Above the Law, a legal blog, reports that a Georgetown University law professor unwittingly caused a national media frenzy when he began his criminal-law course by telling the class that Chief Justice John Roberts would soon announce his retirement for health reasons. At least one student in the class immediately began sending notes to the outside world.
Within 20 minutes, Radar Online, a gossip site that is a corporate sibling of the National Enquirer, published an "exclusive" about the alleged news. From there the rumor moved on to The Drudge Report and dozens of other blogs.
But the rumor was not true. Halfway through the lecture on the credibility and reliability of informants, the Prof revealed that the Roberts rumor was made up to show how someone you ordinarily think is credible and reliable (i.e., a law professor) can disseminate inaccurate information.