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I thought I would have some morning fun – yes, this is just fun – with The Daily Caller.

The online site accuses (see the article below) both CNN and Fox of “misreporting.”  We did not misreport.  It turns out that it is The Daily Caller’s reporting that is a tad bit “misreporting.”  We were also not fooled – it was the University that was fooled.

  Background: Last night a Virginia College got hoaxed about a gun man on campus and immediately sent out a notice warning its students.  That happened during the 10pm hour.  We correctly reported the information the University released – that a gunman was on the campus.   Apparently CNN reported this, too.

Today the Daily Caller, apparently thinking it caught the Fox and CNN in error (misreporting) misreports about our last night’s reporting (and I assume CNN’s reporting.)   I have posted The Daily Caller article below and have highlighted in red the part I am having some fun with.

1/ First, the media was not ‘fooled.’  The University was fooled.  We reported what the University was telling its community.    Fox had no interaction or call from the person creating the hoax (and I assume neither did CNN.)  Had we had direct interaction with the person causing the hoax, it would be correct to say we were fooled but we did not have that direction interaction.   It was the University that was fooled.

2/ We did not “misreport” last night.   We correctly reported  that which the University was telling its community – the hoax.  We did not “misreport it.”  Our report turns out to have been incomplete (that is true of all breaking news since you get it in pieces) but the additional information — that the University later determined it was the subject of a hoax, that it was fooled — became available later.

Ordinarily there is room for a good discussion about how much time a news organization should spend checking and rechecking sources — but when a University believes a ‘gunman is on campus’ and urgently tells its community and, in light of what has been going on lately in this nation at schools,  a news organization is wise to immediately (and correctly) report it.    It is better to warn and be wrong (or incomplete)…than to wait and risk having sat on the ability to warn and have tragedy strike.  It is the media’s responsibility – I think – to warn when danger may be afoot.

What do you think?

And by the way, I am just having some fun with this…this is not a big deal at all.  And yes, of course, I am fully capable of doing exactly what The Daily Caller did.  I am just having some fun with this.

PS – the headline describes us as the eager media – and I detect a tone of derision (I could be wrong.)  I would hope we would be eager to report a gunman on the loose.  I would not want to take my time.


Gunman hoax terrifies campus, fools eager media

2:40 AM 01/24/2013

Robby Soave



A college student sent the small community of Wise, Virginia into a panic Wednesday night by falsely reporting the existence of an active gunman on campus.


The hoax, which affected the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, was then misreported by multiple national news outlets, including CNN and Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren.


The student called 911 shortly after 9 p.m. to alert authorities to the presence of a gunman on campus, prompting police to initiate a search for the suspect. The university’s website was temporarily replaced with a message to students: “The college is currently in a lockdown due to an alleged gunman on campus. Find a safe place and stay put! Lock all doors until further notice!”