As everyday members of the public, we (should) all know not to blindly believe everything we read, particularly on Twitter. Journalists on the other
hand have an obligation
to be far more discerning than we and unfortunately, in their haste, they're often times not living up to that
In regards to yesterday's terrorist attack at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre, a number of outlets got things wrong. Here are two:
First up is The Daily Beast
. It appears they fell for a tweet from a fake Reuter's account, @ReutersBrk (now suspended):
Based on this tweet, mistakenly believed to have been from Reuters, TBD published the (misspelled) names of the two Alt-Right personalities in
Police said two suspects were in custody after the attack. They were identified as white supremacists David M. J. Aurine and Mathieu Fornier,
according to Reuters. This is not the first time the mosque has suffered from a hate crime. In July, a pig's head was left at the mosque.
Horrible, unprofessional, wreckless and wrong. While this sort of careless error is inexcusable, at least they had the integrity to correct their
mistake as soon as they were made aware, updating the story to remove the names and to include the following
Editor’s note: This piece originally stated that Reuters reported the names of the assailants. However, the information came from a Reuters
parody social-media account. We regret the error and have deleted the information.
Next up we have Fox News. Fox News is by far the largest cable news network. They've dominated the market for a decade and a half and for the last
several years have had more viewers than CNN and MSNBC combined. They're empire extends into talk radio and like the others, onto the web. Here we can
see a tweet from Fox News that's still up
As we all know now, the man referenced in the Fox tweet was revealed to have been a witness. Why Fox ignored the very existence of the other man who
had been detained and who we now know is the suspected terrorist, is anyone's guess. They also ignored the reports from witnesses claiming that the
attacker had a thick Québécois accent. Let's be perfectly honest, they were eager to drive a narrative — to provide fodder for the confirmation
bias of their audience — to the point of misrepresenting essential facts. Fox has since updated
but as noted above,
the tweet remains.
I'm giving TBD an F for reporting and a B+ for handling their mistake. Fox on the other hand gets a D for both.
edit on 2017-1-31 by
theantediluvian because: (no reason given)