"Scoop"

04.17.13

CNN Follies

You know by now that CNN reported that a suspect had been arrested in Boston. But then they had to report that they were wrong. There has been no arrest. Twitter, as you might imagine, has been nothing but CNN jokes for the last 90 minutes or so.

This urge to take enormous risks to be first is crazy in this day and age. Let's say CNN had been right. A year from now, who'd know? Some people in the TV news industry, and that's all. Maybe that matters.

But you get something like this wrong, everybody who pays attention to news remembers. Now CNN will live with the memory of this and its horribly wrong call on the Supreme Court health-care decision.

Now you might also ask if even that matters. Who knows. The BBC has been humiliated recently. Allowing a sexual predator to roam unchecked in your midst is a hell of a lot worse than screwing up a scoop. And yet, I still trust what I see and hear on the BBC. A brand is a powerful thing. But CNN's is diminishing a little more with every one of these embarrassing episodes.