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Apparently it spread virally across the blogosphere this week — the stunning news that Chief Justice John Roberts was about to retire.
But it wasn't true. The real story, which you can read here at abovethelaw.com, is that at the beginning of his lecture on the credibility and reliability of informants, a Georgetown professor of criminal law told his class in confidence that Roberts was stepping down for health reasons. Half an hour later the prof revealed he'd made it up, but by then the students had text-messaged the story far and wide. Skinbacks followed at sites such as HuffPo and RadarOnLine.
It all goes to show! In the age of the Internet, communication is not only instantaneous but far too credulous. Even a respected authority figure can tell a lie and be believed.