Washington Post Columnist Suspended For Hoax

Yesterday WASHINGTON POST columnist Mike Wise Tweeted that a source had told him that Ben Roethlisberger had been suspended for five games by the NFL in response to the Pittsburgh quarterback’s off-field issues.

Mike Wise Tweets that Ben Roethlisberger to be suspended five games by the NFL

The Twitter report from the Washington Post columnist and former NEW YORK TIMES reporter set off a chain reaction in the mainstream NFL media. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk at NBCSports.com, the PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, the MIAMI HERALD and the BALTIMORE SUN all subsequently cited Wise’s report, along with other main media outlets.

(Wise was quoted about Jayson Blair affair during his NY Times tenure)

The reaction of those outlets was yet more confirmation that Twitter is now viewed by main media as a legitimate medium for breaking news - even before that news is published by the employer of the individual breaking the story.

In other words, Washington Post columnist Wise’s move to first report a major scoop on Twitter is no longer uncommon in main media circles.

A couple hours after numerous main media outlets had cited his original report about Roethlisberger, Wise Tweeted his source on the story:

Mike Wise Tweets that Ben Roethlisberger to be suspended five games by the NFL

Then, in a series of subsequent Tweets, Wise revealed that his report about Roethlisberger had been a hoax and was designed to serve “as part of a bit on my show today … I tried to test the accuracy of social media reporting.” (Wise hosts a weekday radio show in D.C.)

Wise later Tweeted that, “I was right about nobody checking facts or sourcing.

Wise was apparently unaware that by citing his original report, numerous journalistic enterprises were counting on the Washington Post and former New York Times reporter’s own facts and sourcing on the story.

In reporting Wise’s report, many of the outlets never claimed to have original facts or sourcing on the story. The citation by those outlets was instead a referendum on the credibility of Wise and his Washington Post employer.

Via email, I asked Florio, who runs one of the main media outlets to cite Wise’s original report, what he thought of the hoax. He responded: Read more…

ESPN Lifts Roethlisberger News Blackout, Kind Of

Well, ESPN is finally talking about the Ben Rothelisberger sexual assault allegations, but you have to have been quick to catch it. The most hilarious part of the brief “ESPN Sports Reporters” segment on the subject was not Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Albom’s contention that “a lot of women make false claims.” (Stay classy, Mitch). It was the actual length of the conversation.

The Sports Reporters

As TAMPABAY.COM’s Tom Jones reported, and we picked up via AWFUL ANNOUNCING, Albom and NEW YORK TIMES columnist Bill Rhoden no sooner began arguing about the subject than host Mike Lupica pulled the plug, quickly switching the subject. And now ESPN viewers are more confused than ever. Read more…

Bayless: Cowboys Claimed Aikman Is “Bisexual”

You might just know Skip Bayless as the blowhard on ESPN who says outrageous statements just to get attention. (Versus, basically, every other personality on ESPN who does exactly the same thing.) Among his greatest hits are his on-going hatred of LeBron James and his belief that Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson were boycotting a golf event because it was sponsored by Mercedes.

Skip Bayless

(ESPNer Bayless reiterated stand on Aikman’s sexual preference)

So you might be surprised - shocked, even - to learn that Bayless used to be more than a talking head seeking out controversy: he used to be a writer seeking out controversy. THE STARTING FIVE has Part One of an exhaustive interview with Bayless about his columns and books, focusing on his expose “Hell-Bent: The Crazy Truth About the’Win or Else’ Dallas Cowboys,” which created a scandal for allegedly “outing” Cowboys QB Troy Aikman. And Bayless isn’t backing down. Sort of.

Read more…