Tweet Heat: When a mistake is perfect

Tweet Heat: When a mistake is perfect

Green Day/Twitter

The media is known to make mistakes. Some are obviously worse than others.

ABC’s Brian Ross falsely reporting that Trump directed Michael Flynn to contact the Russian government during the 2016 campaign (and not after the election, as the reporter later clarified) was one of the more egregious errors.

The media failing to push back against the George W. Bush administration’s unsubstantiated claims of WMD in Iraq was another series of dark days for journalism.

But sometimes, the stars line up and there’s a smaller error that goes beyond the traditional notions of good or bad journalism and instead is somehow perfect, despite being a flaw itself.

The Washington Post was guilty of one such mistake on Tuesday and Twitter lived up to the occasion.

In an article on Green Day’s 2004 album American Idiot being pushed back on the charts ahead of Trump’s UK visit, the author cited an apparent blog post from frontman Billie Joe Armstrong in which he, shockingly, revealed that the song was about George W. Bush.

As many Twitter users quickly pointed out, the text was from ClickHole, an satirical off-shoot of The Onion.

Some offered consolation.

A few hours after the story was live, the Washington Post eventually offered a correction.

The Onion, however, found at least some comedic fodder in the error.

The WaPo writer appeared less amused.

However, she can find some comfort in the fact that this wasn’t the first time a reporter had fallen for an actual fake news site.

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