Clint Dempsey “linked” to Manchester United? Let me show you how that works

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One of my favorite lines from Stephen Colbert has the Comedy Central parody king sitting across from a congressman. Colbert begins one query: “Now, you’ve been linked to big cuts in educational spending and …”

The congressman looks baffled and says, “Wait a minute, I haven’t been linked to those cuts…”

At which point Colbert says dismissively, “Well, I just did … so let’s move on.”

See, that’s how my business works too often, for better or worse. All it takes to be “linked” is for someone with microphone or a URL and a logon to make the first move. See? Then, everybody else with a microphone, or a URL and a logon can gleefully glom on, piggy-backing on the original “link” – never mind if there’s any actual substance to it.

So, when it comes to Clint Demspey and a summer transfer, expect it be a high “linked to” zone.

In a better world, none of us would play along. We would require corroboration or substantiation from one or, even better, two sources. But we’re clearly past such a quaint notion now.

I have yet to see anyone attribute any alleged Manchester United interest in Dempsey. Nor have I seen attribution to the £10m (about $16 million) transfer fee speculation that seems to have materialized out of nowhere.

But it’s out there. From a respected outlet, no less, in The Guardian.

At least they label it under “Football Transfer Rumours.”