Washington Post suspends Mike Wise for a month

At the outset of his daily radio show on 106.7 the Fan in D.C., Mike Wise announced that the Washington Post has imposed a one-month suspension on him for his ill-advised Monday Twitter hoax regarding, ironically, the suspension of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Wise read a statement in which he acknowledged that he “made a horrendous mistake,” and that it “cost me a chunk of [my] own credibility.”

Actually, it cost Wise all of his credibility, as far as we’re concerned.  Even though he surely will never pull another stunt like this, it’s fair to wonder whether other motivations, apart from providing true, accurate information, will undermine any of his future journalistic endeavors.

Wise also offered up a very half-hearted (hoof-hearted) explanation, mentioning once again the facially implausible notion that he tried to immediately point out that it was a joke, even after boasting on Tuesday that the goal was to dupe people like me into believing it wasn’t a joke. 

Though we’re not privy to the thought processes of the Post, we suspect that the length of the suspension was influenced at least in part by Wise’s clumsy attempt to minimize the damage by offering up inconsistent excuses like:  (1) I never break news on my Twitter account so no one should have believed it; (2) I tried to get people like Florio to believe it; (3) I tried to immediately make it clear that it was a joke but Twitter jammed up, even though it allowed me to make four subsequent posts over more than an hour, including one in which I perpetuated the hoax by saying he “[c]an’t reveal my sources.”

Frankly, Wise should be glad he wasn’t fired.  Armed with the relevant Post personnel policies, including the one regarding the use of social media, a semi-competent lawyer (or me) would have Wise admitting within five minutes or less that his employment should be terminated for cause.

The fact that he seems to be so willing to accept the suspension represents an implicit acknowledgment that Wise realizes, despite his cannonball into the stupid pool, he dodged a mortar shell when it was time to visit the principal’s office.

116 responses to “Washington Post suspends Mike Wise for a month

  1. Whoa, pull the hypocrisy boat to the shore. You’re the same jackass who has not only willfully repeated lies about people (i.e Rush Limbaugh) but then actually made the argument with a straight face that the only way he could disprove the lies was to sue and win and that it was in no way your responsibility to tell the truth. Yet somehow you think you have credibility but a guy who makes a joke that amounts to the difference of 1 game doesn’t have credibility?

  2. Dude should have been outright fired. He is supposed to be a journalist and he violated the supreme standard. He is allowed to be wrong, but he is not allowed to knowingly lie about stuff he “reports” on. He has ZERO credibility and should look for an alternate profession.

  3. Wise also recently posted on the WaPo site that the ‘Skins should give McNabb a huge contract extension which is just the over-paying policy that’s gotten the L’il General in trouble all these years. I think he’s probably been lacking attention in his personal life and decided to try a few stunts to get noticed nationally – now that there’s a void created by Jay Mariotti.
    Too bad because Wise has been a very good writer at times.

  4. Now if only you can get Tebow to say something stupid on Twitter you will have all your masturbatory fantasies realized.

  5. PFT should do the same type thing, suspend anyone doesn’t check multiple sources before reporting on any given subject…….
    Oh wait, who would write for them since that would leave PFT devoid of any staff……..

  6. They should have given him a five week suspension…then said just kidding you are fired!

  7. Good work getting after this dude, Florio, I’m sure your criticism – and coverage thereof (Deadspin, etc…) – helped get this dude reprimanded and suspended.
    You run a solid site that allows me to avoid the “mothership” that makes sports unwatchable, generic, and lame – where guys like Stu Scott, Keyshawn Johnson and Chris Berman, et. al , somehow stay employed.
    Let the haters hate..

  8. He gets suspended for simply “words” about Ben. So he got suspended for telling a lie, in his personal life, away from his job.
    Isn’t it ironic that his words were about a man also suspended for “words” in the form of false accusations?
    In reality, he’s not paid to twitter, and he should be free to use any form of free speech on twitter. He may be an idiot, but that should not affect his career, he didn’t break any laws. Kind of reminds me of a certain QB.
    Welcome to Iran.

  9. Dear Mike Wise,
    I can get you off the hook. Read carefully and do not disregard.
    First, you use the “I have a drinking problem” card. Claim you posted the tweets while buzzed and point to your “sickness” as the cause. Don’t stand for your employers discriminating against you and your “disability”.
    Next, apologize to Florio, both publicly and privately. He’s the face of on-line NFL info, crossing him was a very bad idea and you’re very sorry your drinking problem made you think it would be fun to try. Your bad, won’t happen again.
    That’ll be $400…

  10. Maybe you could make getting Mike Wise fired your next arbitrarily obsessive moral crusade.

  11. Its so easy for these newspaper ‘journalists’ now to have vendettas or axes to grind with the internet ‘journalists’….they need to get over it. Newspapers are a dead breed. DEAD. This guy should have been fired. Arrogant is what comes to mind first, followed by stupid.

  12. Are you sure this time? They’ve already proven you’ll print anything. You sure the WP isnt doing a stupid hoax of a stupid hoax?
    People have done less and gotten fired. He should have been fired.

  13. You’d be best served not to rub his nose too much into it, Florio.
    Smarter journalists out there know you are mostly a publicist for them and feed people into their articles (since you always give credit and provide a link). But this personal pissing match between you and someone who doesn’t like you makes you come off like a D-I-C-K. Not everyone out there will like you. You claim to have thick skin, so display it. That way the journalists who liked you before will continue to do so.

  14. I only wish “The Fan” would have kicked him off the air for good. He has sucked since day one! He should stick to writing about sports, the radio thing just isnt for him. Wise is of crap half of the time anyway! Boycott the radio show!!!!!

  15. The Washington Post is concerned about its credibility? That rag should suspend itself from publishing for a month.

  16. Good for that prick. It had better be without pay.
    Has he sent his application to PFT yet? He would fit right in.

  17. What was that Favre story about him showing photographs again? Get of the bleeping pulpit. You may just start losing readers.

  18. You really can’t handle being duped huh Florio?
    This guy made you look like an idiot

  19. “Now if only you can get Tebow to say something stupid on Twitter you will have all your masturbatory fantasies realized”
    i would add a #3-NFL admits that its enforcement provisions regarding tampering need adjustment following criticism from Mike Florio

  20. This is awesome. So indignant, Mikey.
    For someone who’s own website just this morning posted an article with a completely misleading and untrue headline, (See: Troy Polamalu Insures His Hair), you sure do get your panties in a twist when someone makes you look stupid.
    Maybe you should stop scouring Twitter for breaking news.
    You don’t seem to think Wise meant it as a joke. Then what is your explanation for why he did it? I think he did it for the exact reason he stated: To see how many fake journalists like you would run with it without doing one iota of fact-checking.
    Was it a stupid thing for him to do? No doubt. Was it even more stupid for you to run with it without making as much a phone call to verify it?
    No doubt.

  21. What a douchebag…this jackass must live by the ‘any pub is good pub’ mantra.

  22. If you can’t see the difference between the Terry Bradshaw mistake that Florio made and this intentional lie, god help you.

  23. Florio is a joke! His website, on a daily basis, is guilty of the same incorrect information distribution. This whole website is speculation, rumor and innuendo. Don’t be mad because Mike Wise uncovered the strict reporting standards of PFT!
    Terry Bradshaw is the most notable after PFT reported that he died in a car accident. So clearly, spreading a story about a suspension is far worse than reporting that a man died.
    Florio is a joke. And so is PFT. I don’t read for the sports reporting – I read to laugh at all the rubbish.

  24. Way to kick ass with your site, Mike Florio. Judging from the number of idiots on here who are downright jealous of your phenomenal success, you built this thing into something that must have exceeded even your own your wildest expectations. It’s a truly great site.

  25. You should be fired too Florio. The conjecture speculation and non-stories that you throw around here every day re: Favre alone should have you fired. I am sure the only reason you didn’t buy his story hook, line and sinker and post it on here claiming it for your own was because you were too busy stalking Favre with a pair of big Paris Hilton sunglasses and a wig on trying to dig up a story on what kind of jock he had on…..

  26. Florio loves being the playground tattle tale. Very sad existence. Karma is real, hopefully it comes knocking on your door sooner than later. Because the way this site operates it is only a matter of time.

  27. Don’t trust what you read on the Internet.
    Did you hear that Terry Bradshaw was dead?
    (And Abe Vigoda)

  28. You got him suspended, I think that is good enough. I think your embarrassed and want to blame someone else….its your site and your ultimately responsible. Take this school girl argument to your other site…..smearyoursourcetalk.com

  29. ” and that it “cost me a chunk of [my] own credibility.”…not to mention the Washington Post’s…

  30. you have allot of nerve to take a high and mighty stance on this one considering what you have , do and will post in the future.
    I wonder what would have happened to you if you were hooked up with NBC during the Bradshaw fiasco?

  31. We’re picking up some unconfirmed reports from diverse sources that Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw died in a car accident on Thursday.
    We don’t know whether it’s true, and if it is true the world would suddenly be a far less enjoyable place. If anyone knows about this, please drop us a line.
    And Terry, if you’re out there, let us know you’re okay.
    Since Terry Bradshaw has returned from the dead maybe he’ll be the QB for Pittsburgh this year. Also, does Joe Namath still want to kiss Suzy Kolber? Or did he die too?

  32. Like any journalist has credibility or reputation to lose in the first place. This is a bit like one girl calling another girl a whore in a whorehouse.

  33. Suspend mike florio forever not mike wise, mike wise is actually a good person and was just proving florio believes anything he reads

  34. @ everyone who says Florio is guilty of the same thing..
    They are two COMPLETELY different things!!! Wise KNOWINGLY posted false, made-up, information. The Terry Bradshaw incident was not something that Florio concocted in his own head, and spread with the intention of misleading!! See the difference??
    As far as Florio making phone calls to verify information.. First off this is a RUMOR site.. see the tab up top that you clicked on, it says “Latest News & RUMORS”!!! Is that above your reading level?? Too much to comprehend?!?! Secondly, I’m sure if Roger Goodell has still yet to meet with Ben Roethlisberger, he wouldn’t just pick up the phone to “confirm” that he is reducing the suspension to 5 games.. PRIOR to meeting with and conveying that information to the person it is most affecting!! Use logic people.. instead of being blinded by envy and complaining about a person/site that you VOLUNTARILY come to on a daily basis! Stop complaining for the purpose of complaining!!! No one is holding a gun to your heads!!!

  35. I think people are missing Wise’s point which was that shoddy journalism is running rampant today.
    Hopefully, people wake up, and I have to say I admire guys willing to stick their nuts out on the line to prove an important point. How many guys in this candy-ass world will forgo a month’s pay to prove a point? Probably less than 5%.
    I don’t really follow this dude, but he’s gained serious respect from this reader.
    Men – act like ya’s got a pair!

  36. I applaud Mike Wise. Given that he writes real articles in respected broadsheet, he was proving the point that he could haphazardly post something on twitter and have hacks like (eh..not gonna insult you on your own site) post it. The point was to clearly differentiate between journalism and twitter-monitoring/reposting. Someones just mad that they got burned….again.

  37. Since Terry Bradshaw has returned from the dead maybe he’ll be the QB for Pittsburgh this year. Also, does Joe Namath still want to kiss Suzy Kolber? Or did he die too?

  38. I don’t understand,he reported something that was not true and gets suspended but you reported what he said and that’s ok?shouldn’t you check on this stuff before you report it as gospel?oh wait since you just reported what he said it doesn’t count right?I would say the suspension was worth it if I were him,he proved his point you will write anything and worry about if it is true later.you are just a hack after all.

  39. I hear Mariotti is on the phone right now asking the Post about any job openings.

  40. Good I hope they cancel his radio show as well. He’s a big dork who sucks as a commentator and writer. Most importantly he’s a DOUCHE

  41. dude youre a clown!! you aint even a real journalist. u run a blog. u dont check your facts. youre just mad that mike caught you pulling this crap. you talk about mike not having any credibility when you went and wrote a full story without even checking the source! get a life dude

  42. It’s called a “Rumor Mill” for gods sake! Not everything is going to be completely accurate. If you can understand that than get the hell off this site. And about the Bradshaw screw up, even Bradshaws hometown news was reporting that he died. These are 2 completely different non stories…

  43. Florio,
    I’ve been following your site for a long time now, almost 5 years. In this time, I’ve seen you feud with several other “reproters”. I’ve never really thought much of it until now, because I happen to be someone who has seen both sides of the argument.
    First of all, you aren’t even representing Wise’s side of the story accurately. His contention has been that it was a joke, and that the point being that anyone could post anything, and people would run with it without PRIOR checking the story out, in an effort to break the news first.
    Regardless of whether he was misguided or nto in his joke/poor judgement/etc, he proved himself right. You didn’t check the story out yourself, you posted it. You ended up with egg on your face, and are bent out of shape by it.
    I could live with that, but now you’re behaving like a spoiled little (insert derogaroty word of choice here) who got picked on in class, told the teacher, and then started bragging to your friends how you got someone in trouble to show you’re superior.
    As far as I’m concerned, -your- credibility is taking a beating, because you’re revelling in the fact someone else got blasted.
    Grow up. People with integrity aren’t interested in proving who is the voctor in a pissing match, they let actions speak louder than words. Dragigng a guy like Wise through the mud after something like this doesn’t make you more credible or more right, it makes you more of an

  44. Cut him some slack, you make up stories all the time.
    Remember the Mark Bulger to Arizona? It wasn’t even close to happening, yet you took it so personal on the Cardinals that they didn’t follow your report (prediction) as evident by the continuous Matt Leinart rants.

  45. StevieMo says:
    August 31, 2010 11:04 AM
    Way to kick ass with your site, Mike Florio. Judging from the number of idiots on here who are downright jealous of your phenomenal success, you built this thing into something that must have exceeded even your own your wildest expectations. It’s a truly great site
    I’d like to intercede here in effort to prevent your next post from being about the taste of Mike Florio’s balls. Not a good look.

  46. Haha…Florio got burned by his own double-standard. Apparently, Florio think it’s OK to post rumors that he heard from ANYWHERE without first checking for authenticity. The rest of the media must be laughing at Florio and NBCSports right now.

  47. talk about crying like a little girl. Florio, you knowingly spread gossip and rumors on this site daily and are JUST mad because you got duped.
    put your big boy pants on and take the gossip game like a man.

  48. Seeing that reporters report what they are told by coaches and teams (aka “insiders”), and you can turn on the TV any day of the NFL season and see them blatantly lie all the time, it stands to reason that most of these “reports” are unreliable anyway. (See Favre in August, for example)
    For what its worth, I heard Florio has also been suspended.

  49. Mike Wise is almost as responsible as reporting the death of Terry Bradshaw in a car accident.
    Sour Grapes Florio, let it go. Or maybe everyone should “Get Some Facts and come back and see me”

  50. Wise is an idiot. Why he would go out of his way to prove what we already know? Yes, Florio is a broker / middle man. Yes, Florio consolidates reports from other journalists on his site. Yes, Florio credits the journalist who breaks the story. What the hell was Wise thinking by unethically proving what we all already know?
    I’m sick of Wise and his radio show anyway. His pinko, left wing, white guilt, bumbling & stumbling would get no attention if it weren’t for Holden Cushner (no idea how to spell his name). Holden is the only reason people can choke down that lame show.

  51. Ha! Florio got burned for not checking things out, and now he’s pissed because Wise made him look bad.
    OK, what Wise did was stupid, but hardly worth a firing, and will be forgotten soon. Looks like Florio’s going to carry this personal grudge forever.

  52. Funny. If you weren’t irresponsible enough to “post news” from a source that had no source, it probably would have been no big deal and he wouldn’t have gotten suspended…oh well.

  53. Quit crying, Florio. And don’t crow either.
    Look, he shouldn’t have done it, that is obvious.
    But you also didn’t do what you should have in your trying-to-be-legit push: verify. Your spidey senses went off that it didn’t make sense, but *you* went ahead with it. Why? If that story got pushed to PFT 10 or 15 minutes later, so what? You don’t get paid any extra for being second versus fourth.
    So why don’t you man up in another post of your own accountability in this? You aren’t innocent either.

  54. Mike Wise is one of the most credible sports journalists in America today. He’s done some great work in the past. Don’t believe me? Read the column he wrote about Doug Christie in the New York Times a few years ago. He also wrote a New York Times Best Seller with Shaq. He shouldn’t have posted the Rapelisberger tweet and he’s paying the price and moving on with his life/career. Plus, how many times has Florio been wrong on this very website? Mike Florio-judge not lest ye be judged.

  55. For everyone saying that the tab above reads “Rumor Mill” think again. It has changed to “Latest News and Rumors” so that ship has sailed. The issue is the combination and speculation the staff does in their posts. It is hard to differentiate between what they claim to be news and or rumors.

  56. robert – i fixed it for ya
    “Like any journalist has credibility or reputation to lose in the first place. This is a bit like one whore calling another whore a whore in a whorehouse.”
    WaPo among other old line liberal newspapers are asking fedgov for subsidies… watch…
    and on another note, the slap fight is over between Mike & Mike.
    the tickle fight will ensure shortly.

  57. Mike Wise puts the “ass” in wise ass!!!
    He wishes that it was the other way around!!!
    So what???
    The Washington Post suspended him!!!
    He loses pay that is equivalent to minimum wage!!!! He’s got that lucrative radio gig. For one month he just has to not buy cigarettes, porn, and crap from Whole Foods. Then he’ll make ends meet.

  58. Mike Wise puts the “ass” in “wiseass”.
    He wishes that it’d be the other way around.
    So what if the Washington Post suspended him????
    His loss of pay will be equivalent to the loss of a welfare check!!!! BIG FRIGGIN DEAL!!!!

  59. I’m telling you people Burgundy, I mean Florio, will read anything that’s on that teleprompter.

  60. Wise should have been tied to a pole and beaten with baseball bats. The guy is a lying bum. Fire him.

  61. I cant wait for florio to cry in his soup again this year when the raiders beat his steelers. If you had any balls florio you would put some money on it. I will take the raiders for 2Gs. No spread or anything,Straight up

  62. Sorry you feel like you got duped Mike. Now you know how we feel after reading some of the crap you try to pass as news off to us.

  63. “Even though he surely will never pull another stunt like this, it’s fair to wonder whether other motivations, apart from providing true, accurate information, will undermine any of his future journalistic endeavors.”
    Florio criticizing someone for writing something while having alterior motives? Ohhhh, sweet, sweet irony.

  64. I am surprised by how many people don’t see the difference between reporting something you believe to be true and something you made up. If Wise would have been wise (I’m funny and original) he could have made it clearer that he wasn’t reporting facts by being either satirical or claiming that’s what he thinks is going to happen. Even then this whole ordeal would have came off as pretty lame. I install computer networks for a living and if I accidentally mix up two wires or put in an incorrect IP address, then it might reflect poorly on me but it could be chalked up to a mistake. But if I mixed up a few wires on purpose and claimed I did it as a joke to try and prove something then I wouldn’t have a job anymore.

  65. Some of these commenters are pretty hilarious. Let’s see – first I’ll click on a site that’s clearly marked “rumors”, then when the rumor is unfounded, I’ll complain loudly that the site should have confirmed it before posting what was clearly marked as a rumor? Huh?
    Some of you still haven’t figured out that even if you HATE PFT/Florio, when you troll the site LOOKING for things to complain about, you are providing some of the millions of “hits” this site gets every day. To Florio/NBC. that is simply the sound of the cash register going off.
    If you don’t like it here, don’t come to the site. I mean, why even have a username? Ignoring it is pretty much the maximum damage you can do to any internet site. Idiots.

  66. There are a bunch of idiots on this site. It has been posted a few times, but still 80% of the posts miss the point. This is a rumors site. It does not pretend that everything is verrified and accurate. The post in question just pointed out what Mike Wise reported. If it is wrong, that is on Mike Wise. If it was posted as a source said this and then it was wrong, you could come back on Flurio. How anyone can not see the differences to the T Bradshaw story is beyond me. That was reporting a rumon that proved to be wrong. It was reported as a rumor that mught be wrong. This was posted as a fact and was made up. Those who can not see the difference (apparently many of you), I feel sorry for you.

  67. Mike Wise should have been fired, and not just for the Twitter thing, but because he is a hack. I read WaPo online every day for news about the Skins, but I make it a point usually to avoid his column.

  68. Oh, and as for how it relates to Florio, et al, and this blog dear readers? This here is called “Latest News and RUMORS”.
    PFT is not representing itself as one of the world’s premier news organizations.

  69. You’re just pissed because you jumped the gun and fell for it. Why not do your due-diligence as a member of the medai and do the research to confirm something before you go and post it.

  70. Florio thinks PFT has credibility? LMAO! Man, this site is just for the jokes, not “news”. LOL

  71. Dear Dr. Napoleon Florio:
    “…a cannonball into the stupid pool”.Nice.
    “This is why I love this site you rumor mongoring, conspiracy theorizing, italian leprechan.” Just know this: no amount of NBC money will grow you into 6 feet, pal. You’re a midget. [since “midget is found in the dictionary, any dictionary, it’s not a slur. It’s a word.]
    A midget with money.
    Oh, and by the way, when will you and boyfriend, Dan Patrick be getting married? God, the way he sucks up to you is nausiating. He treats you like your Peter King. And Midget, you’re no Peter King.

  72. # Steel Dahn Sahth says: August 31, 2010 10:47 AM
    In reality, he’s not paid to twitter, and he should be free to use any form of free speech on twitter. He may be an idiot, but that should not affect his career, he didn’t break any laws. Kind of reminds me of a certain QB.
    What a dumb comment! First amendment rights just mean the government can’t go after a citizen for saying something about the government (as long as its non-threatening).
    It’s not a free pass to say whatever you want. You can be held accountable for what you say by an employer and by your fellow citizens. You can also be held accountable in a court of law if your speech has threats or out and out lies or slander. The founding fathers just wanted us to have the right to criticize our politicians ad government policies.
    And if you think Big Ben is innocent… Got a bridge for ya in Brooklyn… Kinda old, so I’ll cut you a special deal.

  73. “Armed with the relevant Post personnel policies, including the one regarding the use of social media, a semi-competent lawyer (or me) would have Wise admitting within five minutes or less that his employment should be terminated for cause.”
    Oooh! Florio, I get so hawt when you’re forceful!!!

  74. Stop hating on PFT. If you don’t like it, why are you here? Kind of like the guy at the strip club complaining how immoral it is. PFT’s job is to re-post other peoples’ news. If they cross-checked every story, they’d have a tiny fraction of the posts. I can come here and get ALL the NFL news and rumors. Don’t have to go anywhere else, cause Florio and the others are scouring the Internet for me. (Just wish Florio was not an ex-lawyer, though, because I am tired of seeing those long posts explaining legal minutia as if it was the most interesting thing in the world. Sort of like the astronomer explaining in agonizing detail why it was so interesting that they may have discovered sub-surface ice on Mars.)
    And Wise should have been fired. The story grew legs only because it was a WaPo sports reporter that Twittered it. Believe me, if Pearlstein twittered something false about IBM causing the stock market to convulse and then an hour later said, “Just kidding.” He would be out on his backside before lunch.

  75. This is pretty ironic, Florio criticizing someone for unsubstantiated information. The misinformation about the Roethlisberger case that I read on here was pathetic. I guess the difference is that Florio believes what he writes, even if it is bogus sometimes. Wise is just a bold face liar and he is a total douchebag. He should be fired, not suspended. His excuse is as shakey as the legs of a drunk 20 year old coed in Georgia.

  76. The problem with calling something “News and Rumors” is the reader doesn’t know which is which.
    Of course, I’m not sure Florio does, either.

  77. lil flo….just exactly what pics do you have of the big wigs at NBC?….your 15 minutes is OVAH

  78. why is everyone getting so bitter about this? i think it was funny. plus it was on twitter…i.e., not a real news source. relax all you psychos.

  79. I think it has finally happened – Twitter has become a more reliable news source than The Washington Post. Mike, quit that gig bro. They are a dead issue. You don’t need them.
    Congrats on the publicity for your radio show!

  80. This has been a bad situation for all those involved – Wise, The Post and Florio as well. Clearly Florio is upset because he took Wise’s attempt (bad indeed) to show lazy reporting and ran with it. When Wise told everyone it was a ruse Florio became upset because he was one of the people Wise was talking about. Now Florio is upset and is in a scorch the earth campaign. No fun for anyone.

  81. Wise deserved his suspension. I’m all for Florio-bashing, but how’s he to blame? He reported that Wise was reporting something on Big Ben’s suspension. He didn’t represent himself as breaking this story or anything. Wise pulled a stunt to prove some stupid point and he’s getting punished, as he should be. There’s a difference between being wrong on a story and flat-out making one up.

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