There are few things that grind a journalist’s gears more than their own objectivity being questioned, which is why Buckeyes insider and Ohio State alumnus Jeff Snook is fighting back at doubters.
Snook’s bombshell report this week detailing Lynn Bruce’s belief her son, Zach Smith, did not commit domestic violence against his ex-wife, has been questioned by many outside of Columbus as a means to discredit Brett McMurphy’s report that led to an investigation into Urban Meyer’s knowledge of Smith’s alleged abusive past.
In a Facebook note posted on Friday, Snook gave a brief description of his career as a journalist and what went into publishing Bruce’s remarks in an effort to bring more validity to his story:
“I see some in the national media, including some who know me, have questioned my motives, etc., for yesterday’s story on the Ohio State investigation. Yahoo even ran my so-called “resume” of “four books on Ohio State football including one in which Urban Meyer wrote the forward,” next to Brett McMurphy’s. First of all, let me say that Brett has earned his dues with a track record of breaking stories.
“Secondly, It is a fact I graduated from Ohio State — with a degree in Journalism. And that last part of the sentence is more crucial than the first part, in this case. For the record, I didn’t just fall out of the stands of Ohio Stadium as a fan and onto Facebook yesterday, as some have suggested. I have 17 years of newspaper experience, including nine as a beat writer covering Florida State and four more at Florida (Steve Spurrier was coach, not Meyer). I broke my share of stories along the way. And I also wrote nine more books on subjects besides Ohio State. I know my journalism ethics and fundamentals and I follow them closely.
“Unless I am writing a column, my opinion doesn’t enter into it — and it didn’t yesterday, either. I had more than the two sources I quoted yesterday. Two more chose to go off the record, saying similar things and corroborating my on-record sources, so I didn’t use them. I have received much more information since I published the story but am choosing to keep it to myself. It just backs up what was written and would be redundant. Anyway, enough said. It’s a Friday, so smile, tell your parents or children you love them – and Have a great day!”
A few hours after posting the message, Snook updated his status again on Facebook, teasing another potentially-impactful story that could soon hit college football.
“FYI College football fans, another bombshell story is coming… if it can be proven — and it is HUGE, having national ramifications.”
If Snook’s reporting checks out and Courtney Smith’s accusations of long-term abuse indeed has holes, investigators could further look into credibility issues surrounding all parties involved. The investigation is halfway over based on the university’s timeline.
Meyer remains on paid administrative leave while officials sort out of facts of a tangled web in Columbus.