Several media outlets on Friday were forced to walk back articles announcing a definite presidential run by Mitt Romney for 2016.The now-altered headline of that article, preserved at the Huffington Post and Muckrack, was "Why Mitt Romney Thinks He Can Win (and Jeb Bush Can't)." The piece clearly suggested that Romney was running. Accompanying it was this tweet:
The spark began with Bloomberg News, which published a scoop early Friday morning by Mark Halperin reporting that Romney would declare his intentions about whether to run. That of course turned out to be accurate.
But then the trouble began....
To be clear: I don't know what @MittRomney will say this morning, but every talk I've had w/ Mitt World leads me to believe he will run— Mark Halperin (@MarkHalperin) January 30, 2015
After Romney announced he was running, Rick Massimo wrote this in my comments:
I'd really like to know how Mark Halperin spent his day. If he has any self-respect, or even pretensions at being a journalist, he'd have spent the day (and the next couple of days) calling (or better yet barging past the secretaries of) the sources for his original story and saying, in different combinations, "What the fuck?!" "I hope you don't think I'm ever quoting YOU again" and "You think I don't have other sources, some of whom have some pretty uncomplimentary shit to say about YOU?!"I would have severed all lines of communication, at least for the weekend, and either crawled into bed or started drinking heavily. But Rick's suggestion is very good.
But who am I kidding? He wrote what they told him. Next week, he'll write what they tell him again.
What did Halperin do? Among other things, he did his regular Web video show, which included this:
No, that's not a joke:
But why am I expecting shame from Halperin? Why am I expecting him to reveal any sign that he feels humiliated? When you're a Beltway insider journalist, there's no penalty for being wrong -- ever.