Earlier today, I tacked on an update to my post last night on director Tony Scott’s apparent suicide, with a link to an ABC News story claiming that a source told the network that Scott jumped from a southern California bridge after being diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer. At Nikke Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Website, Finke and co-writer Mike Fleming write that ABC News has blown a high-profile Hollywood-related story for the second time in a month:
Tony Scott’s widow Donna has told police that the famed filmmaker/TV producer did not have brain cancer, informed insiders tell Deadline. That makes erroneous this morning’s Good Morning America report that he “had inoperable brain cancer” and quoted “a source close to him”. The news was widely picked up by media outlets globally (but not Deadline) as the reason why Scott committed suicide Sunday by jumping off a Los Angeles County bridge at 12:35 PM. This is the second time in a month that ABC News has erroneously reported on a sensitive news story. During the Aurora movie theater shooting tragedy, ABC News claimed the gunman was a Tea Party member which was not true.
If Finke and her co-author are correct, add ABC’s multiple recent debacles to the numerous blown stories this year from NBC and subsidiary MSNBC, and the over-the-top bias at CNN, and you get the sense that wheels are rapidly coming off old media. And that doesn’t include the numerous miscues from print media.
At the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin decries “Obama’s mediocre outing before the press corps” today. Like the president, the press corps aren’t exactly covering themselves in glory these days.