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The Maven: Ass Clown

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According to the best blog on earth (a.k.a. Kukla's Korner), yesterday Stan Fischler (a.k.a. "The Maven" or "Mark Messier's Fluffer") served up this piece of sourceless garbage:
An investor checking out potential NHL team purchases tells us that there have been subtle overtures made regarding the possible sale of the Capitals.
Caps' owner Ted Leonsis (it must be Leonsis day at The Rink) got wind of the rumor and fired off this response:
I want to be perfectly clear --- there has been no discussion -- ever -- about my selling the Caps--there has been no outreach--there would be no interest. I intend to own the team for a long long time -- perhaps til I die. The rumor that you report--is third hand from an unnamed source that made it up.
This should come as no surprise to Caps fans, of course, as Leonsis has never been in ownership for the money and isn't the type to quit anything before succeeding at it. But my question is this - how can a journalist print baseless rumors like this and still be respected? Is The Maven heading down the Larry Brooks road to ridiculousness? Is he already there?

And I know what you're thinking - "But, J.P., how do you know Fischler is full of it?" I don't. But a responsible journalist would have reached out to the League's most accessible owner and asked for a comment on the rumor before printing it. A simple "For the record, Caps' owner Ted Leonsis vehemently denied the existence of any such overtures" would have brought Fischler's scoop out of what is basically Eklund territory and into quasi-legitimate journalism.

UPDATE: Shaggy provides us with the The Maven's source. Brilliant.