Football fans have been absorbing the new Manti Te’o documentary on Netflix. Te’o’s story is a heartbreaking reminder that the mainstream media will build you up and tear you down. It’s also a reminder how dangerous all forms of media can be. On Wednesday’s episode of the Who’s Got Next Podcast, Conor, Mario, Mike, and I discussed the documentary and how everybody is to blame.
Things I learned from the Manti Te’o documentary.
1. The media owes him an apology.
2. We as a society owe him an apology.
3. The NFL owes him an apology.
He has EVERY reason to be bitter and pissed off still, yet he forgives everyone, including Ronaiah, for this.
— Kacy Standohar (@kacystandohar) August 17, 2022
I’m going to try and explain our conversation without spoiling the documentary for those who haven’t seen it. But, one thing that really hit me was how guilty everybody was. Yet, the two-part mini-series painted the mainstream media as the villains and Deadspin as the heroes. The reality is, Deadspin is just as guilty for the Manti Te’o fallout as MSM is. Deadspin admitted that they released their article before it was ready. They feared somebody would release it first. Set on “exposing” ESPN, Deadspin released an article that ruined Manti Te’o’s life.
Te’o was ridiculed online and became a meme. National news agencies questioned his sexuality. He had his integrity questioned. And why? So the media could compete for clicks and views.
I’m not going to run from my reality. I work for an alternative news company. We’re competing for the same clicks as ESPN, CNN, and some random guys’ blogs. Conor and I admitted that had Who’s Got Next? existed in 2013 we would have made fun of Te’o. We are just as guilty as MSM and every other news agency out there.
If there was anything we learned from the Manti Te’o situation, it’s that we have to be better as people. We have to be better as a society and not relish in somebody else’s misery. We see it happen in politics all the time. It’s a pastime for sports fans to dicks. We just have to be better as people.