Reporters apologized for spreading a fake New York Times story bashing Rick Perry Thursday after new facts came to light that undermined the main focus of the story.
I'm about to delete this tweet, which spread the rumor about Perry not knowing what energy sec does. I think it's false. https://t.co/m9oxf7a54n
— Jesse Singal (@jessesingal) January 19, 2017
“I’m about to delete this tweet, which spread the rumor about Perry not knowing what energy sec does,” New York Magazine writer Jesse Singal wrote on Twitter, referring to an earlier tweet sharing the story. “I think it’s false.”
The New York Times reported that when Perry accepted the nomination for Secretary of Energy, he “initially misunderstood” the job and had no clue that the energy secretary is in charge of safeguarding the nuclear arsenal.
The source for the Times story, former Trump transition official Michael McKenna, told the Daily Caller Wednesday that the Times misinterpreted him and “of course” Perry understood that the Department of Energy role includes controlling the nation’s nuclear arsenal.
Journalists initially cheered the report, but started criticizing the Times story and sharing articles that debunked the original story after it was discovered that the report was false.
“I officially retract my snarky Rick Perry tweet c/o the NYT,” writer Andrew Heaton wrote on Twitter. “I stand by my snarky Dancing with the Stars tweets.” Asked why he was retracting in a reply to his tweet, he added: “It appears the NYT had a pre-existing opinion and then slopped some dubious reporting on top to confirm.”
“Im retracting last 2 tweets,” Vanity Fair editor and Newsweek senior writer Kurt Eichenwald Tweeted. “Someone pointed out there are now questions if NYT allegations on Rick Perry are true.”
Im retracting last 2 tweets. Someone pointed out there are now questions if NYT allegations on Rick Perry are true. https://t.co/6R5TD5rYnL
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) January 19, 2017
“Since I tweeted the NYTimes story, I’ll tweet this repudiation from their source,” Huffington Post reporter Natalie Jackson Tweeted. “Deleting my initial tweet.”
The Times still stands by its story, however, citing several high-level sources that were not mentioned in the piece, Erik Wemple of the Washington Post reported on Twitter.