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Colleague defends Washington Post's Mike Wise

August 31, 2010 - 11:25 AM
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Mike Wise
Wise: has 'a career's worth of credibility'

The Washington Post leadership isn't talking about the Mike Wise situation.

Here's spokesperson Kris Coratti: "Mike did not follow our guidelines and has since apologized for it. We take these matters very seriously; however, we do not discuss personnel issues."

In referencing those guidelines, Coratti is presumably referencing a provision that outlaws fabricating. That's essentially what prolific sports columnist Wise did. Yesterday, he tweeted the following words: Roethlisberger will get five games, I'm told. 

It was a hoax designed to flush out all the bloodsucking content leeches on the web. Wise apparently wanted to show how low the standards had sunk for screening news snippets on social media platforms.

Dan Steinberg, who writes the Post's D.C. Sports Bog, says that Wise legitimately wanted to see if other outlets would pick up the news without checking it---most specifically, Pro Football Talk (PFT), says Steinberg.

"I think he has a legitimate complaint," says Steinberg. "If you know Mike Wise at all, I think you should shake your head and say that wasn't a great idea. But that was a Mike Wise gimmick."

Steinberg expresses frustration with outlets that thrive from leveraging the reporting of the Post and other outlets. He takes issue with the contention, aired in this PFT piece, that the escapade cost Wise "all of his credibility."  

"I think it's ridiculous to suggest that," says Steinberg. "Mike Wise has a career's worth of credibility, and does things that literally no other Post sports employee can do, and to suggest that he's somehow forever ruined that because of one stupid stunt is more absurd than the stunt itself."

Resentment toward sites that make hay out of the revelations of newspaper reporters runs pretty deep at the Post. Even Steinberg, among the webbiest of Post reporters, has issues with the proportion of original to recycled material in certain corners of the web. He cites PFT and local sports site SBNationdc. "A big part of SBNation's mission is to steal our shit and repackage it---they take other people’s stuff too."

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