Friday, May 31, 2013

Panic Storm: Media Post Bogus Reports, Fools Retweet It

May 31, 2013 - 8:30 PM CDT - The tornado outbreak in the nation's midsection today caused a lot of panic, and news rooms were not immune. A bogus report of "mass casualties" at a Holiday Inn in Earth City,  Missouri by a Fox News affiliate today worried a lot of people unnecessarily.

There was also the bogus report of people trapped under rubble at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, which also must have frightened a lot of people. Fox is not the only media outlet today to pass along outlandishly bad information. AccuWeather and KMOV St. Louis were also guilty of horrifically irresponsible journalism. It's as though these "journalists" were more concerned with beating their competition to publish online than they were with actually confirming what it was they were reporting. The end result was not journalism, but nothing more than bad gossip.

It was a frustrating day on Twitter
Sharing the blame, however, are all of the gullible idiots on Twitter who mindlessly re-tweeted the bad reports. They are the kind of morons who lack any critical thinking abilities and are too lazy to take a moment to confirm something they see online.

Okay, but WHICH "local news sources?
They're the kind of fools who just love bad gossip and eagerly pass it along. Dozens of people were tweeting the Holiday Inn rumor, with no link to any source. It got so bad that Chicago News Bench tweeted this: "KMOV TV has NOTHING about a "mass casualty" event at a Holiday Inn. PEOPLE, CITE YOUR SOURCES OR SHUT THE F--- UP" (@chinewsbench).

A great post at details the making of the false Holiday Inn mass casualty story:

"Fox News just said on air that earlier reports of casualties at the Holiday Inn in Earth City, MO, were incorrect. Local officials have not received any such reports. The KMOV reporter at the scene is reporting no mass casualties (as reported earlier by Fox News)," notes Ryot.

However, KMOV itself mindlessly passed along Fox's bad story via Twitter earlier.

The "Fire Andrea Mitchell" blog also helped shed light into the darkness: "Despite earlier, unfounded media reports, there are no casualties at Earth City Missouri Holiday Inn.... In other false reporting, there are no people trapped in Busch Stadium....Most of the unfounded reports of mass casualties at Earth City Holiday Inn came from KMOV – the CBS St. Louis station which recently fired Larry Connors for daring to speak out against the IRS on his Facebook page. Yet again KMOV sticks their foot in their mouth."

Screenshot at
"As far as people being trapped under debris at Busch Stadium," says Fire Andrea Mitchell, "KMOV also reported this, but the original false reports came from Accu Weather."

AccuWeather tweeted that "Fans are trapped under debris at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO according to local news sources." Like other idiots, AccuWeather did not say which sources, provided no link, and obviously did no research to verify the supposed tragedy. Perhaps AccuWeather should change their name to "InaccuWeather." Or maybe to something like "AccuWhetherItsTrueOrNot." Or just "Stupid."