Thursday, March 18, 2010

White House tweets bad info on Catholic nuns in health care debate

Here's how Twitter can amplify the consequential media mess accompanying the health care debate.

NETWORK, a group claiming to represent 59,000 Catholic religious sisters, endorses the Senate bill.

The AP reports this endorsement, also reporting their claimed size.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs then tweets the AP story to 38,000 people, calling it an "IMPORTANT HEALTH CARE ENDORSEMENT." (caps his)

At least ten dozen people then repeat the press secretary's information via Twitter.

According to the (unreliable) stats for Gibbs' link, the link received 1,735 clicks and was tweeted 100 times. The AP story was shared 234 times on Facebook, where it collected 223 "likes" and 230 comments.

The Catholic bishops' spokeswoman then responds: “The letter had 55 signatories, some individuals, some groups of three to five persons. One endorser signed twice,” she added. “There are 793 religious communities in the United States.”

Let's see if either the AP or Gibbs follow up.

Associated Press: own your mistakes!

Secretary Gibbs: own your tweets!

(American Papist is also on the story. And technically the "nuns" are properly known as religious sisters.)

Twitter: @PressSec, @CnaLive, @AmericanPapist, @kevinjjones


LovelyRitaMeterMaid said...

I couldn't agree more. It's about time Washington admits fault for careless reporting.

Anonymous said...

Gibbs, Axelrod, and Plouffe are all intellectually dishonest, to the bone.