Why Would Someone Pretend to be a News Source?
For a couple of days this past Mid-Week, I was following the Timmothy Pitzen Saga on the Daily Mail UK. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I feel dirty reading the Daily Mail, but it is arguably the best tabloid in the entire world. Want salacious news fast mixed in with Gossip and Bikini Pics? There is no site better than the Daily Mail.
The problem with the Daily Mail is that it plays fast and loose with its reporting. I guess I should be more upset about their accuracy rate, but at the end of the day, I rationalize their existence under the parameters of Free Speech. They are what they are. A tabloid.
Then after days of tabloid reporting at the Daily Mail, CNN hops on the Timmothy Pitzen bandwagon and splashes 5 stories of updates across their front page like they had uncovered an exclusive story. The Pitzen story was far from complete.
Then, almost immediately after CNN got involved, you found out that some dude named Brian Rini was pretending to be Pitzen, verified by DNA evidence.
You know who's pissed? CNN. They went with a story before they knew all the facts. In their minds, they were duped. In reality, CNN was playing fast and loose with their journalism, not unlike a tabloid. Once all the facts were in, then they did a nice job of reporting and sourcing, but their post-fact anger was misdirected.
CNN is acting like Brian Rini personally tricked them. If CNN stuck to the basic tenets of Jounalism, the nation wouldn't know who Rini was. Let's review these tenets, shall we?
Using the Fake Timmothy Pitzen Case as an example, let's see how CNN is doing on the journalism front.
1) CNN reported the truth. After they reported a hoax.
2) CNN's first loyalty is to its shareholders. (If you're screaming at the monitor "Welcome to America," well, I don't know what to tell you.)
3) CNN's discipline of verification was a little late.
4 & 5) Not really applicable. Yes CNN was an independent monitor of the subject. But CNN is reporting on a hoax. They weren't reporting on a person in power.
6) CNN got rid of their Comments Section a long time ago. Unless you take to Twitter, good luck engaging CNN in a public forum.
7) I was interested in the hoax reporting. It was thorough and relevant. Reporting on a hoax that you shouldn't have been exploiting in the first place.
8) The story was not proportional. It was one of the top stories of the day. An adult pretending to be a kidnapped kid shouldn't be the top story of the day. Don't get me wrong, it was A story, it shouldn't have been THE story.
9) I think personal conscience was expressed here.
Again, you would like to think that CNN holds itself up to a higher standard than the Daily Mail. They made a regional story a national story, then were peeved that they were tricked.
This is the screen shot of the stupidest walrus I have ever seen. I snatched it from the Daily Mail today. Make sure you click on the picture and read the entire story. Apparently this walrus found itself on a cliff and, not having any safety equipment on, fell to his death.
The story is about the ramifications of global warming in the Arctic. I'm not saying whether Global Warming is fact or fiction, what I'm saying is that global warming didn't have anything to do with this specific walrus' death. The Daily Mail is speculating global warming. I am speculating that this walrus was so dumb, you could argue he was suicidal. Maybe a hot, She-Walrus dumped him right before the Documentary crews got there.
As a free speech site, our angle is that you can speculate about this walrus' death all you like, just don't present those theories as facts. What does this guy have to do with the Pitzen Case? Let's wait two or three days and see if CNN picks up this random story and proclaims "Global Warming Confirmed." The difference between the tabloids and the real news seems to be blurred....
Editor's Note: It's not cool to make fun of walruses.
Update April 8, 2019:
According to the DRUDGE REPORT
via The Daily Mail