Well, at least Fox's Tom Rinaldi didn't just make something up.
What he did was nearly as bad, if not worse, in the eyes of Packers coach Matt LaFleur. During Saturday's playoff loss to the 49ers, Rinaldi shared something LaFleur had said in the production meeting, regarding kicker Anders Carlson.
"He basically said when he goes out there, I just pray," Rinaldi said.
LaFleur characterized his comment as something he said as a joke.
"That was extremely disappointing that that’s how that message got portrayed," LaFleur said, Matt Schneidman of TheAthletic.com. "I’ve been doing this for — been a part of production meetings for ever since I became a coordinator. I’ve never had an experience like that. But [it] is what it is. I talked to Anders about it. And, you know, I think anytime something's out of your control, you're kind of saying it in jest, and having fun with it. But it got portrayed that way. It's a learning lesson for me."
As someone who gets access to plenty of stuff that can't be used (or can't be repeated verbatim and attributed to whoever said it), the job requires a lot of skill, discretion, and good sense. You have to know what you can say and how you can say it. If you have any doubt at all, you either ask the person for confirmation that you can say it, or you just don't say it.
Of course, you first have to trust your own instincts as to what can and can't be said, and as to what should and shouldn't be said. Here, Rinaldi believed it was fair game. LaFleur believed otherwise.
In the end, that's all that really matters. As many of us experienced as kids, if you got into trouble at school and had a perfectly good explanation/excuse for it, you were still in trouble at home for the mere fact that got you in trouble at school.