Casa Grande Arrest

Officers from a multi-agency task force arrest an unidentified man at a Casa Grande strip mall.

Another late night tweet by President Donald Trump has social media buzzing.

A Wednesday tweet from the president contained the mystifying nonword “covfefe.”


The full tweet was “Despite the constant negative press covfefe”.

Obviously the tweet was a typo. Probably an unfinished sentence the president sent out thinking it was complete. He then went to bed and the tweet stayed up for almost six hours before it was deleted.

It is too bad the typo was part of another of the president’s endless bashes of the media, because he probably couldn’t have found a more sympathetic audience.

Who among us journalists hasn’t sent out an embarrassing tweet or made a typo in a breaking news story posted on Facebook?

It is just part of the travails these days of working in “real time” on multiple information platforms.

From the New York Times to CBS News, there have been plenty of “oops” on social media in the quest to get the news out as fast as you can.

The Boston Globe once called an “investigation” an “investifarted,” which led John Oliver of HBO to quip it should have been a hashtag.

Earlier this year I had a doozy of a mistake that entertained some of our Facebook followers on their lunch hour.

Unlike the president’s covfefe, my goof lasted less than an hour. But immediately afterwards, it seemed like it went on for an eternity.

Here’s how it went down:

Our photographer, Oscar Perez, came upon an FBI bust outside a Casa Grande strip mall just before noon. He got some great photos of agents hustling to get the cuffed suspect into a vehicle. He emailed the photos to me and then called in a brief story with the information he was able to get from an officer at the scene.

While I was typing up the story, Oscar told me the source of the information was “according to an undercover plainclothes officer at the scene.” Somehow in my transcription “undercover plainclothes officer at the scene” became “unclothed officer at the scene.”

I filed the story to our website and headed off on my lunch hour.

As I was driving, my phone pinged several times. But I have learned all the lessons of distracted driving, so I figured it could wait until I got to my destination.

I forgot about the phone while I went through my noon workout at the gym and didn’t check it until 30 minutes later.

That was when the shock hit as I read texts from staff about how Facebook was having a field day with my mistake in the story.

One woman posted “I wish I was there to see that.” Another said, “I am wondering what the officer had their badge pinned to.” And my favorite: “The unclothed officer had all the bare facts!”

I immediately went into the story and corrected it. Rather than just ignore, or delete the posts on our Facebook page, I decided to laugh along with the audience. I posted “oops” and stated the story had been corrected along with a quip, “I guess you could say he wasn’t under cover.”

Of course, the Twitterverse has had a field day with the president’s recent “oops.”

One user tweeted that New York’s hottest nightclub is #Covfefe. “It has everything: Russian entanglements, spray tans, creepy handshakes, surprise trade wars.”

Even the president joined in. (At least that is my interpretation; you can never be sure with Trump.)

The next morning he tweeted out the challenge: “Who can figure out the true meaning of “covfefe” ??? Enjoy!”

The president and I have at least one thing in common: We have both been victims of #Braininvestifarts.


Andy Howell is assistant managing editor. He can be reached at ahowell@pinalcentral or 520-423-8614.