Tuesday, August 21, 2012

ABC News Retracts Cancer Claim in Director's Suicide

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 26:  (L-R) Directors...(Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)When 68-year-old British-born film and television director/producer Tony Scott committed suicide last Sunday by jumping off a bridge in San Pedro, California, the public wondered what possessed such a Hollywood success story to do so.  ABC News rushed in to provide a possible explanation by attributing to an unnamed source that Scott was battling an inoperable brain tumor.

Vanity Fair, People and the Huffington Post, among other media outlets,  ran with the ABC News scoop. Only it turned out, just as it previously erroneously reported that the Aurora, Colo., movie theater gunman who went on a shooting spree was a member of the Colorado Tea Party, ABC News got it wrong again.

The network has conceded that it was unable to confirm the report that Scott, the director of films such as Top Gun (1986), Crimson Tide (1995), Enemy of the State (1998) and Unstoppable (2010) and of tv hits The Good Wife and Numb3rs, suffered from cancer. Credit Deadline Hollywood for upending the ABC News miscue by reporting that Scott's widow had told police he did not have brain cancer. Scott's brother, Ridley Scott, is also a prominent Hollywood figure who directed Alien and frequently collaborated with his sibling on tv projects.

ABC News has updated its report. The network continues to overlook the third component of the old journalism adage: "Get it first, get it fast, get it right."
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1 comment:

  1. Sadly ironic that ABC is assaulting mainstream media credibility just as political ads are recognizing and incorporating it as their last best bastion of believability. I notice a Chris Cuomo news clip is now part of Elizabeth Warren's TV ad -- a suspension-of-disbelief gambit now migrating into politics.