via Media Bistro : Early this afternoon, Fox News prematurely pronounced the Pope dead. "At 1:23 p.m., Fox News Channel anchor Shepard Smith reported
March 31, 2005

via Media Bistro : Early this afternoon, Fox News prematurely pronounced the Pope dead. "At 1:23 p.m., Fox News Channel anchor Shepard Smith reported that the pope had died. At least initially, he did not cite sources," the AP reports.

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FNC viewers could hear a producer yelling "the Pope is dead." (Side note: Who was the producer?? Shep then tossed to a correspondent in Rome, who said the reports were not confirmed )

An Fox News insider has outed the "Pope Dead" producer as Rachel McEntee. Her voice was heard on the translator's open mic in the audio booth this afternoon. McAntee is an "amateur who doesn't belong anywhere near this big of a story," the insider told TVNewser. The FNCer added that no one is holding Shep accountable for the mistake, because he handles breaking news constantly, and was put in an "extremely awkward position" after McEntee's frantic voice was heard on the air...

(Update)-James Walcott saw it too: The Lord Is My Shepard Smith

Fox News didn't even wait for the Pope to die to start politicizing his death. Based on an erroneous report from Fox's sister network Sky Italia, Shepard Smith announced that the Pope had died and began eulogizing him, the eulogy ending with a tribute to the Pope as a symbol of "moderation and conservatism." ...read on

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