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April 18, 2003

CNN Obituaries

The Smoking Gun: Archive

Somebody found the canned obituaries for CNN. It's not a very big deal -- if you're going to be ready to respond to the death of a major figure in near real-time, you have to have the bones of their obituary prepared in advance.

It reminds me of something that happened to a friend of mine while he was an intern at the Miami Herald. At the time, the interim president of the University of Georgia was a former president of the University of Miami named Henry King Stanford.

One day, my friend was leafing through the Herald's news queues, when he discovered an obituary for Stanford. He knew Stanford was on an expedition to Mount Everest over the summer, so he started calling around in Athens to see if he might have died on the trip. (He didn't -- it was a canned obit, like those linked above.)

The next thing you know, the story makes it to the Athens papers, with a "rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated" slant.

Also:

Wired News: CNN Blames Blunder on Human Error

April 18, 2003 in CNN | Permalink

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Comments

some funny things (besides the fact this happened at all):

o they're all dated 2001, ie,not current

o the text of Cheney's is for the Queen Mother -- not him. Amusing in the context of "Queen Consort."

Posted by: paul at Apr 19, 2003 1:00:49 AM