Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Media Reports Miracle Mine Rescue -- Then Carries the Tragic Truth

Another stellar performance from the Entrenched Media.

NEW YORK In one of the most disturbing and disgraceful media performances of this type in recent years, television and newspapers carried the tragically wrong news late Tuesday and early Wednesday that 12 of 13 trapped coal miners in West Virginia had been found alive and safe. Hours later they had to reverse course, often blaming the mix-up on "miscommunication."

For hours, starting just before midnight, newspaper reporters and anchors such as Rita Crosby interviewed euphoric loved ones and helped spread the news about the miracle rescue.

Newspaper Web sites announced the happy news and many put it into print for Wednesday right at late deadlines. The Washington Post story by Ann Scott Tyson, which appears on the front page, opened: "A dozen miners trapped 12,000 feet into a mountainside since early Monday were found alive Tuesday night just hours after rescuers found the body of a 13th man, who had died in an explosion in an adjacent coal mine that was sealed off in early December."(snip)

Anderson Cooper, the CNN host, ripped the coal company at 3 a.m. for not correcting the wrong reports for so long, but did not explain why CNN went with the good news without strong confirmation.

"Disturbing and disgraceful" have become the rule rather than the exception.

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