Lucky for me, I was busy all day and did not learn about this until it was over with.
ABC News reporter Brian Ross put out a report this morning with most of the crucial details wrong – causing the Dow 30 Industrials to drop 350 points. The false report was broadcast as an interruption to regular scheduled programming, as well.
Seven hours later, Ross issued a weak clarification; in fact, his report should have been retracted as much of it was wrong.
The take away from today’s media blooper is as we know, the first message people hear is the one that will stick with them, even if later corrected or changed. From a propaganda perspective, Ross’s erroneous report was quickly shared on social media and led to investor panic.
As of tonight, many people are still promoting the original false story on social media.
From my understanding (late now), the errors were quite significant and this clarification does not adequately respond to the financial harm caused by the errors. Update: ABC News eventually apologized for “serious error” and suspended the reporter, without pay, for 4 weeks and the reporter has been banned from ever again reporting on topics related to President Trump.
It is frightening that a reporter can cripple financial markets by issuing poorly done news reports (editors?). Combine a bad reporter’s mistakes (he has a history of doing this) with social media, and you end up with mass panic. Propaganda messaging can, as in this example, act surprisingly quickly and with extraordinary effects.