Claim: An Associated Press dispatch mistakenly sent out to newspapers included home phone numbers for hundreds of well-known sports figures.
Example:[Collected on the Internet, 2004]
Some clown from AP Sports put his entire rolodex in a story and sent it out ... Someone is handing him a brightly colored pink slip as we speak. So many good names... can't wait to drunk dial Steinbrenner & Bush
Alfano, Pete (ATP)
Allen Doug (NFLPA)
Armato Leonard (agent for Shaq, atty for Kareem)
Atlanta Organizing Committee (Bob Brennan)
Origins: We've truncated the list to the 'A' entries and removed the phone numbers in the example reproduced above, but it is a real excerpt from an Associated Press dispatch inadvertently sent out to newspaper sports departments on 7 January 2004. The full list included home phone numbers for hundreds of current and former professional athletes, managers, and coaches from a wide variety of sports, as well as team owners, league officials, agents, lawyers, news outlets, and media rating companies. (Many of the entries on the list are obviously out-of-date; some of the people included, such as former Anaheim Angels owner Gene Autry, have passed away.)
The transmission of the list was soon followed by a second dispatch advising recipients to "Disregard" the previous dispatch.
According to the Los Angeles Times:
An AP spokesman called it an "inadvertent transmission."
Said Times Sports Editor Bill Dwyre: "Knowing [AP sports editor] Terry Taylor, there's going to be an opening in her department."
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