A clip of Fox Sports and Amazon Prime's "Thursday Night Football" sideline reporter Charissa Thompson admitting to creating coach quotes went viral Thursday, drawing criticism.
“I've said this before, so I won't be fired, but I'll say it again. In a recent appearance on “Pardon My Take,” Thompson admitted to fabricating reports when the coach was late or absent at halftime. I said, "I'm just going to make this up," to avoid messing up the report.
Thompson, 41, believed that “no coach is going to get mad” if she misled viewers into thinking they had simply repeated clichés like, “Hey, we need to stop hurting ourselves, we need to be better on third down, we need to stop turning the ball over and do a better job of getting off the field.
ESPN and ABC college football sideline reporter Molly McGrath said on X reacting to Thompson's statements Thursday, “Young reporters: Not normal or ethical. Our coaches and players trust us with critical information, so if you're dishonest and don't take your work seriously, you lose all credibility.”
On X, formerly Twitter, CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson said, “This is absolutely not ok, not the norm and upsetting on so many levels. I take my job seriously, am accountable for my words, create trust with coaches, and never lie. My fellow reporters do too.”
Kevin Z. Smith, a Society of Professional Journalists board member who helped write the ethical code, said of Thompson's admission, “This is just appallingly bad journalism to engage in, and to brag about it and defend it as harmless is beyond the pale.”
Smith said Thursday night via email that SPJ's ethical code addresses truth, harm, independence, and accountability. “She gets the trifecta for destroying three ethical tenets with lying.”
Thompson discusses making up coach quotes on her podcast with former sideline reporter Erin Andrews in January 2022.