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…

Desperate NY Times Turns Tiger Saga Into Cartoon

The NEW YORK TIMES has a piece today on a Canadian doctor being investigated for illegalities having nothing to do with Tiger Woods.

Steve Kelly Tiger Woods Cartoon

(And there’s this from Steve Kelley @ NEW ORLEANS TIMES-PICAYUNE)

The story of that doctor’s legal plight has been out in the Canadian press for months now, well before Woods’ affairs leaked out. But since the same doctor once treated Woods for a knee injury with a documented legal procedure, the Times published a story dubiously linking the two today. Read more…

MLBPA Head Fehr Tries To Put Fear Into Reporters

It looks like the leak of David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez’s names as having tested positive for steroids back in 2003 is going to have consequences after all. Just not for the players, or for the person who leaked the sealed information. Instead, EDITOR & PUBLISHER says that the MLB Players Union is focusing its wrath on NEW YORK TIMES reporter Michael S. Schmidt, who broke the story on Ortiz and Ramirez’s positive drug tests.

Donald Fehr

(Donald Fehr might be retiring, but he’s taking people down with him.)

Union head Donald Fehr issued a statement on Friday saying that Schmidt and the New York Times had broken the law by reporting the leaked information, and that the MLBPA intends to take the appropriate legal steps to see that the court orders are enforced.” Which means that Schmidt might want to get a sitter for his cat, if the treatment of previous reporters breaking blockbuster baseball steroid stories is any indication.

Read more…

Boston Globe To Become Subsidiary Of Red Sox?

It came out a while back that the NEW YORK TIMES, whose publishing company also owns the BOSTON GLOBE and a few other newspapers, was thinking of shutting the Globe down without $20 million in concessions from the labor unions there. Fun stuff, that.

(Soon to be Boston Globe Park? Or will Bostonians pick up “The Daily Fenway” every morning?)

The company also owns a minority share of the Boston Red Sox, for some reason, and they’ve been trying to sell that stake for months, citing the fact that the company is just hemorraging money at this point (delivery costs are so high, for example, that it would make more sense to just give their customers Kindles). According to the BOSTON HERALD, Red Sox owner John Henry, ever the gentleman, has an idea to help simplify the Times‘ situation by relieving them of their share of the franchise… and of the Globe: Read more…