Politics

How No One Broke The Santorum Dropout Story

The scoop belonged to no one, as a phantom Washington Post story crossed the Bloomberg wire, only to be disavowed by WaPo. True by accident! (Update: it really was an accident).

The news that Rick Santorum was suspending his presidential campaign broke today with a tweet from a Bloomberg News reporter who cited a Washington Post story with the scoop.

The tweet was retweeted by other Bloomberg reporters and soon everyone was retweeting the Washington Post’s scoop.

Except the Washington Post was saying it didn’t have a story:

Reporters walked back, apologizing for what most assumed was a mistake in crediting on Bloomberg’s part:

However, Bloomberg spokesman Ty Trippet says that the Washington Post’s syndication feed did publish a story that crossed the wire at 1:42 p.m. today, available to all Bloomberg terminal customers.

“They published their story,” Trippet said. “It wasn’t that they mis-credited the story to the Washington Post.”

WaPo’s first story on the website was published at 2:02 p.m. A spokeswoman for the Washington Post didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

If WaPo did have the scoop, they didn’t own up to it — which opened the door for reporters everywhere to call aides and press secretaries in a frenzy, trying to put markers down on the story. But as of now, no one is taking credit for breaking the story.

Update 5:28 p.m.: From Washington Post spokeswoman Kris Coratti, who says that a draft version of WaPo’s story was accidentally put on the wire:
“The draft story was not intended to be published until we confirmed that Santorum was suspending his campaign. The draft was inadvertently sent to Bloomberg, with whom The Post has a partnership, through an automated feed. It was not published on our Web site until the news had been confirmed.”

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