WHAT: The Washington Post suspended famed sports columnist Mike Wise for a month for posting a bogus story on Twitter. He falsely claimed that Pittsburgh Steelers star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (accused of sexually assaulting a coed) had received a five-game suspension.
WHY: Wise insists he deliberately sent a fake tweet to demonstrate how today’s fast-moving news environment pressures reporters to repeat unverified stories. Of course, he easily proved his point, since he’s a well-known sportswriter who attached his name to a plausible scoop.
FALLOUT: Wise was met by an enraged backlash from fellow reporters because his apologies didn’t seem to specifically recognize why it’s considered so unethical for a respected journalist to knowingly publish false information under his own byline on the Internet’s fast-moving social media sites.