The media doesn't always have time for such time-consuming practices as "fact checking" and "thinking about this for a moment to work out if it sounds idiotic." News reporting is a fast-paced and hectic industry -- if you take 30 seconds longer than your competition to report on a story, then your readers will wonder what the hell they're doing reading your website instead of theirs.
The only way to avoid this, if you're a journalist, is to immediately scream every piece of news that seems vaguely plausible. Unsurprisingly, bullshit frequently slips through, like the news that ...
5The iPhone 5 Would Have Hologram Projection
We have to admit, consumer technology is moving so fast that it's hard to know what not to believe when it comes to pre-release rumors -- Gizmodo could claim that the next iPhone will suck text messages right out of your brain and we'd have to at least consider it plausible. So when a Fox News New York affiliate heard that the iPhone 5 was going to come with a holographic keyboard and projector, they figured, "Sure, why not?"
The reports of the iPhone's hologram technology came complete with a video that showed lasers spewing out of the phone to manifest images onto thin air, like a tiny, more advanced R2-D2.
But Really ...
Don't bother whipping out your iPhone 5 and searching for the hologram button. The features that Fox excitedly announced would be included on the current generation of Apple's flagship device came from a fake video. It wasn't even a hoax meant to suck in gullible journalists -- it was just mocked up by an animation studio to show off their CGI chops.
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"Journalism means never having to say you're sorry. Or fact checking."
So how in the hell could reporters in one of the world's largest media markets be that hilariously wrong about a story that big? After all, it's not like it's that hard to find out what features will and won't be available on one of the biggest product launches of all time.
Well, it has to do with the fact that even though it's a New York media outlet, it's still a local news station, and they tend to suck at covering local news with any depth due to cuts in newsroom staff. So when a local news broadcast wants to do an easy story on the people lining up for the new phone, they probably just have an intern Google "iPhone 5" and grab the first clip they see. Quickly throw a sentence into the reporter's narration about what the video is showing, and bam! You've set the stage for some very confused and angry Genius Bar visits.
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"Right now it's just us at this desk. If you don't want your shattered scrotum joining in, give me the holophone."