Oops! Fox, NBC Falsely Report Sick Congressman’s Death

If you were watching Fox News’ The Real Story today, then you learned that Rep. Bill Young (R-FL) died at the age of 82. NBC’s Luke Russert tweeted that the veteran congressman had died, as well.

He’s actually alive, though he is pretty sick.

Young has served in Congress since 1971. He announced on October 9 that he would not run for re-election in 2014 (effectively retiring), citing poor health and a desire to spend more time with his family, reports Reuters.

He had been in the hospital recently, recuperating from a back injury at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and things seem to have taken a turn for the worse.

According to a statement from the congressman’s staff:

“U.S. Rep. C. W. Bill Young’s condition turned for the worse overnight and he is gravely ill. His doctors say his prognosis is guarded.”

Fox News host Gretchen Carlson falsely reported that Young had died near the top of her daytime program Thursday. Two segments and nearly 20 minutes later, Carlson issued a retraction on-air, reports Mediaite.

She said that she was “sorry to report” that her team had bungled the story, and confirmed that Rep. Young is still alive. “Hopefully that won’t happen again,” she said.

Russert may have actually beaten Carlson to the punch, as well. Ten minutes before her on-air report, he tweeted that the congressman had died.

russertHe corrected almost immediately:

russertAs of late this afternoon, Young was still reported as “gravely ill.” He is the fourth-longest serving current member of the House of Representatives.