You Got Punked

Matthew Mills’s story is great example of how the urgency of getting the story out sometimes can compromise the validity behind the story. Matthew Mills, or the 9/11 truther, interrupted the post super-bowl conference to tell the world that 9/11 was perpetrated by the US Government. In an attempt to get the story out as fast as possible, news media outlets found another guy with the same name who pretended to be the truther. Because the news outlets never did any background checks on this new Matthew Mills, he was able to go on air and “perform” as the truther. This not only brings up the question of legitimacy of the media but also the lack of responsibility taking of the media outlets; instead of being ashamed of their weak research team, the producer of WCCO Minneapolis got furious at Matthew Mills for for “punking” them. Media, as this Matthew Mills describes, confirmed the low opinion their audiences had of them.

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One thought on “You Got Punked

  1. When I listened to this story, one of my reactions was “If I worked at that radio station, how would I find this guy in the first place?” I mean they did really screw up, but where do you look, the white pages, facebook? Do these media companies have a super database of information and connections? I think this story only brings up the question of media legitimacy because we for some reason assume that they are always going to get things right. Sometimes when they get things wrong it’s hilarious and I thank the BBC for giving us this laugh – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdyYe7sDlhA

    I don’t think that we’re all gullible, but maybe a little too easily manipulated and not looking at things with a critical eye. Easier said than done of course, it takes a lot of energy to question everything you hear. Plus you probably won’t get invited to dinner parties with that attitude. It’s a tough world out there!

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