The story I published earlier today about “Is Dumping Trump Worth Your Life?” was fake news. Inadvertently, I got a story tip from a trusted source who saw it on Facebook. It looked on the level, quoting an NBC affiliate. I followed the link to the NBC affiliate, and I didn’t see the story directly linked.
I figured the URL was just mislinked. In the rush to get a morning story out, I didn’t check further because I trusted the source. In fact, I ignored all my journalistic arm-hair tingling because it was such a compelling story and an easy slam dunk.
The person who shared the story with me also had doubts but didn’t share them, not realizing I was about to write it up. Our editorial policies here at The Resurgent are fairly open and trusting of the writers. Erick and Philip don’t stand over us and vet everything we write. Most of the time this is great…sometimes it gets us in trouble (or gets Erick in trouble).
This time, I have to admit, I fell for “fake news.”
I have to laugh, because I’m in the middle of a pretty deep story dealing with the Washington Post falling for fake news.
The point is that none of us are infallible. Whether it’s the small group here at The Resurgent or the enormous resources of the Washington Post or New York Times, we all get baited sometimes and rush to get something out without properly vetting it.
In the interests of not being a hypocrite, I quickly admit my mistake and correct the record. The story about the truck killing 6 in Seattle was fake. It was posted by a hoax news site “The Seattle Tribune.” Who knows if the Russians run it, or some kids out of basements in Macedonia. But the error was on me, because I’m supposed to do my due diligence, and didn’t.
Let this be a lesson to the editors of Rolling Stone, and every other publication that ever put out something that wasn’t true. Take responsibility, correct the record, and move on.