stop the presses get it right for once
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Stop the Presses | Get it right, for once

So he wasn’t dead after all. Though we’d been told that he was dead for several hours.

And his name wasn’t Nader. Or isn’t Nader. (Because he’s still alive. He’s not a was. He’s an is.)

It’s Nidal. Or Nadal. (Or something.)

He did graduate from Virginia Tech. Not in 1997, as had been reported. Tech said today it was 1995.

He did shoot a lot of people. That’s for sure.

I get 24-hour news cycles. It used to be that you had time to check facts before the 6 o’clock news or the nightly news or the news at 11 or the midnight deadline for the morning paper, but we don’t have that luxury anymore, because somebody else might get it out first, and even if it’s wrong, what the hay, you know, we’ll correct it, and life goes on.

I was watching TV the morning of 9/11. The initial reports had the National Mall under attack, the White House and Capitol under attack, a plane aiming for, I think, the Sears Tower in Chicago.

And of course a couple of months ago, on the anniversary of 9/11, there was the infamous reporting live on CNN regarding a possible terror attack on the Potomac near the location of a memorial service being attended by the president that turned out to be police-scanner traffic related to a training exercise.

Numerous examples of us in the media getting it wrong abound.

We’re human. That’s part of it.

But we don’t have to accept the inevitability.

There’s lots of dead air to fill. I get that. We keep treating the news cycle as a garbage disposal, though, and we’re not going to have to keep gnashing the ol’ teeth about why people don’t trust us any more than they trust the average vulture.

  

– Column by Chris Graham

 

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