We’ve all heard the term “Not The Onion” used to indicate that an outrageous online story is actually true, but what if it’s so bizarre you still don’t trust that it’s not The Onion? The liberal but usually reliable Huffington Post reported yesterday that CNN had won an award for its coverage of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370, possibly into a black hole. (And no, the term “zombie plane” isn’t our invention, but CNN’s.)
In about an hour the Huffington Post issued a correction, clarifying that the award was for coverage of the downing of flight MH17 over Ukraine. In a press release on the CNN blog, the cable network announced that it had been awarded the prize for best live television journalism by the Association for International Broadcasting for its MH17 coverage. But it was the Huffington Post’s initial story that burned up Twitter.
Elizabeth Landers is a news assistant at CNN, and even she retweeted the bogus version of HuffPo’s story while getting the facts straight in her tweet.
Congratulations on the award, CNN. And if there were a prize for excessive investigation of zombie planes sucked into black holes, we’re sure you’d win that too.