Jim Wexell still has some explaining to do


Last year, Mike Wise of the Washington Post engaged in a deliberate experiment regarding the power of social media.  As experiments go, it was nearly as bad as Peter Brady’s volcano.

Over the weekend, Jim Wexell of SteelCityInsider.net, one of the various FOX/Scout.com team-specific publications, wrote via Twitter that Redskins owner Daniel Snyder said on Sirius radio that the Steelers had a deal in place with Washington to move from No. 31 to No. 16 in the draft, presumably to engineer a Pouncey family reunion.  It created enough of a buzz to make its way into Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback column, and it then caught enough of our attention to make its way to the top of the PFT headline stack.

Not long after pressing “publish,” I heard from P.R. exec Tony Wyllie of the Redskins, who said Snyder hasn’t done any radio since early February.  King got the same call, and he and I both commenced the process of trying to put toothpaste back into the lamp.  (It’s a helluvalot easier than putting a genie inside a toothpaste tube.)

But where’s Wexell in all of this?  He wisely deleted the erroneous tweet, and he posted a follow-up tweet pointing out that “[t]he Redskins have denied alleged plans for a draft-day trade with the Steelers,” adding in a perfunctory “[m]y apologies.”  Wexell has ignored a tweet from us — and presumably tweets from others — seeking an explanation for his belief that Dan Snyder said otherwise on Sirius radio.

Most recently, Wexell wrote that the error wasn’t “intended,” and that it was “my bad; my blunder.”  He then tried to push some Twitter traffic to a colleague’s column that purports to report that Steelers coach Mike Tomlin wanted to trade up for Florida center Mike Pouncey.  (Of course, to actually read the column, you’ve got to pay for SteelCityInsider.net and/or Scout.com.)

Sorry, but that’s not good enough.  When someone screws up in a major way, as Wexell did, he needs to do something more than say “oops” and move on.  After Wise deliberately posted a false item regarding the duration of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s suspension, Wise offered an explanation for his so-called social experiment.  And after we once wrote of rumors that a former Steelers quarterback had died, we provided chapter-and-verse information as to how it happened.

As to Wexell’s weekend whiff, all he’s done is muttered “sorry” and then tried to sell us content from a co-worker.  Unless and until Wexell provides something more detailed as to the chain of events that prompted him to tell the Twitterverse that Redskins owner Dan Snyder said something he didn’t say about something that never happened, it would be unwise to give credence to anything Wexell says.

22 responses to “Jim Wexell still has some explaining to do

  1. So your not going to accept any responsibility for rushing to publish the story with verifying accuracy?

    Your going to blame others but not accept any blame on your own behalf?

    Sounds just like an NFL player

  2. All due respect, this blog has pushed out there some patently ridiculous rumors that clearly were false. Yes, a lot of it was reporting on other’s claims, but its bordering on hypocrisy for PFT to get indignant about someone pushing out a fake rumor.

  3. So what you’re saying is he’s in line for a job with ESPN?

    Cause those guys NEVER apologize or even acknowledge their blunders, let alone explain them.

  4. i made a mistake once

    oh no never mind – no I didn’t

    its called Creative History 101 – Wexell must have gotten an A in it during his freshman year at the College of Uranus

  5. Saying “sorry” followed by a long-winded explanation as to how it happened doesn’t change the fact that it happened.

    The fact is they screwed up just like you’ve screwed up in the past as well. Just because you tried to explain it away doesn’t change the situation or make you any better, so get off your high horse.

  6. Wexell is just a blogger, he never was good enough to make it main stream. He got fired for the only real job he had on radio. He tried to write a couple of books, he tried. LOL

    PFT, is a rumor mill. I must say, this site has come a long way to becoming a good resource.

    Every site will have a bad day, but for Wexell he just tried to be something he is not or will ever be. PFT, ESPN, hell even CBS all have screwed up a couple of times. The difference is, These sites and companys have a much better ratio than these blogger sites.

  7. This could be solved very easily if so called serious journalists would stop using twitter as a source.

    At the very least, if a journalist sees a tweet from another journalist and is thinking of using it, they should contact the tweeting journalist (and not through twitter, pick up the damn phone!) and ask them to elaborate as to their sources and what they did to verify.

    Instead of being indignant, you should be embarrassed that some second rate blogger scammed PK and then you into mainstreaming something that apparently was complete BS.

    The way to eradicate this is not to point fingers but to look in the mirror.

  8. Put your skirt on Mikey- this is not that big of a deal. Grow some thicker skin and keep it moving, the guy did what 2011 media doesn-jump the gun and worry about facts later.

  9. Correct, you should take anything Wexell says with a grain of salt–even if he does provide an explanation.

    As a blogger, your job is to scan the Web for football news and consolidate it here, with your commentary, as quickly as possible. Because of the rapid nature of the medium, you have to trust that reporters from other outlets are doing their jobs. But with success comes scrutiny–a lot of eyes are watching you now.

    To avoid embarrassing situations like these, you’ll have to take the extra step of checking for a second independent media source or calling a team for verification–things you wouldn’t have done five years ago when fewer people were paying attention. I wouldn’t trust anything reported in under 140 characters because posts like that probably don’t include much in the way of reassuring attribution.

  10. Jim Wexell is a moron! He is as much an insider on the steelers as King is. I think he had the steelers taking a corner in the 1st round.

  11. Let me get this straight… it shows more editorial integrity to blame someone else (provide an explanation), than to simply apologize and admit that you made a mistake?

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