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Buffalo Muckraker Causes Stir by Perpetuating Merriman Rumors
Just when we all thought Pat Moran (of Buffalo Sports Daily notoriety) was content to rewrite the Buffalo News sports page as a career, the infamous writer makes a last ditch effort to salvage some shred of relevance. Today, followed by an afternoon spent working his twitter-following Bills fans up into a craze about some ‘shocking’ news, Moran published this story; insinuating the Buffalo Bills newly rejuvenated linebacker Shawne Merriman was ‘caught with steroids.’
Let’s take a look at what Moran ‘uncovered.’
According to a reliable source…
Whoa -hoa! Slow down there speed racer! Pat hasn’t even proven himself reliable yet, much less earned the right to lend credibility to anonymous sources. But really, what do you have for us Pat?
…while trying to cross Canada back into the United States, Merriman was detained by United States Customs shortly after 2:00am. There, the source tells me steroids were found in his possession. He was not arrested and booked because from what I’m told, simply being in the possession of the substance is not technically illegal.
Oh, that. The rumor that’s been floating around for going on 3 weeks now, according to that other website no one’s ever heard of before. So essentially, Moran is dropping by to let us know ‘I heard that!’ No additional details were provided. In fact, Moran essentially spends the rest of the article
hedging and explaining that he’s not a legal expert, that he’s not insinuating anything, and that he’s not a real journalist.
One of the most ironic aspects of the ordeal was Moran’s repeated insistence throughout the day that his juicy bit was NOT a rumor. Evidently Mr. Moran has a poor grasp on what the definition of a ‘rumor’ is, so allow me to step forward in assistance. You see, Pat, the word rumor continues to thrive through usage because of sites like Buffalo Sports Daily. As much as you wish to be considered a peer of the Buffalo News, the D&C, or even WGR, you are just a guy with a website who knows a guy. This doesn’t mean you are unable to come in contact with the truth, or even speak the truth, but that ‘truth’ must be called a rumor when it comes from a source lacking journalistic credo such as yourself.
It is probably important to say that I don’t believe Moran’s outright lying. Merriman probably did get stopped for some reason, especially as he was likely driving an expensive car, and even if he didn’t have steroids, he probably had some GNC-like supplements that looked like PEDs (I’m not even sure if I could pick apart steroids from a bottle of creatine). Or he indeed had steroids. Or he switched customs lanes too fast. Or maybe border patrol was just racist. Or whatever. The point is, unless Moran has answers to these questions, this is not a story.
But that, in essence, is the problem with Moran. If he were outright fabricating stories, this opportunist would be much easier to ignore. But Moran’s journalistic aspirations are far more insidious than that. By taking a small observation, or shred of truth, or rumor, and playing it up like it is news, without developing the idea in the least bit, Moran is exposed for what he really is: a hack.
 OK, I made one of those up.
 In the interest of clarity, I feel it imperative to point out my own understanding that the same logic applies to Buddy Nixon. However, we do not share BSD’s delusion of being an investigative newsroom. We merely seek to commentate on the goings on, which includes rumors.
Merriman spoke with the Buffalo news to clear things up, and Merriman was coming back from a massage and had his bags searched. Far cry from ‘detained’ and ‘steroids were in his possesion.’
Also, Mike Florio from PFT tore apart one of the assumptions of Moran’s article, writing:
That said, one of the fundamental assumptions of the BuffaloSportsDaily.com report is deeply flawed. “He was not arrested and booked because from what I’m told,” the report states, “simply being in the possession of the substance is not technically illegal.”
The problem is that possession of steroids is illegal, absent a valid medical prescription. (Indeed, if Raiders receiver Louis Murphy can be busted for possessing Viagra without a prescription, Merriman can be busted for having steroids without a prescription.)
Hopefully this is the last time we hear from Buffalo Sports Daily.