Fox News Confuses Osama bin Laden and President Barack Obama, Plus Other News Gaffes Of 2011
There was plenty of news to report in 2011, from the BP Oil Spill to the successful assassination of Osama bin Laden, unfortunately for some news agencies their own gaffes made it hard to remember the news story and easier to remember the mistakes they made in reporting them.
Among one of the most talked about Gaffes was conservative news reporting agency Fox News’ incorrect news ticker following the assassination of Osama bin Laden in which they reported “Obama bin Laden” dead. The agency received a lot of negative publicity from the mistaken which may people believed was intentional after years of Fox News reporters referring to President Obama as “Barack Hussein Obama” in an attempt to attach his middle name to Islamic extremist groups.
Right behind Fox News was NPR’s Twitter account and other agencies who mistakenly reported that Gabrielle Giffords was killed from a gunshot wound to the head. Giffords is currently at home with her astronaut husband Mark E. Kelly and she has since promised a return to politics as her progress continues to improve.
In Ireland the Irish Daily Mail reported that a missing university student had been found dead in a river, it turns out that their report was false and because it undermined search efforts they were banned from the University.
One of the most hateful mistakes, which was intended as a positive sentiment came from Lilith Magazine (An Independent Jewish Women’s Magazine). A writer for the publication meant to write “I wish the world would stop hating Jews” but instead wrote “I wish the world would stop having Jews.” The publication of course apologized right after they wiped the egg from their faces.
In another “oops” moment against President Obama Mark Halperin (A top Editor at Time) was suspended from MSNBC when he outright called President Obama a “dick” during a live airing of “Morning Joe.” Here’s the Halprin video:
In yet another Fox News slipup the network included a picture of Barack Obama above the Mitt Romney name, claiming he had 17.2% of the Iowa GOP Caucus vote for the 2012 primary election. Here’s a shot of that video (I personally like that they then called it “real clear politics”):
Local paper the Greenville News also have an unfortunate mistake when an Associated Press article published in the paper had the word “Fuck” added to the article. It should be noted that the four letter word did not appear in the original article and must have been added by someone at the paper.
In one of the silliest and dirties gaffe’s of 2011 the Willoughby News-Herald sent out a friendly reminder to their readers to prepare for daylight saving time by remember to “turn your cocks back.” As my wife points out they may all live on farms with roosters who need to be quite for an extra hour each day.
In another attack against President Obama Hank Williams Jr. was appearing on the Fox News morning show Fox and Friends when he compared President Obama to Hitler. Williams was reflecting on a golf match between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner when he said, ”It would be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu.” ESPN suspended the singers popular Monday Night Football song and then dropped Hank Williams Jr. and his song all together.
Finally, Sarah Palin just months before Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head showed a map of Giffords district with a guns crosshairs over Giffords’ congressional district. While some liberal journalists blamed Sarah Palin for the shooting she quickly pointed out that there it was ridiculous and there was absolutely no evidence linking her to the crime,she then called out the media for “blood libel.” Unfortunately Palin didn’t realize that “blood libel” is a common anti-Semitic slur referring to Jews murdering Christians. Palin has never fully recovered from that round of ignorance.
In some cases it’s a simple slip of the tongue, in other instances it’s a frustrated politician, anchor or reporter, whatever the case may be we found media gaffes all over the place in 2011 and if you continue to look around you’ll find dozens, perhaps hundreds of more examples. It’s human to error, some of those errors are just funnier or more shocking than others.
What is your favorite media gaffe of 2011?