ABC’s tendency to perform routine “news drills” resulted in a confusing Twitter mix-up involving ABC News’ own Jake Tapper.
@ABCWorldNews tweeted “President Obama will name Elena Kagan his nominee for the Supreme Court, @jaketapper reports.” Which would have been very exciting news indeed had it been true. Unfortunately, Jack Tapper never reported such a thing. He immediately responded via Twitter, writing “@ABCWorldNews no I dont” and then responding to others who had re-Tweeted the news.
ABC later deleted the original Tweet and issued an apology, writing “@ABCWorldNews: Disregard Supreme Court tweet â€“ Big mistake on our part here. A misunderstanding within the building. @lensmith22.”
So what was this misunderstanding? What happened was that ABC, as it does from time to time, set up a “news drill.” They explained to Mediaite that an enthusiastic DA prematurely Tweeted (haha, ew) news that was only meant to provide practice on how to report on a breaking story:
Tapper, and others, were reporting a fictitious news event over an internal loudspeaker. The “report” was preceded by DRILL DRILL DRILL FOR DRILL PURPOSES THIS IS NOT TRUE followed by the “story.” Apparently, a DA whose responsibility it was to “cover” this only heard the “report” part and tweeted it thinking it was real.