Friday, Jul. 03, 2009

4) The Mainstream Media Is Cautious and Slow, but Accurate

In one spectacular instance, at least, it was not. After last week's hat trick of celebrity deaths (Jackson, Farah Fawcett and Ed McMahon), broadcast journalist Richard Wilkins on Australia's Today Show didn't bother to check reports that hit the internet about another celebrity death — Jeff Goldblum, who is still alive — and ended up wearing face omelet. The lack of confirmation, this report notes, didn't stop the show's producers from putting together a quickie tribute montage. Other outlets, unsure of the reporting but forced to fill pages or air time on Jackson, made liberal use of the word "reportedly," while quoting each other. (See above reference to O.K.! magazine.)