'I am @TimesPublicEdit': Author of Brisbane parody account unveiled

Scratchbomb.com | New York Observer

Matthew Callan, a writer and Queens resident, announced Wednesday morning that he is the author of the @TimesPublicEdit Twitter account parodying New York Times Public Editor Arthur Brisbane.

Matthew Callan is @TimesPublicEdit.

His announcement was forced by the New York Observer outing him Tuesday night. He also, however, speaks at length about his recent viral tweet that joked "CNN is reporting that Anderson Cooper is straight."

"This tweet was RT’ed and faved to an extent far beyond my wildest imaginings," Callan writes. And as we reported here on Poynter.org, "it was also assumed to be the work of the actual New York Times‘ public editor by some news outlets that failed to perform a few extra seconds of due diligence."

Here was his response to Poynter's coverage and the news orgs who mistook him for the real Brisbane:

I took offense to Poynter’s implication that it was my intent to fool people, when all I really wanted to do with @TimesPublicEdit was make dumb jokes about food trucks and Paul Krugman. Any journalist who performed due diligence–clicking on the bio to check its veracity–would not have been “tricked.” I’m no more responsible for someone thinking @TimesPublicEdit was real than I am for someone mistaking a fencepost in my front yard for a baguette. Twitter’s been around for several years, and I’d like to think we’ve reached the point where checking an account’s pedigree would be par for the course for a journalist who wants to quote that Twitter account in their publication. I’m not a journalist, but I’d still say that failing to take the extra few seconds necessary to recognize @TimesPublicEdit as parody is painfully lazy.

Callan also explains the origins of the account, how it was suspended by Twitter after the CNN incident and his battle to restore it.

Earlier: Fake NYT ombudsman Twitter account tricks some journalists and Page Six (Poynter)

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    Jeff Sonderman

    Jeff Sonderman is the deputy director of the American Press Institute, helping to lead its use of research, tools, events, and strategic insights to advance and sustain journalism.


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