The editor-in-chief of USA TODAY has tweeted words of support this morning for John Pickering, a Bloomberg News editor fired last week for inputting and tweeting out an incorrect breaking-news headline.
The Thursday mistake, which misreported a trial verdict pertaining to former Goldman Sachs vice-president Fabrice Tourre, was noted by The Huffington Post. On Friday, Keith Kelly of the New York Post followed with the news that Pickering, the editor responsible for the upside-down headline, had been fired.
The tweet from Callaway seems to reflect a general sentiment in the media ranks that termination was too harsh a penalty for the mistake. As Kelly points out, one of the comments on The Huffington Post article appears to have come from Pickering’s son Jack (see below), who suggests that his dad was a scapegoat.
Also per HuffPo, Joseph Weisenthal, executive editor of The Business Insider, noted on Twitter at the time that the mistaken headline made it on to Bloomberg TV’s ticker. While Weisenthal suggested that the error did not have any noticeable impact on Goldman Sachs’ stock price and August 1 market trading, that potential reverberation is perhaps why the punishment for Pickering was so severe.