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The modern era of media, especially from social media, is susceptible to the cloud of “fake news.” Even the more credible, legitimate information networks and shows fall victim to it.
The most recent example occurred on the June 15, 2017 edition of ESPN’s engaging daily sports panel discussion program, “Around the Horn.” One of the show’s topics focused on an alleged report by Yahoo NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski that current Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James will opt out of his current contract in 2018 to head to one of Los Angeles’ NBA teams, either the Lakers or the Clippers. Host Tony Reali commented that this headline was “of course legitimate” based on the Wojnarowski name attached to it.
However, the “report” came from a fake Twitter account using Wojnarowski’s real name in the label but its Twitter ID was off by one mere letter than Wojnarowski’a actual Twitter account.
The day’s panel of sports reporters — Tim Cowlishaw, Kevin Blackistone, Frank Isola and Ramona Shelburne — discussed the LeBron-to-L.A. report as a real item, with Isola and Shelburne guessing James’ move will occur with at least 80 percent certainty.
After the episode had aired, Reali admitted on his Twitter feed he had “burned” the show “bad” and it “feels the worst.”
On his Yahoo Sports podcast, the real Adrian Wojnarowski has discussed the possibility of James heading to Los Angeles at some point in his career, but of course, nothing certain has been confirmed as of yet.