Amanpour's ABC Exit Announcement Spurred By New York Times Reporter's Twitter Gaffe

4:03 PM PST 12/14/2011 by Erin Carlson
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Brian Stelter inadvertently forced the network to confirm the host's departure by sending an intended direct message to more than 97,000 followers on the social-networking site.

New York Times reporter Brian Stelter has something in common with Anthony Weiner. Like the disgraced congressman, Stelter unintentionally broadcast a private direct message -- or "DM" -- on Twitter to his entire Twitter feed. (In Stelter's case, that's 97,000 followers-and-counting).

Unlike Weiner, Stelter's DM was not salacious. On Tuesday, the journalist -- who covers media and television for the Times -- tried to confirm Christiane Amanpour's exit from ABC's This Week by sending a DM to a source on the social-networking site. Instead, he majorly messed up and made it public. The offending tweet: "I'm hearing that Amanpour is formally out of 'This Week' -- though only from a single source -- are you hearing the same?" In a further display of whoops, he even posted his work phone number.

Realizing his mistake, Stelter immediately tweete a response to his flub: "Well, that was embarrassing. That was supposed to be a DM." His network largely supported him, with the Washington Post's Erik Wemple tweeting: "Just good reporting there. Nothing to be ashamed of." In the end, the snafu backfired in a good way: Stelter was able to find more sources through Twitter to match his Amanpour intel and publish an official story.

"3 Reasons I didn't delete accidental tweet: people had already read it; some had retweeted it; it needed to be explained," Stelter said in a later post.

As media reporter Michael Calderone notes at the Huffington Post, Stelter's mistweet indirectly spread word of Amanpour's exit, confirming months of rumors that she would be leaving the Sunday morning news program -- and prompting ABC to issue a statement from Amanpour hours later.

Stelter, who's said he wished he could live in the Twitter feed, was apparently too busy reporting -- and tweeting about it -- to respond to requests for comment.

 

 

 

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