Harry Marks rounds up all the excuses from major publications who falsely reported on Monday that Google bought ICOA. Not a single apology, but lots of finger-pointing.

Update: Matt Panzarino at TheNextWeb contacted Harry and pointed out that they did apologize for posting the wrong information on their Web site.

I think Matt and TheNextWeb are missing the bigger point here. They didn’t do their jobs. Posting the story in the first place was the big mistake. Picking at Harry because they did, in fact, admit to not doing their jobs is a pointless exercise that only makes people like me point out once again that they didn’t do their jobs.

Next time, leave it alone and take your lumps for not doing your job.

  • The web’s had this problem for a while. Where does blogging end and journalism begin?

    • studuncan

      With checking facts.

      • chjode


  • mje267

    So, in a world where tech bloggers need to publish within seconds or else they loose their job or their site’s relevancy, they are also suppose to get complete confirmation before posting? All of these sites probably contacted Google, but they also needed to run the story right-away for fear of being too late. Not all publications have the same resources as AllThingsD. Yes, confirmation is dandy…but so isn’t time. You can’t have your cake and eat it too in this day and age.

    • I wonder how often I could give my boss the excuse “Yeah, I utterly failed to do the job you pay me for – but hey, I was on a deadline” before I got shit-canned.

    • studuncan

      tech bloggers are not PR regurgitators.

      You didn’t see the original story on the loop, did you?

      ATD has the same resources the others do. They were the only ones to wait for the confirmation. The rest can suck it in their failure to be FIRST.

    • you can try to be “first” or you can try to be “best.” All Things D goes with the “best” route while a lot of sites goes for “first.” Getting a story wrong is one of the dangers of always trying to be first, but you should at least be willing to admit that you fucked up if you got it wrong.

  • Many bloggers (and their sites) take great offense when people claim they are not journalists. However, incidents like these are why people make those claims. Very few bloggers perform actual journalism. They simply regurgitate information, the more inflammatory (especially if it’s at Apple’s expense) the better, as to generate page views.

  • “Mistakes were made.”

    • “Lessons were NOT learned”

      • They sure weren’t. But passive-voice evasion language was handed down without incident.

    • True Story: When you blow yourself up with your own grenade in ‘Call of Duty MW3″, your kill notice says exactly that.

      “His Shadow: (grenade icon) Mistakes were made.”

      There are many in web “journalism” who should be falling on a few more virtual grenades if they wish to be taken seriously. Research your claims. Own your screwups.

  • John W Baxter

    The right process for reading internet news, given that something breaks today. Be sure to get the sequence right. 1. Today: ignore the whole thing 2. Tomorrow: look for retractions 3. Tomorrow: if still interested, read the news item.

  • What needs more discussion is the fact that all the bloggers who “made a mistake” were (unwittingly) complicit in what was most likely a pump-and-dump stock manipulation scheme — and it’s far from the first time it’s happened.

  • Bob

    I love the update. Hilarious.

  • mje267

    The tech blogosphere world is way too judgey, snarky, and pretentious. Jim is too for giving this snafu the time of day. Why? Well, even the world’s best journalist make “mistakes,” and, believe it or not, this fake presser story is still a story. All the writers linked above essentially got two stories in one… and they were first. If they had the shoulder-rubbing skills of Kara Swisher, they’d even get a quote from Google and ICOA on the matter. But, alas, not everyone has Silicon Valley executives in their back-pockets, so they make do and try to be first on the news that matters most to readers. You may fault them for choosing to be first over the best, but obviously readers don’t care…because the sites keep on’a kicking and breaking news.

    • Bullshit.

    • “Judgey”? Try “accurate.”

      Without having admitted making mistakes like this, the bloggers you’re defending will rarely earn the level of trust that Swisher has—which is one of the reasons why important people talk to her.

      Without having admitted their mistakes, the sites you’re defending aren’t “breaking” anything resembling news.

      Given what you consider “journalism,” I suggest you crawl back under your hair dryer at the salon with a copy of Weekly World News.

      • mje267

        And this is what I meant by judgey.

        • Yes, judgey. I have standards for what I consider to be “news” that’s actually worth my attention. I expect my sources to have better standards than I do.

          Does everyone in your world get an award just for showing up?

          • I’m Participating!

          • Congratulations, Shadow. You’re now a journalist in mje267’s universe.

            And don’t worry about quality; he sets the bar pretty low.