In October of 2014, online sports news website, Deadspin published a story that questioned what U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner has said publicly about his time playing high school football.
Deadspin’s story suggested Gardner didn’t play any football, but it was incorrect. Editor Tommy Craggs wrote an apology with the headline, “How Deadspin Fucked Up The Cory Gardner Story.” This headline was very blunt and straight to the point, bond to get reader’s attention for the apology.
The post explained what went wrong and Craggs also made it clear that he understood the irony from their mistakes:
“… the most damning implication of our story, that Gardner didn’t actually play high school ball, is wrong. That’s shitty of us. As serial collectors of media fuck-ups, we add this self-portrait to the gallery. For more thorough coverage, you can read Erik Wemple over at the Post. As I told Wemple—and I sincerely meant it—given that our main source went and unsaid everything he’d said 24 hours earlier, the only thing for us to do now is to eat shit.”
Not every publication can use this strong language and tone that Craggs used in his apology. What was important about this apology is that he gave himself and his staff at Deadspin attention for their false reporting and made it clear that they deserved criticism for it. He also pointed Deadspin readers to another external critic’s article as well at Washington Post.