Dewey Defeats Truman?2006 Version
When CNN, MSNBC and Fox News say a thing is so, it is so. The people believed them. The governor of West Virginia believed them. They all fed off each other and reinforced each other.
And the AP and newspapers all over the country went with the story.
And they got it wrong. It was lousy, sensation-seeking, incompetent reporting by the cable guys that picked up on a false rumor, and ran with it.
And two days later, CNN president Klein said, "This situation points to the strength of TV news coverage because we were able to correct as better information developed."
This emphatically does NOT point to the strength of TV news coverage.
It shows off its sickness.
These people broke the hearts of a West Virginia community and the nation.
Klein should be fired along with Cooper, Cosby and Hemmer. Let them be replaced by competent, experienced people.
Take a Look at the Front Pages
One of the most interesting Web sites for a news junkie is "Today's Front Pages" (http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/).
Every day you can see the front pages of 506 newspapers from around the country and across the world with hyperlinks to the individual papers' own Web sites.
On the morning following the tragedy, I looked at the front pages of every major newspaper in the United States and noted which papers got the story dead wrong. Not included in the list were those headlines with qualifications, such as "12 minors reported saved" or "Families report miners alive."
These headlines were unambiguous. Twelve miners were alive.
I run the list here for two reasons:
1. If you see your hometown paper, you might drop the editor a note suggesting that the fact-checking department be replaced and asking him why he or she is still employed.
2. I want it on the record that this was not a little giggler by the Chicago Tribune—as in "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN" (even though that paper got the Sago mine story dead wrong).
- Alice Roosevelt Longworth
- Allen G. Breed
- Anderson Cooper
- Bennett K. Hatfield
- Bill Hemmer
- Bobby Bowden
- Donald S
- Franklin Roosevelt
- Gloria Vanderbilt
- Harry S
- Jack Lessenberry
- James Herbert
- Jeff Gammage
- Joe Paterno
- John F. Kennedy
- Jonathan Klein
- Larry Eichel
- Rita Cosby
- Theodore Roosevelt
- Thomas E. Dewey
- Truman Whistle-Stop Donald S. Dawson