Dana Wessel's fake Obama quote reprinted without attribution in San Jose Mercury News

Categories: Media beefs
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Aaron Gleeman
Wessel (right) reacts to a Sid Hartman question during Ricky Rubio's introductory press conference last year.
As a producer at 1500 ESPN, Dana Wessel mostly operates behind the scenes.

SEE ALSO: Fox 9 led last night's 10 o'clock newscast with a real head-scratcher of a story [VIDEO]

But he's a funny guy to follow on Twitter. In fact, he proved to be a little too funny this week for the San Jose Mercury News' Elliott Almond.

On Tuesday, Wessel, an avid soccer fan, offered up this tweet: Donovan won an MLS championship last year as a member of the L.A. Galaxy, and on Tuesday his team visited the White House. Wessel's joke referred to the fact that Donovan, citing fatigue, wasn't playing in that night's U.S.-Mexico World Cup qualifier in Mexico City -- though he still had time to get there if Obama gave him a lift.

While hunting for quotes for Twitter, the Mercury News' Almond came across Wessel's tweet. He then used it as the centerpiece to his subsequent news report without citing where the quote came from or bothering to verify it was real:

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Wessel later clarified that the Obama quote was indeed not real: Meanwhile, an embittered Almond tried to poke a bit of fun at himself over the gaffe: Bafflingly, the original Mercury News story, complete with the fake Obama quote, remained online for many hours before it was finally pulled yesterday afternoon. Meanwhile, Almond's gaffe was covered in a Media Bistro blog post, but fittingly, they made a mess of it by referring to Dana as a woman and by quoting an off-the-record email Wessel sent them: The ironies, apparently, never cease -- the "guy" Wessel refers to is named Betsy Rothstein.

:::: UPDATE ::::

Regarding his "Solid work, bud" tweet, Wessel offered up this clarification:

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