Tomase Explanation A Bit Light In Detail

(Edit: 10:00am – Tomase has also posted some specific apologies on the Point After blog as an addendum to the explanation story below.) 

Boston Herald Front CoverUm….so that’s it?

Really?

Here’s the thumbnail version of John Tomase explanation before you decide to go out and buy the paper or click and read the story yourself:

A couple people told me that the Patriots taped the Rams walkthrough. I checked it out,  it sounded good, though I didn’t have any proof. I thought the New York Times was closing in and I didn’t want to get beat. We ran with it. I was sure. I was wrong. Sorry.

No sources named.

I guess I need some more time to digest this, meanwhile, you can check out David Scott‘s analysis of the explanation, along with some Bill Simmons and Heidi Watney notes.

The Celtics are in Cleveland tonight still trying to get their first road win of the postseason and to close out the Cavs. Check all the coverage from CelticsLinks.com. I’ve also got an article over at the Metro where I miss Eddie House.

  • Dave F

    Sorry I raped you…but I’m still going to be your boyfriend because I like sex.

  • Mike in Southie

    What about all the details in the pre Superbowl story. The tape was written about as if it were real. There was a chronology of events. Was this all made up? How can the Herald allow this?

    Bruce,
    I would remove all links of Herald content from this site until this is resolved to some reasonable satisfaction. You don’t put up links to the National Enquirer.
    Is he really sorry, or is he sorry he got got in an attempt to discredit and retilate against an organization that has made his job difficult in the last few months because of their dislike of his employer?
    Where are the ethics here?

  • Chris

    Despite what Tomase says about sticking with the herald and the Patriots beat, I think it’s only a matter of time before he ‘pursues other interests.’

  • rick

    That’s a terrible apology that makes him look even worse. My assumption was that he relied on one source that said there was taping and ran with it. Instead, he heard rumors of a tape, later found out that the video crew was at the walkthrough and came to the conclusion that the rumors were true. What a dope! He relied on second or third hand hearsay to print the biggest article of his career.

  • Jeff

    This comes across as a farewell letter, how can he continue to work?

  • Nate

    I honestly don’t believe him. I think he heard the rumor the one time, but never got any true follow-up after that.

    Then, he heard about Matt Walsh and then made everything else up and hoped it was true. His line about “depending on one source more than others” is damning, becuase it feels like the explanation contradicts the story.

    No reporter owes a source who feeds false information anything, not when everything is on the line like this. I AM a reporter, and if you’re going to steer a reporter wrong, you’re in the deep water too.

    So, I think he’s lying…

  • EC

    This story doesn’t really square with what Dan Pompei wrote. According to Pompei, “[t]he Herald was not the only outlet that had the information it printed Feb. 2, the day before the Super Bowl, but they were the only outlet that deemed the story solid enough to print.” Tomase, OTOH, claims that “I began reaching back out to sources. One that I trust said he had been told the walkthrough was taped. A second said he had been told the same thing, but neither had seen a tape.” I infer from Pompei that someone was in the market “selling” this information to various media outlets. Tomase makes it sound like he did gumshoe work. If protecting sources, failing to explain why he decided to run with a story that others had but wouldn’t run and implying that he had exclusive information is how he’s going about rebuilding trust, then he is not going to be successful.

  • dd lang

    I believe Tomase’s explanation; however, it is not acceptable for a major US newspaper. Moreover, he does not explain any interaction with his editors. If Tomase has any class he will resign as will the editor that allowed the article to be printed based on the story Tomase’s told.

    • NASCL

      Is the Herald a major US newspaper?

      • Paul

        Uhm…It’s one of two newspapers in the city of Boston. Boston happens to be in the US. I’d say it’s a major US paper.

  • Sean a.k.a Shizz

    I don’t get why he needs to protect his source; his explaination is vapid and vague. I am sure other potential sources for him in the future won’t go, “Oh, he’s a rat, I can’t tell anything to him”. It actually would probably make his future “anonymous sources” be more honest with him in the future if he outed the one who lied to him/gave him info based on a hearsay.

    I really don’t think there is one to begin with, IMO. He took a shot with a rumor, hoping it would come true where he’d look like a hero. Instead, he’s now the perfect candidate for a Southwest Airlines commerical.

    I hope the Pats locker room gives him the silent boycott treatment; IMO it’s the punishment that makes sense.

    Tomase, I say this to you as a reader who HAS enjoyed some of your work, as a student AND fan of sports journalism, and even as a fellow citizen of Massachusetts…….just go away. It will be best for you AND your readership if this cloud that’s hanging over your head affect the overall reception of your reporting.

    P.S. The Herald is really an attention whore. The headline itself is shameful…the fact they used a mistake that THEY made to sell papers and grab headlines from ESPN and other news outlets.

    It’s a bad day for newspapers and the Herald just doesn’t seem to care.

  • Nooner

    Me: Today’s Herald insults the intelligence of any reader. They couldn’t possibly sink any lower.

    Herald: Oh yeah? Wait till you see tomorrow’s paper.

  • Sluggo

    Amen to what Sean said about the Herald As Attention Whore. That they could try to milk this story about a disgraceful lapse in journalism practice — perhaps the biggest blunder in sports journalism history and worse even than “Dewey Beats Truman” — for every last newsstand sale speaks volumes about their slimy desperation.

    Let the Herald die. Let Tomase and Mazz scramble for new gigs (Callahan, said to say, has the WEEI teat to rely upon). I despise the Globe, too, but there will be competition, online competition, for it somewhere — they how about a journalistic front-end to Craig’s List? — and we will move on.

  • gary

    Today is the first day that I will not be reading the Herald ever again. Tomase’s false story was bad enough, but coupled with the Herald’s “apology”, Massarotti’s article, Callahan’s bantering, etc…, I’ll never purchase it again. I will never go to their web site again. If the Globe ever gets rid of CHB, I’ll start reading that again.

  • howzie

    Gary, I’ll agree—no longer will I visit the Herald’s site. And Paul, the Herald is NOT a major paper. The Washington Times is in Washington; does that make it a major paper?

  • Tony

    He’s got to be kidding.

    He wrote this smear piece based on “rumors” that he’d heard and out of fear that he’d get “scooped”.

    My journalism professors, if any of them were actually dead, would be rolling over in their graves right now.

    I’m sorry….you simply cannot keep your job when you pull something like this. You can’t.

    The Herald no doubt will reassign him eventually, since there’s no way he’ll be welcome down in Foxboro any time soon.

    I wonder when Tony Mazz writes his next article blaming Tomase’s sources for this whole debacle?

  • late to dinner

    Can we now put to rest all the “Actually Tomase is really a good reporter who just made a bad decision” spin that I hear all over the place (On WEEI Larry Johnson, Pete Shepard, Glen Ordway, Michael Holley and Gerry Callahan have made this comment, on 890 Mike Felger made the comment and I have read it from several Bloggers include Dave Scott). The facts clearly show he is a lazy, misguided ego first media whore more interested in his own star than doing his profession proud. For some reason he gets a pass on the Manny controversy by these same commentators, and now they want to give him some sort of pass/acceptance on creating a complete piece of fiction all because he sometimes writes with subjects and predicates, and occasionally was the blind squirrel finding a nut. Off the top of my head I can think of two or three USENET writers who regularly write better pieces than him with more Journalistic integrity…heck one now writes for the Patriots Daily Web Site.

    Secondly, the Herald has to know that for every comment in its comment section on the Tomase apology there has to be 1000 other people who feel the same way and just do not have the time or energy to dignify his schlock with a response. Even the Herald management cannot possibly be blind to the fact that Tomase apologized for being caught, not for actually fabricating the story in an effort to be first. He has no remorse for the timing, or for that matter the content of what he wrote. He is only sad that it turned out no further evidence came out that would legitimize the unsubstantiated rumors he based his “story” on.

    Lastly, I do not need Tomase to name his source or sources because it is clear he had none. What I mean by that is there was no tape. No one was ever willing to go on the record saying there was a tape because it never existed. Yet Tomase ran with the story anyway. He never saw a tape or spoke to anyone who ever had seen the tape…because the tape never existed!!!! Therefore there was no source. For this he should be fired, not let to resign quietly on his own terms, but fired. That is assuming the Herald wants to keep any of its journalistic integrity…which by their actions so far they don’t. For an institution that royal screwed up there does not seem to be any internal anger or outrage. I find that most unsettling.

  • J.R.

    This root cause of this entire debacle is that Tomase and his editor bosses at the “scrappy tabloid” were all afraid of getting scooped — particularly by the NY Times — on this alleged story, pure and simple. Period. End of statement.

    So they deliberately run such an explosive article based solely on what Tomase essentially remembers hearing once from a source who heard it from someone’s brother-in-law while waiting in line at Dunkin’ Donuts. Simply astounding.

    Also, don’t kid yourself, Tomase was hoping to leverage this story in order to grab a more secure, better paying gig at an electronic media outlet. Of course, I have no sources for this speculation but, what the hell? It’s gotta be true, right?

  • bsr

    Where is the accountability? No terminations, No suspensions and No fines by the Herald. What are the Herald owners essentially saying to their journalists? Truth or not, swing for the fences as the worst is an apology. Even this apology was like pulling teeth.

  • Dave

    I’d read it…but I no longer look at the Herald.

    Tomase and Callahan….. do the math…adds up to 3 strikes and yer out.

  • http://masshysteriasports.blogger.com DaveR

    Wouldn’t the proper punishment here be running a story uncovering how Tomase steals his best writing from the 15-year-old girl who sleeps with him in exchange for some of his heroin? Because rumors of that have been swirling around for months…..

    (No really, a guy who knows a guy who knows this other guy heard it from the guy’s friend’s girlfriend. That’s plenty for the Herald to run the story, right?)

  • Wilson Tisdale

    I bet the Herald did their best sales in years by playing this up all week. And everyone screaming that they’ll never read the Herald again will be back on board within a couple weeks.

  • bosox1256

    What does the media have against its readers and fans of sports in general?

    I feel so insulted, as a huge Pats fan, I have now joined the group that will never read the Boston Herald again. They have dis-respected this team.

    Also, I have to give Belichick a lot of credit for dealing with all of this crap. He doesn’t even get respect from the commissioner, who I think in the matter of 1 year, has turned the NFL into a soap opera. Heck, it took Bud Selig 10 years to turn MLB into a soap opera with the whole steroid thing.

  • Tony

    Bosox, I have to agree with you about Goodell.

    If certain information circulating out there can be believed (and who knows what to believe these days, reall?)–then Goodell told BB and the Pats to shut up about Spygate and to not respond beyond the issuance of their original press release the week the story broke.

    However, that didn’t stop Goodell from legitimizing nearly every crazy accusation made about the Pats (mic’ing up linebackers, messing with the coach-to-QB communications, etc.) by addressing them on national TV and NOT issuing flat-out denials; and it also didn’t stop him from going on XM radio the day of the Super Bowl and threatening a “1-year suspension” for Belichick if Tomase’s story turned out to be true; and it also didn’t prevent him from openly mocking Belichick’s “rules misinterpretation” excuse after the Matt Walsh meeting the other day. Sure, I don’t think ANY of us believe that BB really misinterpreted the rule, but shouldn’t the Commissioner have stuck to his “we agree to disagree on this one” line that he’d used before? Instead, after the Matt Walsh meeting, he openly mocked BB and said “I never believed him when he said he misinterpreted the rule”.

    The NFL needs a Commissioner, not a spotlight-craving grandstander like this guy, who when faced with his first real P.R. crisis (you know, aside from some of the league’s players torturing and murdering dogs while running illegal gambling rings out of their backyard; or other players being involved in multiple crimes that resulted in people being shot)–he totally mishandled it and created a “Watergate”-type cloud over the game that may never fully be lifted.

    Soap opera indeed!

    It should be called “As Goodell’s World Turns”

  • bosox1256

    I respected Goodell for his stance on the player issues (Vick, Jones, Henry), but the way he handled this deal is embarrassing to say the least. With previous commissioners, this would’ve been swept under the rug, you probably would not have even heard a thing.

    Plus, this brought out the most lame-o names, such as “Cheatriots” and “Belicheat”. Ya know what? Every team did it! But Goodell decided to hound on Belichick, and since the media already hates him, lazy-asses that they are, helped created the media firestorm and soap opera.

    Hey, let’s turn the NFL into the WWE!