Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Awesome, media. Thanks. I feel great about this.

Turns out Wikipedia isn't just for that term paper you had to write on the fly because you spent the night before taking bong rips and drinking warm Keystone Light with your buddies.

Now, as if they needed something else to discredit them, the media is doing some last-minute "journalism" through the popular online encyclopedia, and not checking the information they find for validity. Enter Shane Fitzgerald, a 22-year-old student who no doubt would be a friend to tRBT if he were on this side of the pond. Shane decided he was going to try to punk the media. And this little Irish bastard succeeded.
The sociology major's obituary-friendly quote -- which he added to the Wikipedia page of Maurice Jarre hours after the French composer's death March 28 -- flew straight on to dozens of U.S. blogs and newspaper Web sites in Britain, Australia and India. They used the fabricated material, Fitzgerald said, even though administrators at the free online encyclopedia twice caught the quote's lack of attribution and removed it.
"I am 100 percent convinced that if I hadn't come forward, that quote would have gone down in history as something Maurice Jarre said, instead of something I made up," he said. "It would have become another example where, once anything is printed enough times in the media without challenge, it becomes fact."
"I didn't want to be devious," he said. "I just wanted to show how the 24-hour, minute-by-minute media were now taking material straight from Wikipedia because of the deadline pressure they're under."
So what does the media do now? Of course, publish the shit out of stories about the lessons that can be learned; about how great the timing of this was because the media needs to step back and remember why they are there in the first place. Well thanks, media. Thanks for always catching these things late, so you know, we still do shit like this. (If you're a media head and you just clicked this link, fuck you. You checked Wikipedia again.)

1 comment:

  1. blerg argh feh rawrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    this is a shitty profession full of lazy jackasses with no more goddamn sense than god gave a cat.