Paige Wiser: "I'm Just Mortified"

Veteran Sun-Times writer fired for faking concert review

By Marcus Riley and BJ Lutz
|  Friday, Jun 10, 2011  |  Updated 9:26 AM CDT
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Paige Wiser: "I'm Just Mortified"

Wiser admits making up elements of the Glee concert review.

Former Chicago Sun-Times TV critic Paige Wiser understands why she lost her job on Thursday.

An admitted lapse in journalistic judgment led her employer to let the 17-year veteran writer go.

"Once you've lost the public's trust, you don't have much left," Wiser told NBCChicago.com.

Wiser was fired after publishing a critique of last weekend's "Glee Live!" performances without staying for the entire performance.

Sun-Times Editor-in-Chief Don Hayner posted an Editor's Note Thursday saying the newspaper strives for accuracy and honesty in reporting and regretted the incident.

"A review... included the mention of a song that was not performed and a description of another song that the critic did not witness," Hayner said in the article.

The post remains on the Sun-Times website, but the text has been stripped.

Wiser says she's "mortified" about the situation and paints a picture of a harried mother literally juggling work and kids at the same time.

"I was told my kids' cutesy reactions would be welcome, so I brought along my 6- and 7-year-old. Jack nearly decapitated himself falling off his seat, and Audrey started murmuring "I'm going to throw up" 10 songs into the set. I made her stick it out for three more songs, saying "This is Mommy's job!," but she looked so green I finally shoved the half-full cotton candy bag at her to throw up in, and hustled her out of there. What I should have done was written that I had to leave early, but I didn't want to let the paper down, so I tried to make the review seem complete by including the encore "Friday" that I'm familiar with. Big mistake. I didn't see it there, so it was a lie."

Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg showed support for his former colleague by posting a statement on her Facebook page saying "Your colleagues here will miss you and the paper, of course, will be the poorer for your absence."

Wiser studied at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern.

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