The biggest reporting botch during Hurricane Sandy goes to the National Weather Service with CNN as a close second. Meanwhile, credit for correcting that report goes to Politico‘s Ben White.
Asked if something felt off about CNN’s report, White told FishbowlDC, “The reports seemed unlikely to me and poorly sourced so I reached out to a source of mine.”
In the 9 p.m. hour EDT on Piers Morgan’s show Monday, CNN’s Chad Myers cited “a report” from the National Weather Service that the New York Stock Exchange floor had flooded. WaPo‘s Erik Wemple has more on how this played out with CNN retracting the report, fessing up that it was based on a chat bulletin and then later stating that once again it was an official report.
At BuzzFeed, Andrew Kaczynski tracks how one anonymous Twitter user helped spread the false report, among others.
Emerging as the hero here is White, who reports on finance and Wall Street… Shortly after the erroneous report about NYSE’s floor flooding gained traction, White tweeted that it was wrong. “NYSE official tells me reports of water on the floor of the Exchange are FALSE,” he reported at about 9:45 p.m.
Since then, White has been retweeted nearly 400 times. CNN didn’t cite him, but later issued a correction via Twitter roughly 30 minutes after White.