By Mark Memmott
In less than 20 minutes the Reuters news agency just went from reporting what would have been major news -- a reversal by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on its opposition to major climate change legislation -- to saying that the scoop was a "hoax."
At 11:10 a.m. ET, Reuters issued this "alert":
US CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SAYS WILL NO LONGER OPPOSE CLIMATE CHANGE LEGISLATION, WANTS CARBON TAX IN SENATE BILL
That would be quite a surprise, given the Chamber's high-profile opposition to the Waxman-Markey and Kerry-Boxer bills -- opposition that has led some high profile members, including Apple and Levi Strauss, to leave the organization in recent weeks.
At 11:29 a.m. ET, though, Reuters followed with this:
CORRECTED-US CHAMBER SAYS STATEMENT THAT CHAMBER HAS DROPPED OPPOSITION TO CLIMATE CHANGE BILL A "HOAX"
Earlier this month, Chamber President/CEO Thomas Donohue laid out the Chamber's thinking on climate change. He said then that the Chamber believes the Waxman-Markey Bill would drive up the cost of doing business and end up costing the nation jobs. The nation needs "sensible regulation," he said:
Update at 11:45 a.m. ET: It looks like someone put together a very convincing website and press release that are not actually from the Chamber.
Two things that have tipped off skeptics: The fake "press release" misspells Donohue's name; and the phone number for contact information doesn't match any of the phone numbers at the real Chamber.