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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Pittsburgh TV station falls for Hines Ward-to-Ravens spoof report

The 6 o’clock morning news at WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh found itself in an embarrassing situation Wednesday after it erroneously reported as fact a satirical story by BroCouncil.com saying that beloved former Steelers receiver Hines Ward signed with the bitter divisional-rival Ravens. Here’s news anchor Todd McDermott first mentioning the “report” in passing as the broadcast transitioned to traffic:

Never mind that free agents can’t sign contracts until Tuesday, or the fact the story is labeled as a spoof, it’s hard to fathom what about Bro Council’s report made the folks at WPXI think it was real, what with tidbits like the following:

“Ward was also the last active Steeler on the roster to play in Three Rivers Stadium, and the first Steelers player to have a stadium named after him.”

“Team president Art Rooney II didn’t have much to say after hearing the news, but he did say that he was sad to see him go to the Ravens and that ‘Pittsburgh Steeler football may not be the same without him, but his smile was pretty creepy anyway.'”

Eventually, WPXI became privy to the joke and, less than 20 minutes after the first mention, filed this retraction:

“In a world of lightning-quick information, we erroneously used information from a spoof web site,” WPXI news director Mike Goldrick told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We promise to be more vigilant and tighter measures have been put in place.”

Let’s just hope Goldrick doesn’t know what The Onion is.

H/T Deadspin
Photo via Bro Council

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