In an interview with CNN’s Reliable Sources that aired on Sunday morning, Mike Wise of the Washington Post discussed his one-month suspension for intentionally and deliberately publishing false information on a Twitter account that identifies him as a columnist of the Washington Post.
As most of you know by now, Wise posted on Monday a tweet claiming that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would be suspended for five games. Wise admitted that the report was false.
During the CNN interview, Wise acknowledged that, when he headed into the principal’s office to face the music, he wondered whether he’d have a job.
“[I]f we’re being honest, I walked in there and I wasn’t sure if I was gonna have a job the next day,” Wise said.
His instincts were accurate. In a second item regarding the situation, Washington Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander writes that some in the newsroom wanted Wise to be fired.
Meanwhile, Wise defended his record with a somewhat confusing quote that represents either the frailties of extemporaneous speech or a Freudian slip: “[Y]ou could vet all my stories, and I would challenge someone to, and find a factual inaccuracy done with any malice or anything, and there would be few.”
We’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on that one, and we’ll assume that he has never included a factual inaccuracy “with any malice” in any of his reporting.
Whether there was “any malice” in his fabricated Roethlisberger report is a matter on which reasonable minds can and will disagree.