Editor’s Note: We updated this story based off new information that a HLNtv.Com editor was responsible for the error, not the author.
When someone is involved in a controversy, especially if the controversy originated on Twitter, a common tactic is to delete or scrub their Twitter accounts. However, Brian Williams, currently in the midst of a major controversy regarding his previous claims about a helicopter ride during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, has not tweeted from his Twitter account. However, it gives the impression that he has and that has thrown two journalists when writing their stories about the matter.
In the original story on Stars and Stripes, reporter Travis Tritten wrote, “Late Wednesday, Williams’ Twitter account, with 212,000 followers, appeared to have been wiped clean.” That sentence has since been deleted from the article, with no editor’s note or mention of the error and subsequent deletion. According to the Internet Archive, the passage had been deleted by 10:46 P.M., Wednesday night. The original article had been published earlier that day, prior to 5 P.M.
An article on HLN’s website an HLNtv.Com editor also incorrectly said that Williams had deleted his tweets. CNNCommentary first spotted the error. HLN had also tweeted from its main account that Williams had deleted his tweets. The original tweet is still up, but we have taken a screenshot in the event that it is deleted.
In contrast to the Stars and Stripes article, HLN updated its article to say that the error had been made and corrected. Taurianen also owned up to the mistake on Twitter.
@CommentaryCNN hey, we all make mistakes! good catch. The story has been updated: http://t.co/Pf3s33F33p
— Jackie Taurianen (@yackyjackie123) February 9, 2015
TKNN has reached out to the Senior Managing Editor at Stars and Stripes for comment on why there was no mention of the correction. We have not heard back, but we will update if we do.