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This works especially well in sports, where you never know what is true and not true because teams use the media all the time to plant stories. The Dolphins have worked out 45 left tackles this month, and part of the reason you know that info is because leverage is coming from somewhere. Whether the original source is an agent, the team, the player himself, or a source with a grudge, you have no idea what is true anymore. Yeah, this Tebow news is a stupid hoax, but nobody knows that, so the ball keeps rolling.
Step 6 — ESPN, Miami Dolphins, and Tebow respond: Well, that escalated quickly.
It's come full circle at this point. My job here is done. Following these reports, the Dolphins finally flat-out said they have no interest in Tebow.
You might be saying to yourself that I'm a jerk, and that's fair if you take yourself, and Twitter for that matter, way too seriously. Look at this as a social experiment. In a matter of minutes, ESPN had to address a made-up tweet, and Tim Tebow himself is being asked if he's in Davie or not — all because of me. And who the hell am I? I'm nobody, which is exactly my point.
Media outlets these days — especially sports media, where rumor is the gristle that makes pounds and pounds of ESPN sausage every day — turn a tweet into an article. The same media guys who used to joke they would never get on Twitter are on there now because they didn't want to be left behind or be at a disadvantage.