPN.com — contradicting what a person close to Ariza said Monday night.

That source said that James told Ariza he planned to remain with the Cavaliers past next summer, when he can be a free agent. James could not be reached for comment Monday night, but on Tuesday, sources who spoke to James said the story told by the person close to Ariza was wrong.

A source is a source, a source, of course, unless you find that he’s an unreliable source, so then you consider the source in the course of composing a story for publication to the general public which has no real filter, other than a media that it hopes to trust, isn’t trying to outsource its resources and can, in due course, find people who love to talk off the record without recourse for their actions.

My sources — which, in some cases, can actually be me, except you don’t know that, and I’m just throwing darts at a wall, and I was then asked to come on the radio and do an interview with some sports-talk guys to express my guesses, and thus, unknowlingly but willingly became a source for them to form an opinion, by which time, that has circled around about a half-hour later to be reported on the news update segment so that I can now quote them as my source, even though I was the original provider of the non-story to start with — tell me this is all nonsense.

Yet, we, buried the 24/7 news cycle — that’s 24 minutes, we need 7 pieces of refried information, whether it has any healthy calories included or not — must feed the beast. So, in this case, it’s been properly served, flaming hot, digested, regurgitated, belched, spewed, and, coming out of the part you don’t even want a doctor to look at with a tube and a flashlight, comes out to be discussed even more on “Around The Horn” and “PTI” (without Kornheiser and Wilbon, who are on vacation, but instead by their unwatchable substitutes) and then, viola, a non-story fills a day that otherwise had a void because Michael Jackson can only stretch so far as sports conversation.

Stop, please. For the good of mankind. And the future of the media.

It’s all white noise, except we can hear it. There’s a better reception in this communication with two kids talking into a coffee can connected by a string.

The media is supposed to be a filter, not a generator of unattributed chatter that provides something for conversation between advertisements for hair-replacement clinics and dead-beat dad tax services.

The media is supposed to clear these things up, not grab a shovel and add to the piles of compost that really has too much plastic and phoniness surrounding it for it to properly break down and disappear into the groundswell and get carried out to sea, to where it can choke the life out of an innocent sea lion/stingray off the Galapos Islands and prove Darwin’s Theory even further — there’s no survival of even the fittest when contaminated waters are being forced into our well.

All’s not well with stories like this. Yet, we have them out there. In the newspapers, trying to provide content with things that seem to matter to someone.

Would this be a story if James, in fact, said: I’m staying in Cleveland past 2010? Probably, in some form. Because he could change his mind. If someone “close” to him says it, is it a story. Apparently yes. Because someone “close” to Ariza also thought it was a story, and said so.

This isn’t even a case of “he said, he said.” It’s “someone who we don’t know said, someone who we’re not even sure exists said.”

And then, this morning, we get another sourced story (linked here) involving James: There’s apparently a video out there of Xavier’s Jordan Crawford dunking on James during a pick-up game. And Nike doesn’t want that image circulating on YouTube.

Did it happen? You has the clip? Who is censoring? Will this tape ever surface?

Can we get one of James’ people to comment on it at least?

Enough said. Go kick the can, and kick all this stuff to the curb. Leave the pillow talk to another Doris Day.

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