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About that bogus Merc story based on a Twitter joke

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Twitter pothole-of-the-week award in local journalism goes to the Mercury News, which fell for a bogus tweet and reported without attribution that President Obama offered former San Jose Earthquakes star and U. S. World Cup soccer player Landon Donovan a ride on Air Force One. The tweet was from ESPN reporter Dana Wessel and was apparently intended as a joke. Merc sportswriter Elliott Almond likely wasn’t laughing after seeing the tweet and running with it. You can view the tweet and Almond’s unfortunate story at MediaBistro, which includes this quote from Wessel:

“I told the guy on Twitter it was a joke and he responded to me acknowledging that he had been duped but apparently he never bothered to change his story or file a retraction,” Wessel told FishbowlDC. “Pretty sloppy.”

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