Burning Questions for the New York Times About That Fake WikiLeaks Op-Ed
Yes, we know by now that WikiLeaks punked former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller with a fake op-ed over the weekend, and they fooled NYT tech reporter Nick Bilton in the process. But I have so many burning questions for Bilton. Here’s what I want to know:
- Why did you Tweet the link in the first place? To anyone who read the piece, it was clear that it was a fake. The biggest giveaway: two spaces after the first sentence. Come on – even the New York Times has moved beyond the typewriter.
- You initially called the op-ed an “Important piece”. Now that you know that it wasn’t written by Keller, do you still think it’s important? Or was it just that you didn't actually read it?
- You didn’t read it, did you, Nick?
- Seriously, you were just sucking up to your former boss, right?
- In your retraction Tweet, you wrote: “I just deleted a Tweet sent late last night that was from a fake NYT Bill Keller account.” Do you really think that’s a retraction? That’s like a toddler going poo-poo in his diaper and saying, “I just went poo-poo in my diaper," and then just standing there, waiting for someone to clean it up.
- What would be more embarrassing, to say you were fully taken in by the prank and believed all along that the op-ed was written by Keller? Or to admit that you didn’t actually read it but Tweeted that it was “important” anyway?
- After notifying Twitter that the @nytkeIler account might have been a fake, why did you leave your original Tweet up for so long?
- Are you seriously still using Flickr?
- Two days later, you Tweeted an Instagram photo of your dog near a San Francisco beach with the comment, “There are certain parts of SF that literally look fake." Who can we even trust anymore? Could that, too, be the sorcery of WikiLeaks?
- Shouldn’t the same corrections standard that applies to the New York Times also be applied to NYT reporters using Twitter to disseminate “news”?
- Sorry that I’m doing this just after Arrington beat up on you about the Craiglist thing. I like you as a reporter, too, and I’m on your side in that debate. No hard feelings?
- But seriously, did you read that actual fake op-ed? And if not, how about you just come clean?