Update: Yesterday, Denver Post sportswriter John Henderson, in London covering the Olympics, tweeted that an event made him "horny" -- a statement that inspired a vigorous (and mostly negative) debate on a national sports-journalism discussion forum; get details in our original coverage below. Moments ago, Henderson got back to us, saying the post was a mistake that wasn't intended for a wider audience.
Here's another look at the tweet:
What went wrong?
"I was having an innocent direct Twitter conversation with a reader before the Opening Ceremonies and she just said a couple things that got me excited," he writes via e-mail. "Somehow, some way, I sent a response to my general Twitter account and not to her directly.
"Her comments made me horny. Not any athlete," he stresses, adding, "Good Lord, that came on the heels of a blog about a 16-year-old girl? I really hope nobody made that connection."
The experience has taught Henderson a lesson. In his words, "I'm new at Twitter and that's the LAST time I'm holding a Twitter conversation with someone I've never met."
Look below to read our earlier coverage.
Original post, 11:37 a.m. July 30: John Henderson, Denver Post sportswriter, is in London covering the Olympics -- and as part of his duties, he's tweeting up a storm on his Twitter account.
Among the messages posted there is one noting that an event made him horny -- an admission that spurred a lengthy conversation on SportsJournalists.com.
Here's the tweet in question:
What was Henderson reporting about when this tweet was sent early Sunday morning Denver time? We've e-mailed Henderson and will confirm if and when he gets back to us. But yesterday, he had bylines on a couple of women's swimming items -- a blog piece about a sixteen-year-old Chinese swimmer, Ye Shiwen (it's actually time-stamped before the tweet), and this article noting that local teen athlete Missy Franklin won her semi-final heat.
At least one local reader was offended by the tweet. A person posting as In the Know wrote the following on an article about CU-Boulder defensive backs:
Thank goodness Kensler is back covering CU for us. Did you see what John Henderson tweeted from the Olympics today? If a Buff did this, they'd be in trouble and he'd write a story about it. Here was the tweet:
@JohnHendersonDP: That was fun. First time I've gotten horny covering the Olympics. Thank you!
What a sicko. Many of those girls are under 18.
In the Know added this:
And web editors: he did post that tweet. Fact. You had better not delete to protect your own; your readers need to know what kind of person he is.
At this writing, the original tweet and the comments above remain in place -- as does the aforementioned SportsJournalists.com thread, which kicks off with the question, "Would your paper be OK with this tweet?" The most common answer: "No." Some examples:
Probably not -- but I may be in the minority.
I would've used a hip 80s phrase like "got sprung." All the mod slackers would be scratching their noggins.
Here's hoping this has a happy ending.
How is this even a debate? There is no way that's OK, and it speaks on our business today if it is.
There is an informality that is associated with Twitter, yes. There is still professionalism expected from professionals who use Twitter as part of their jobs.
Considering he wrote about a 16-year-old girl 12 hours ago, I think he may have some splainin' to do.
No chance in hell...our higher-ups are uber-conservative about what we tweet. At my place there'd be repercussions for something like that.
In addition to reaching out to Henderson, we've sent another note, with a screen capture of the tweet, to Denver Post editor Greg Moore. We'll also update this post when and if he responds.
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