For Gabriel Sherman, this is a big moment.
Sherman, 37, is a New York Magazine reporter who, somehow, is always given the benefit of the doubt by other media reporters, despite a dubious record of exclusive reports that were outright wrong or questionable at best.
His latest scoop on Roger Ailes' reign as Fox News Chairman and CEO coming to an end, "possibly within days" per Sherman, has been re-reported by many major media outlets practically as fact. Perhaps that's because Sherman wrote a critical book of Ailes — who runs a network many outside of conservatives loathe — that was embraced by the media bubble but very few others (sales of the book were much lower than expectations despite major hype).
So is the Sherman report true? Let's break down what we know:
Sherman's report says an internal investigation by Fox News conducted by New York law firm Paul, Weiss has been concluded.
However, 21st Century Fox put out a statement Monday afternoon contradicting Sherman's report: "This matter is not yet resolved and the review is not concluded," it read.
Sherman says one source tells him Ailes, 76, may be presented with a choice to resign or be fired. Another source, according to Sherman’s story, says Rupert Murdoch, along with sons James and Lachlan, who serve as co-chairmen and CEO, respectively, are all “in agreement that Ailes needs to go.”
But ask yourself this: If Sherman is wrong about the investigation being concluded, then how accurate is the part of the report where the Murdochs are already debating how to dispose of Ailes if no conclusion in the investigation has been made yet?
To use algebraic terms, if variable "A" isn't true, how can any part of the rest of the equation — variable B in this case — equal C?
This isn't to conclude that Sherman's report isn't accurate. Maybe it is. The writer's track record, as mentioned earlier, has fallen somewhere between Baghdad Bob's and Jayson Blair's lately.
The latest example as it pertains to Ailes occurred in June of 2015.
Sherman report: Ailes is being demoted at Fox News in a power shift initiated by the Murdochs.
Reality: Eight days after Sherman's report, Ailes signs a new contract with expanded responsibilities.
There are several other examples of Sherman's challenges on the exclusive story front that are broached here for your review.
In the end, this is obviously a big moment for Gabe Sherman.
If he's wrong, one would think the media will finally, finally stop treating every breathless report he files for New York Magazine as gospel. Because know this: other media reporters don't re-report Sherman or book him on cable news programs because they believe he's accurate with his scoops; they do so because they love the anti-Fox narrative being presented.
But maybe he's right this time.
Maybe Roger Ailes is headed to an earlier-than-expected retirement. If that is the case, Sherman's credibility will be restored. If not, even his biggest advocates will be forced to dismiss any insider claims he makes moving forward.
Either way, the actual result either ends one career in Ailes...or one in Sherman.
Concha is a media reporter for The Hill.
The views expressed by Contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.