Tuesday, March 21, 2023


July 4, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

A week after CNN became the first network to report the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Obamacare — but got it wrong — it became the last to report the death of Andy Griffith. According to journalism blogger Jim Romanesko, shortly after each of the major wire services began reporting Griffith’s death Monday morning, citing former University of North Carolina President Bill Friday, CNN reporters received a memo from political reporter Devon Sayers, headed in red letters, “DO NOT Report the death of Andy Griffith at this point CNN continues to confirmation.” Underlined below were the words: “Guidance from CNN National Desk \ Terence Burke.” (Burke is the New York-based vice president of U.S. newsgathering for CNN.) The memo then goes on to name the persons CNN had contacted to confirm Griffith’s death without result. As it turned out, CNN did not feel confident enough to report on Griffith’s death until more than one hour after its rivals did. The irony is that just one day earlier CNN reported that Australian singer Gotye had committed suicide by shooting himself only to have the singer respond via Twitter, “I’m not dead.” Tim Shiel, a member of Gotye’s band, followed up on Twitter: “It saddens me to confirm the news of @gotye’s passing — he suffered cardiac arrest while flying a unicorn over a double rainbow.”