I have been completely saddened by the death of actor Heath Ledger. But I have also become completely INFURIATED with the mainstream news media, particularly at the NY Times, and their inability to report this story properly.
I heard about the death when many people did, around 4:50pm yesterday when I overheard some male co-workers talking about Heath Ledger movies. I asked, “Why are you listing out Heath Ledger movies?” They replied, “Because he’s dead.” “He’s not DEAD!,” I scoffed. But they insisted, “No, he just died.” I immediately went to Google and did a news search for Heath Ledger–and there was the horrible truth–stories announcing the death of the Australian actor.
I found the one story that I thought would be the most accurate–the New York Times “City Room” blog. I’ll write more about this later, but over the next 2 1/2 hours I would see drastic changes to the stories, the removal of “facts” and complete sections re-written with every refresh.
At one point the Times blog led with the “fact” that the apartment that Ledger died in was owned by diminutive Mary-Kate Olsen, which turned out to be completely false. Where did I found out the inkling that the Mary-Kate angle was untrue? On TMZ.com for god’s sake!
Now an Australian paper is reporting nothing about the masseuse angle, but instead saying that the housekeeper was at the apartment “to fix some lightbulbs” and let herself in–consequentially finding Ledger’s dead body.
Reports are now leaning toward an accidental death, instead of the previous reports that the death looked like a suicide. While the NY Times and other pubs once said that Ledger’s body was found with pills scattered about his body–now reports say that was not the case–pills were found in various locations in the apartment (like the bathroom), but not out of their packages or bottles.
Puts a totally different spin on the story, doesn’t’ it?
What kind of world do we live in where I cannot trust the NY Times, but TMZ seems to have the most accurate information on a death story. You would think that the NY Times would have a good homicide or crime reporter to cover this–to get real facts and do real reporting.
Yes, I realize that it’s the NY Times BLOG, but it’s still the NY Times, I would have thought them better than the rest.
I am horrified and disturbed by the amount of misinformation that has been reported about Heath Ledger’s death. Seriously, why can’t those reporting the story get it straight before unleashing false rumors out into the world. I’m sure there are still people out there who think that Mary-Kate Olsen was somehow responsible for Heath Ledger’s death.
JOIN ME IN VENTING YOUR ANGER AT THE NEWS-REPORTING MEDIA RIGHT HERE.