darts and laurels

Darts & Laurels

Racist jokes and fake quotes
September 3, 2013

DART to KTVU, the Fox affiliate in Oakland, CA, for its infamous broadcast of bogus, racist names for the pilots involved in July’s Asiana Airlines plane crash. According to the station’s apology, KTVU made a phone call to the National Transportation Safety Board to confirm names, including “Sum Ting Wong” and “Bang Ding Ow,” but somehow never sounded them out–except on the air, of course.

DART to the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Independent, The Week, Business Insider, and others for publishing a fake quote about vaccines and autism attributed to Jenny McCarthy. The View host definitely has some wacky ideas about vaccines, but she did not say we should think of the disorder as “a fart” and vaccines as “the finger you pull to make it happen.” The quote originated as a joke photo caption on satirical site, The Superficial.

LAUREL to Reporting on Health, a website for journalists and civilians that collaborated with eight California news outlets to report the undercovered story of “valley fever,” an airborne fungal disease affecting thousands of people across the Southwest. Their reporting drew the attention of The New York Times, which subsequently published a long feature on the plight of the afflicted. (Alas, the Times forgot to credit its source.)

Edirin Oputu is a former assistant editor at CJR. Follow her on Twitter @EdirinOputu