I love a good rumor as much as the next guy. But the notion of Apple buying Twitter for $700 million (or any price) isn't a good rumor. It isn't even a good April Fools' joke. And if by some apocalyptic event this deal actually transpires, I will eat my fedora with a heaping bowl of salsa picante.
The original source of this silliness appears to be Owen Thomas of Valleywag, aka the Perez Hilton of high tech, who cites "a source who's plugged into the Valley's deal scene and has been recruited by Apple for a senior position."
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Translation: He's unemployed and probably drinking his breakfast. And that "senior position" at Apple? It's actually a position at a retirement home, distributing apples to seniors. You know how bad those cell calls can get.
Owen, I love ya babe. You are the Yoda of snark. But Seymour Hersh you are not.
If Valleywag had the story, though, TechCrunch certainly couldn't leave it alone. So Captain Crunch himself pens a short note both spreading the rumor and pooh-poohing it at the same time, while offering up this classic: "We would have passed on reporting this rumor at all, but other press is now picking it up."
Translation: We don't believe this story is true (and we'll believe practically anything). But we'd never let our ethical standards get in the way of a juicy story, especially when somebody else is beating us to it.
That's all it took for the rest of the blogo-newso-twitto-sphere to pick up on it, adding their own special seasonings to the mix. By the time the story got to Wired, the guy had already been hired: "...a senior employee at Apple told gossip blog Valleywag....".
Congrats, whoever you are. And by the way, if Saint Steve discovers your fondness for chatting up Valleywag, your career in Cupertino will be shorter than the life span of a mayfly.
Welcome to the wonderful world of unfiltered Web reporting. Accuracy? Feh. Finding sources who actually know what they're talking about -- or even multiple ones? Get real. It's all about speed.