The [...] video, titled “SANDY HOOK FATHER OWNS CONGRESS,” has been viewed more than 2.4 million times since it was published to YouTube on Sunday. In it, Bill Stevens offers a fervid defense of gun rights, citing his constitutional right to bear arms and telling Connecticut lawmakers: “I will tell you here today, you will take my ability to protect my Victoria from my cold, dead hands.”
On Sunday, roughly a week after Stevens spoke at the hearing and the same day the clip in question was posted, the Examiner reported matter-of-factly that Stevens’ daughter, Victoria, “attended Sandy Hook Elementary school, scene of the mass shooting in December.” The following day, Brietbart.com stated plainly that she had “survived the crime at Sandy Hook.” On Tuesday, the Daily Caller did the same, explaining that she had “survived the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.” We heard a similar story from Townhall.com, as well as from a spate of other conservative sites.
The problem, as you’ve no doubt guessed by now, is that Stevens is not actually the father of a Sandy Hook student. Victoria is a fifth-grader at Reed Intermediate School, located about a mile or so from the elementary school that was the scene of the tragic mass shooting. In fairness to Stevens, the misinformation was not his doing.
He did set the story straight. But the misinformation was carried as the news spread from outlet to outlet. Even if corrections were printed, the page views on those are much less than the original mistaken info. Is the answer to update articles LIVE with corrections? Probably better than this and easy enough to do with online content, especially if the correction is shown!
Another problem I’ve been seeing ubiquitous on the web is bad titles of pieces. This article says that some titles, including that of the video, suggested that this testimony was in front of Congress, not the Connecticut law body. This is so common. The article cites correct info but the title is off the mark giving people the wrong impression. They are influenced by the title! It needs to be correct just as much as it needs to be attention grabbing.
In addition to the previous MSNBC video fiasco, all this contributes to the mess of misinformation currently circulating in the media about Sandy Hook. Once it’s out there, it’s so hard to reign in all the crap to find the truth. *Sigh*