The joke was obvious to most but not Mashable.com writer Charlie White who headlined a post “Rainn Wilson Caught in $12K Tweet For Pay? [VIRAL EMBARRASSMENT]. “

Does actor and comedian Rainn Wilson really love fast food eatery Del Taco? Take a look at this trio of tweets Wilson sent, and tell us if you think he really does believe that the Del Taco Macho Bellgrande Burrito is actually as “Beeftacular™” as he tweets.

Just before Wilson, a star of TV series The Officetweeted his endorsement of the oversized folded-up meat pies, he instructed his assistant to tell the company he would accept $12,000 for what appears to be a paid plug on Twitter.

Apparently realizing he confused a direct message with a tweet, 4 minutes later he tweets, “Please disregard last tweet – was a private text to my assistant.”

Private, indeed. Present company excluded, maybe the old adage “believe nothing of what you read and only half of what you see” would be applicable in this case. What do you think? Did Wilson make a huge mistake, or is this a publicity stunt for Del Taco?

White clearly missed the gag, but if you visit the page now, you’ll find the headline has been changed to “Rain Wilson Satirizes Paid Tweets”.

The error was revised a few hours after posting and the top of the post now contains a notation of the correction, saying:

Editor’s Note: Our original headline suggested Rainn Wilson may have accepted money for a tweet. That is not the case. The series of tweets were intended as satire. We apologize for the error.

Further, the url of the post was changed from:
http://mashable.com/2011/10/26/rainn-wilson-caught-12k-tweet

To:
http://mashable.com/2011/10/26/rainn-wilson-satire

The posts author responded to a comment pointing out that Wilson was joking, while others voiced uncertainty: