Live by the tweet, die by the tweet. That was the lesson for the weekly online news and chat show “What’s Trending,” which up until Friday appeared on the Web site of the old-media behemoth CBS News. The events that led to the end of the relationship between the show, independently produced by Disrupt Group, and CBS were recounted by its host and executive producer, Shira Lazar, in a long and fairly excruciating on-camera mea culpa at the beginning of Tuesday afternoon’s episode:
“Last Friday, a miscommunication in the newsroom resulted in a junior staffer at ‘What’s Trending’ sending a tweet that contained an unchecked, unconfirmed and ultimately untrue report about Steve Jobs.”
The tweet, no longer visible in the @WhatsTrending Twitter stream, reported that Mr. Jobs had died. Other news outlets began to chase the rumor, in some cases attributing it to CBS.