The news media were being taken to task Wednesday for buying into the convoluted story of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o's account of his relationship with a girl whom he had met after a football game and talked to every night -- but who died of leukemia shortly after the death of his grandmother. Among outlets that gave unquestioning credence to Te'o's story were ESPN, CBS, NBC, the New York Post, Sports Illustrated, and the Los Angeles Times. However Deadspin.com reported that the story was in fact an elaborate hoax. The girlfriend simply did not exist. Deadspin writer Timothy Burke, who with colleague Jack Dickey exposed the hoax, told CBS Sports on Wednesday, Major media organizations and writers that I respect a lot were taken in, and didn't do their fact-checking or overlooked discrepancies. So that's, to me, as a journalist, that's what really shocked me about this story. And Bruce Dowbiggin concluded in the Toronto Globe and Mail: If someone wished to embarrass an MSM [mainstream media] industry already in a death struggle for its credibility, the Te'o story couldn't have been more perfect.
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