Former New York Daily News Jets reporter Manish Mehta made national headlines late last year when he was suddenly removed from the beat. A story in the Washington Post then reported accusations of threatening, bully-like behavior and questionable reporting methods.
Now, Mehta is here to tell his side of the story. He joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich on Tuesday to talk about the various controversies and give his own perspective. He believes the Jets simply wanted to avoid critical or unflattering stories coming out from him about the organization.
“The Jets have been very sensitive to criticism, so they went to these extraordinary lengths to try to remove me from the beat, because I found out a lot of their dysfunctional inner-workings,” Mehta said. “No team should be able to get away with this. You should not be able to suppress a journalist by smearing their reputation with distortions and embellishments, and sometimes just flat-out fabrications, just because you don’t like what they are reporting and writing, and that’s exactly what happened here. The NFL, frankly, took the Jets’ word for it without ever talking to me or my editors about whether any of those claims were true.
“Fundamentally, this is wrong. It sets a very dangerous precedent.”
One of the more controversial accusations against Mehta was that he interacted with the son of Jets GM Joe Douglas in an inappropriate way at a baseball game. Mehta described the interaction as “innocuous” and said he had been having friendly text conversations with Douglas at the time.
“The Jets framed that incident and said that Joe Douglas got a strange text out of nowhere from an unknown number saying that ‘Hey I just saw your son at a baseball game,’ as if I was monitoring his son in some way,” Mehta said. “I don’t quite understand it.”
Mehta addresses some of the other controversies and accusations that led to his removal from the Jets beat. Listen above for the full interview.