Jessica Roy, a writer for The Los Angeles Times, was called out for spreading fake news on Twitter about Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and has since apologized for tweeting an unverified story.
On Thursday, after it was announced that McCain was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain tumor, Roy decided to get a jab in at the expense of the senator. She tweeted:
Roy was later asked to produce the letter but said her friend had recently moved and could only say it was “in a box somewhere.” The Washington Free Beacon explains the rest:
Roy's friend posted on Facebook claiming she wrote to McCain after her husband was kicked off Arizona's state Medicaid agency. She alleges that McCain wrote back suggesting they move out of Arizona "because he did not consider health insurance (and thus, access to healthcare itself) a human right."
But later, Roy's friend updated her Facebook post. She now revealed that it was an insurance judge who first recommended they move out of state, and that McCain's office "may only have been parroting back what the Judge told us."
She added that "although I have copies of all my correspondence," she could not find the letter in question.
That’s when Roy knew she was in trouble and deleted the tweet, followed by a two-part apology:
But the damage had already been done. Her tweet had nearly 11,000 retweets before it was deleted, meaning the fake news had spread fast. Contrast that with her retraction which was retweeted under 200 times as of this writing. Big difference.
No apology can make up for that kind of off-the-cuff, emotional “journalism.”