Journalism ethics.

What exactly does that phrase mean?

It’s the omnipresent code of conduct that all journalists are expected to abide by. As the consumer, we tend to overlook this code. Not because we like our news unethical, but rather because we’re too busy being spoon-fed with diluted information.

This mass consumption is the reason we find ourselves drinking the rumors Kool-Aid. Other times, we see right through it. And during instances like the Brian Williams fiasco, we don’t really know what to believe.

For some time now, ESPN has seen itself fall a few steps down the proverbial hierarchy of the sports journalism authority. The unfortunate reality is that much of ESPN’s downfall has been self-imposed – a habit of not crediting outside news outlets, pawning news off as their own.

Following his head-scratching coverage of the NBA’s free agency frenzy last week, Chris Broussard has been at the forefront of this institutional problem.

Broussard, a self-proclaimed journalist, has crossed these ethical lines before.

After all, his handling of the 2012 NBA free agency period resulted in not one, but two misreports of players and teams.

He’s been documented making anti-gay remarks, and is very open about his religious beliefs. His altercation on Twitter with colleague Bomani Jones regarding Russell Wilson’s celibacy decision sparked controversy, as Broussard evidently nitpicked at Jones’ remarks by wielding his Almighty sword.

And ultimately, it was Broussard’s handling of the Mark Cuban-DeAndre Jordan situation that really set this all off.

When free agency opened on July 1st, it looked as though DeAndre Jordan was going to sign with the Dallas Mavericks. News surfaced that Jordan was possibly getting cold feet, one week after verbally agreeing to a four-year $80 million deal with Dallas. At the onset of this news, everyone involved trekked to Houston (where Jordan lives), and tried to straighten out the situation.

Mark Cuban’s Mavericks looked to be getting the short end of the stick…until Chris Broussard spoke.

Judging purely by job title, Chris Broussard is ESPN’s NBA version of Adam Schefter. The only difference is that one knows how to do their job and the other has no fucking idea what he’s doing.

According to Broussard, Mark Cuban (a billionaire and NBA owner) was frantically wandering the streets of Houston trying to find out DeAndre Jordan’s address.

Two things here.

  1. If Chris Broussard honestly thought Cuban didn’t have the resources to obtain Jordan’s address, then he’s more naive than a high school freshman.

  2. Secondly, and this is his biggest mistake, he didn’t take the time to reach out to Mark Cuban for confirmation.

I mean, come on dude. Mark Cuban might be the most accessible famous person on the planet. He owns a message sharing application that he’s on basically 24/7.

It’s not that hard.

But I guess that’s just Chris Broussard – the most confused soul in the sports reporting lexicon.

He’s wrong. He’s flippant. And most importantly, he’s a coward.

Every conclusion I’ve reached about Chris Broussard stems from the same premise. His “reports” often begin with a dart throw in the dark and are conceived from another colleague’s “information.”

We live in an age of rapid reporting, otherwise known as being the first to hit Twitter. Many journalists, Broussard included, fall victim to this.

They sacrifice accuracy for speed and integrity, all for notoriety.

The problem with Broussard is that he finds himself in this predicament far too often. His history of misreports, or reports that overstep boundaries, are very well documented.

Whether it be their frequent coddling of Roger Goodell and the NFL’s domestic violence issues, or their recent unwillingness to cut ties with documented liars – ESPN’s past three years have been more of an exposé of the network’s true character.

It’s shown what they really are, versus what they want you to believe.

I get the irony here. I am writing an opinion-editorial about a guy who reports for the highest top of the mountain. But don’t worry, at least I checked my facts.

And Chris Broussard is Exhibit A.