Well, he had news. Except it may not have been news or accurate. In other words, he got news. And now Charles Johnson, the editor-in-chief of GotNews, is coming clean.
In a humble apology along with the uncorrected post, he asked readers for their forgiveness Tuesday for running pictures of Rolling Stone’s famed rape accuser Jackie” that may, in reality, not be her. He says they may be her, but he’s not chancing it anymore.
Johnson has been under siege for running the pictures. Even The Washington Post took time out of its awfully busy schedule to publish a story Tuesday calling him “the day’s most vilified blogger.”
It’s a profile that especially pissed off WaPo‘s top ME reporter Wesley Lowery, who has often brawled with Johnson. “Profiling a mentally unstable person who unethically harasses and stalks people for fun/attention seems counterproductive,” Lowery bitched on Twitter, majorly subtweeting his own paper. And when The Washington Post tweeted the story, Lowery replied simply, “Nope.” As if they give a rat’s ass whether Wesley Lowery reads or approves of the story or not.
Bloomberg‘s Dave Weigel called the WaPo story “irresponsibly fluffy.” The Daily Caller‘s Matt Lewis, meanwhile, said WaPo‘s story would only serve to “fuel Johnson’s narcissism for years to come.”
Confessional: I’d have lunch any day of my whole life with Johnson over either dopey Lowery or Weigel. As for Lewis, I have lunched with him and it was enjoyable. I am not entering him into this contest.
In his apology note posted on his site, Johnson wrote, “I apologize. I consulted with two photographic experts and I made a judgment call based on the evidence above. In the rush to publish, I screwed up and ask your forgiveness. This is a start up and while I’ve broken many stories before everyone else, I’m still human and make mistakes.”
Johnson says he still “honestly doesn’t know” if the photograph is Jackie. He thinks it’s “very possible” that it is, but he’s not willing to absolutely bank on it.
“Truth must be our standard,” he wrote. “It is mine.”