Goof: TV news program runs fictitious explanation of photographs featuring a tiger and piglets.
Origins: One of the concepts readers new to our site often have difficulty assimilating is that “reported in the news” does not necessarily mean “true.” They’ve been inculcated (as have most of us)
with the idea that news is, to paraphrase
failed to adequately research key details, sloppily passed along an urban legend as a real occurrence, or even run with a story despite having done no investigation at all. Sometimes news is far more about providing entertainment than it is about relaying factual information, and over the past few months some of our readers have been confused by an example of that last point.
In mid-2006, we wrote an article about some amusing pictures of fur-wrapped piglets dressed as tigers that had been circulating via e-mail. The pictures were genuine, but the back story that accompanied
were surprised to find weeks later that CBS affiliate KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh ran the same item as a straight news story. Did they uncover something we missed? Apparently
zoo officials), or looked for any confirmatory information whatsoever. Everything in their video segment
(since removed) was taken straight from the
News may be transmitted via e-mail, but not everything transmitted via
Last updated: 27 July 2006
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