ABC Suspends Reporter for Inaccurate Report on Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash: TRAINA THOUGHTS


1. One of the things that made Sunday afternoon even more horrific was misinformation that spread across social media regarding the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and eight other people.

I wrote about this in Monday's Traina Thoughts and briefly mentioned an ABC News report, which was also seen on ESPN, from Matt Gutman that stated all four of Bryant's daughters were on the helicopter.

Naturally, people were very angry about ABC putting out this completely false report, and rightfully so.

On Wednesday, the network suspended Gutman over the erroneous report. 

"Reporting the facts accurately is the cornerstone of our journalism,” an ABC News representative said to the L.A. Times. “As he acknowledged on Sunday, Matt Gutman’s initial reporting was not accurate and failed to meet our editorial standards.”

When it was revealed that Gutman's information was inaccurate, many people wanted Gutman fired because that's what we do in this day and age.

Personally, I hate that we now automatically jump to "this person must be fired" when they make a mistake. Obviously, this is an extreme situation and Gutman has to be triple sure that the information he's giving on the air in a case like this is 100% accurate. 

But what's gotten completely distorted in this era of liars screaming "fake news" every time they get exposed, is that there is a difference between getting something wrong and making something up.

If Gutman made up the information, yes, he should be fired immediately. If he got it wrong because he had bad sources or didn't vet his information properly, then he should be suspended. 

One thing that could've helped Gutman generate some sympathy, though, was an apology that was a little more sincere than the robotic one he tweeted and offered on air.

To me, that's just a "check off the boxes" apology that doesn't properly acknowledge just how awful of a mistake Gutman made and didn't help his cause at all. An explanation of how he botched something so important would've been helpful, too.

ABC made the right call here and had no other choice.

2. Richard Sherman openly bashed the NFL's desire to go to a 17-game regular-season schedule. 

This morning, he then provided some fodder for people who like conspiracy theories.

3. The Astros sign-stealing scandal went to another level Wednesday thanks to a Houston fan.

Over at his website,, Adams, says, "I’m an Astros fan. They cheated during the 2017 regular season—the evidence is clear. In an attempt to understand the scope of the cheating and the players involved, I decided to listen to every pitch from the Astros’ 2017 home games and log any banging noise I could detect. These are the results of my efforts. I’ve logged over 8,200 pitches and found banging before over 1,100 of those pitches."

Check out the site and Adams' Twitter feed for all of the breakdowns of how and when the Astros banged their trash cans.

4. ESPN's Tim Legler was heated Wednesday night after the Grizzlies were playing aggressive basketball in the closing minutes of a blowout win against the Knicks.

Memphis' Jae Crowder offered a ridiculous response to Legler, accusing him of being a Knicks fan. Legler, who great up in Washington, D.C., and went to college at La Salle,  played for seven teams during his NBA career. The Knicks were not one of them.

5. This week's SI Media Podcast features an interview with play-by-play man Kevin Harlan.

Harlan shared memories of Kobe Bryant and talked about what it was like to call games throughout Kobe's career.

The second half of the podcast focuses on Harlan calling Super Bowl LIV this Sunday for Westwood One Radio. It will be Harlan's 10th straight season calling the Super Bowl and he discusses his prep for the game, the audience he's serving and much more.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play.

6. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: Jimmy Kimmel turned "die-hard" Niners fans into Chiefs fans with very little effort in this bit.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on iTunes, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.