We’ve moved on (really, we have) from last week’s fabricated-report fiasco from Mike Wise of the Washington Post. (For those of you who have no idea what I’m referring to, please type “Mike Wise Roethlisberger” into the search box.) But we need to mention it one last time, if only to provide the conduit for allowing any of you who remain interested in the situation to read a couple of additional takes and interviews regarding the subject.
For starters, Geoff Decker at The Big Lead has taken Wise to task for the inconsistencies reflected in statements made by Wise on the radio broadcast in which his War of the Worlds-style hoax unfolded and the comments Wise subsequently has made during his media mea culpa tour.
Writes Decker: “On the show, [Wise] and his co-host giddily recapped what they’ve done.
They mocked Mike Florio for citing the tweet in a ProFootballTalk post.
The fratboy-ish enthusiasm at having ‘caught’ another media member is
audibly nauseating, even more so when he tries to tell [Reliable] Sources host Howard Kurtz that he never meant the stunt to be deceitful. . . . Later in the radio segment, they giggle and discuss how to follow up
the first tweet with more misleading tweets. ‘Let’s have a little
discussion on how to play this,’ [Wise] said on his show. ‘Should I milk
this a little bit and show people that I actually do know that he’s
gonna get five games on Friday?’”
Those words starkly contrast with Wise’s flawed explanation that he tried to almost immediately publish a follow-up message on his Twitter page revealing that his fake news on the Big Ben suspension was a ruse. Given that he works in the town that gave birth to the phrase “the cover up is worse than the crime,” some may regard Wise’s effort to conceal the true scope of his intentionally and deliberately false report as a greater offense than the intentionally and deliberately false report itself.
Decker also passes along a link to a transcript of companion interviews that yours truly and Mike Wise provided to NPR’s On the Media. And one of the last comments from Wise to Bob Garfield reconfirms that Wise simply doesn’t understand the difference between a reporter who always tries to be accurate but who inevitably will be inaccurate and a reporter who intentionally and deliberately tries to be inaccurate.
“The 20 years [of my journalism career] that nobody had ever questioned, that now it has been, and I
promise it won’t happen again,” Wise said as to the consequences of falsifying news. “Not necessarily Mike Florio, but what
some people of his ilk and some people of . . . his job description can’t
say is that it won’t happen again.”
On that last point, Wise and I finally have reached a common ground. He’s right. I can’t guarantee that we won’t pass along a report from a respected journalist at a respected news organization that, for whatever ridiculous or skewed or malicious or nonsensical motivation, was intentionally and deliberately falsified. I can’t guarantee it, because I refuse to waste my time contacting respected journalists from respected news organizations to ask them, “Is there any chance that you’re simply squandering your own credibility and the credibility of the company that employs you to prove that people will believe the things that you say?”