Jeff Passan of ESPN appeared on “The Michael Kay Show” Tuesday and noted he isn’t happy with WFAN’s coverage of the Jared Porter story.
It’s been an eventful few days for the New York Mets, and for all the wrong reasons.
On Monday night, a story from ESPN’s Mina Kimes and Jeff Passan revealed details of past sexual harassment — including unsolicited text messages and explicit images — from now-fired Mets general manager Jared Porter towards a foreign female reporter in 2016. ESPN apparently began working on the story in 2017 but just published it this week.
This prompted WFAN afternoon drive host Craig Carton to question why Kimes, Passan, and ESPN decided to wait so long to release the story.
Female Reporter = Absolute Victim 60 plus unanswered text messages = Stalker. Sending picture of junk = Creepy. Lindor Trade = best 37 day run any Mets GM has had. ESPN holding story till now = interesting
— Craig Carton (@craigcartonlive) January 19, 2021
Carton’s co-host, Evan Roberts, additionally brought up the idea of Passan not contacting team president Sandy Alderson when Porter was being considered for the general manager job despite supposedly knowing of Porter’s troubling actions for years.
Contrary to that belief, Passan just recently began working on the story and it was Kimes who commenced the work in 2017. Passan additionally appeared on “The Michael Kay Show” on ESPN Radio Tuesday, portraying his displeasure towards WFAN’s coverage.
Jeff Passan is really, really pissed at the "irresponsible" WFAN hosts who suggested that ESPN sat on the Jared Porter story for four years.[@TMKSESPN] pic.twitter.com/bhsWvrUGbl
— Funhouse (@BackAftaThis) January 20, 2021
“There’s another radio station in New York that’s been pretty damn irresponsible today about its coverage of this, and I hate giving them any shine because they don’t deserve it,” Passan said. “But the notion that ESPN has been sitting on this story since 2017 is the most giant load of irresponsible garbage that I’ve heard in a long time. We have duties as journalists to protect our sources and to look after the people who give us the stories that we get to tell. It is their story, it is not ours. And the idea that we have been sitting on this, because this woman, who went through a horrendous thing with somebody in a position of power and ended up having to move back to her country and get out of journalism because of it, the idea that she wasn’t ready at that time is perfectly rational and normal and the type of response that I think any of us could go through. She wasn’t ready.
“The story waits for when the person whose it is, is ready to tell it. And so, she waited, and she left the industry where she was worried she was going to have backlash and potentially have her job harmed. And she saw Jared Porter’s rise to general manager of the New York Mets, putting him in a position of great power and great authority, and thought to herself, ‘this man, who has his dream job, ended up facilitating me losing my dream job. And I didn’t do anything…I didn’t do anything.’
“And so the idea that this story, 4.5 years after this incident happened, has any less resonance, has any less importance, and has any less right to be told — anybody who thinks that needs to shut up.”
Passan couldn’t have said it better. ESPN didn’t just randomly publish this story out of the blue. ESPN didn’t just say “hey, I know what we should do today” and reveal a bombshell report.
What ESPN along with Kimes and Passan did was correct. They respected their main source — the female reporter — and her privacy. Because as Passan stated, this is her story and her past experience. No one else’s.
She was finally ready to reveal what happened. Thus, ESPN did its job, as it should.