MSNBC Duped by Fake Pope Benedict Account

Reporting on Pope Benedict XVI's first-ever tweet yesterday, MSNBC producers showed viewers B-roll of a fake Pope Benedict Twitter account while anchor Chris Jansing read off her choice for the June 29 "tweet of the day."

The pontiff doesn't have an official Twitter account and has only tweeted once, on June 28, from the @news_va_en account (video posted after page break):

Dear Friends, I just launched http://t.co/fVHpS9y Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI

Jansing read off that tweet, but MSNBC producers showed on screen an account under the name @PopeBenedictXIV (first picture shown below), which would be Pope Benedict the 14th. The current bishop of Rome is Benedict the Sixteenth (XVI).

In truth, the Pope has no official, personal Twitter account.

To be fair to MSNBC, their producers may have been duped by a fake "Verified Account" listing in the heading of the @PopeBenedictXIV account.

But true "verified" accounts have a blue check mark next to the name of the account, such as the official English-version Vatican news account (second picture below)

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters