For a while Monday, the world was about to end…Well, possibly.
I was unaware of this development, until Technically Incorrect reader Dan Melton sent me a helpful image of an article that appeared Monday on CNN.
It was headlined: “Giant asteroid possibly on collision course with Earth.” We’ve heard this sort of thing before, but more often in Weekly World News…This, however, was CNN. Although it was a part of CNN known as iReport, an area where people post their news and CNN tries to see if some of it is true.
The poster, Marcus 575…insisted: “Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have detected a large object the size of Manhattan possibly on a collision course with Earth. Using their Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE), the 10-mile wide object was found approximately 51 million miles from Earth.”
What might have given the article away was that, in the second paragraph, it mentioned that impact was most likely on March 35, 2041.
CNN has now removed the article. It has added a message that reads: “NASA has confirmed via email that this story is false. A spokewoman (sic) for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory says that the largest object detected by NEOWISE measures 3 km in diameter and poses no risk to Earth.”
In many if not most instances, blogging should not be confused with journalism. Even the PR-as-entertainment-posing-as-news level of journalism practiced on television requires more fact-checking than this.