Monday, December 10, 2007

Trump Leaves $10,000 Tip, Fools Fact-Checkers Everywhere

See a story in the past few days about Donald Trump denying that he left a $10,000 tip at a restaurant?

You may have. It ran everywhere, including on FOX News and the Huffington Post.

Well, it turns out the the story was a big 'ol prank thought up by -- and every single news outlet, MSM or not, ran the sucker without doing the kind of reporting that legitimized the story.

"How many people get on the front page of Fox News with a story that doesn't contain one single ounce of truth?" Derober co-founder John Resig said of the hoax [via Romenesko].

I don't know if that's actually the best way to go about it, John, but I get what you're saying.

The Los Angeles Times took the high road in their article, lambasting, Defamer, E! Online and the Huffington Post as a rampant blogosphere that can't rein in the fun (or facts). But I would certainly say that a few of those publications lumped into the "blogosphere" are, in fact, not blogs at all. Guess what: they're mainstream publications.

So now what's the excuse? That crazy blogosphere reputation again? No, I don't think so, David Sarno and the LA Times. I think that's a thinkly-veiled potshot. And man, it's mean.

Some were quick to defend their actions, including one Arianna Huffington:

"Let's remember, this wasn't a phony story about aluminum tubes put on the front page of the New York Times; this was a fun, positive story" that passed the sniff test, she said, because it "fit the Trump MO of tireless self-promotion."

Yeah, but the bottom line is, no one checked it out. But Huffington's got a little more room, since she doesn't have the audience of a broadcast news outlet. But FOX?
Lucy, you got some 'splaining to do.

It might be a cute story, but the bottom line is, it's false. And if John Resig hadn't opened his mouth, I bet a few more mainstream publications would have taken the bait.

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