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…

A Terrorist Nationals Cap? We Totally Believe That

When we heard that the WASHINGTON POST had a story of a congressional aide being suspected of terrorism - just for wearing a Washington Nationals baseball cap - we were, to say the least, intrigued. Had an organization coopted the Walgreens’ Nats’ “W” as a symbol of their own? Like it was some code to bring down Washington, since the team’s in Washington and all? Sounded cool.

Green Nationals Hat
(THIS WAS TOTALLY A TERROR THREAT.)

Ah, but this is the WASHINGTON POST - not exactly a bastion of journalistic integrity - and the story quickly devolved into fantasy. Except it wasn’t reported as fantasy at all, but as something that actually happened. By all means, read on and judge for yourself.

Read more…

Dolphins Cheerleaders Unveil New Bikini Calendar

• A hip-hop remix of the team’s fight song by T-Pain can’t ruin the joy of the release of a new Miami Dolphins cheerleader bikini calendar.

Miami Dolphins cheerleaders

• The NFL preseason is underway, and Sunday’s opener was pretty uneventful - save for the most perfectly executed fake punt you’ll likely see.

• Another Michigan Wolverine is off the team. It has to be RichRod’s fault, and not that failed cocaine deal-turned-dorm arson attempt.

• Ohio State LB Tyler Moeller is out for the season after suffering seizures this past weekend.

• The SEC is turning into MLB when it comes to new rules of broadcasting highlights & online media of its games.

Read more…

WaPo Pulls Strip Depicting Cheney “Hit” On Vick

At first glance, “Tank McNamara” may seem the least likely of comic strips to be pulled from newspapers because of some ugly controversy. Well, except for “Family Circus.” In fact, if pressed, I’ll bet few people can even tell you what “Tank McNamara” is about — it’s just the comic strip in the sports section you always skim over on your way to the baseball box scores and Cialis ads. Even though it’s been around since 1974.

Dick Cheney Michael Vick

But those fans who read it religiously know that Tank has grown out of his affable doofus stage. No longer a benign character, the athlete-turned-commentator tackles contemporary issues with 21st-century aplomb; hot-button issues such as steroids, gambling addiction, runaway athlete salaries and now … Dick Cheney advising a hit on Michael Vick? What? If you’re wondering why today’s “Tank McNamara” in the Washington Post is a rerun, it’s because the paper has pulled it.

(The offending comic in question is after the jump.)

Read more…

Jefferson Ended Wedding By Emailing Bride-To-Be

*Brooks will be at Dodger Stadium tonight Tweeting about Manny Ramirez’s triumphant return to Chavez Ravine.

Richard Jefferson tries to explain what really happened with his averted trip to the altar. It involves ending his relationship via email - along with sending a six-figure settlement to the jilted bride.

Richard Jefferson Kesha Nichols

• NASCAR racer Jeremy Mayfield tests positive for meth. What, again?!?!

• The jokes at the ESPYs were so bad, producers were begging the audience to laugh & applaud - so they could edit it into the show later.

• But the real comedy highlight of the evening was a drunken Matt Kemp trying to break his fall by pulling down the top of his date’s dress.

• A youth soccer official is under investigation for embezzling over $100,000 from her local organization.

Read more…

WaPo Outsources Nationals Coverage To Twitter

Once upon a time, the world got its news and information from large bundles of paper called “news-papers.” As I understand it, these “news-papers” contained all the previous day’s news as well as things like editorial commentary, Ann Landers columns, and Marmaduke. That’s right - you had to wait an entire day to learn what happened in the world. Hard to believe, isn’t it?

Twitter Creme

What’s even crazier is that some of these “news-papers” are still printed today, it’s true! But today’s papers, like the WASHINGTON POST, aren’t the same old boring rags that your grandparents (and, like, older brother) used to read. No, they’re hip and cool and relevant, just like you! For instance, take this Twitter thing they keep hearing so much about. The POST is, like, totally down with it, man! And to prove it, they’re going to…use the social media service wisely to reclaim lost market share and regain profitability? Ha ha just kidding, they’re printing random idiots’ Tweets about the Nationals.

Read more…

Zorn Likes Road Kill; Alexander Signing Explained

Washington Redskins Head Coach Jim Zorn is no Bill Belichick.  While the Pats chief is known for his mastery of the art of “coachspeak” (that is, saying nothing at all of note in his press conferences), Zorn spent some time recently telling a reporter of his experience picking up and skinning road kill.

Jim Zorn

(How fitting that he coaches the ‘Skins)

According to the WASHINGTON POST:

“We lived on Lake Washington,” he began. “Ok, this absolutely was appalling to my bride of 29 years, but I actually found road kill. I didn’t hunt the coyote, I found road-kill coyote, put it in a bag, shoved it in my trunk. I thought, ‘A coyote pelt, this is awesome!’

Insanity continued after the jump. Read more…

WaPo Prevents People from Reading Wise Column

WASHINGTON POST columnist Mike Wise (aka The WaPo Columnist Without a Show) threw a beatdown on Philadelphia Flyers fans and players in his Wednesday column, even declaring that the women and children “looked as if they could work security for Megadeth”.

Mike Wise, posing

(Mike Wise, posing)

The Flyers organization decided to pass this bit of ‘news’ along to its fans by printing out the column and handing it out to fans before the game against the Washington Capitals Thursday night. Unfortunate, as the rumor goes, Mike Wise got wind of this and demanded his paper prevent this for his personal safety. WaPo lawyers laid down a threat; the Flyers’ flyers were pocketed.

Instead, the Flyers put snippets of the column on the JumboTron during the game. Fair use this, WASHINGTON POST.
Read more…

WaPo Gives KSK’s Christmas Ape Lump Of Coal

The news is skittering all about the sports blogohedron about the WASHINGTON POST firing staff writer Michael Tunison after he publicized himself as being the notorious Christmas Ape of KISSING SUZY KOLBER, DEADSPIN, and THIS WEBSITE fame. Here’s a dramatization of the editors reading Tunison’s KSK posts for the first time:

Woodward & Bernstein & Christmas Ape

(They had to use the typewriter because Blogger.com isn’t cuneiform compatible.)

On Monday afternoon, Tunison posted a 2-year-old picture at KSK at an indeterminate bar with some kind of parrot-looking mascot, saying he was “totally f*cking hammered.” Read more…

Washington Post Wants Free Labor for New Blog

NATIONALS JOURNAL, the WASHINGTON POST baseball blog, points out a new WASHINGTON POST blogging effort this spring: THE GROUNDS CREW. Since the Post can’t possibly cover all aspects of the opening season of Nationals Park and will have their employees in the press box, they’re recruiting commoners to write about their park experiences.

President Bush throws out first pitch for Washington Nationals

(”… and this guy blocked my parking spot before the game…”)

About a dozen bloggers will be selected through the application process and work on a group blog with the assistance of editors to talk about any aspect (parking) of the new park experience (parking), both negative (parking) and positive (not parking). The deadline is Friday, leaving plenty of time before Opening Day to train the bloggers. (”…and, for God’s sake, don’t mention Kornheiser.”)

Read more…