May 4, 2015

After breathlessly reporting that there had been a second shooting in Baltimore, Shepard Smith took to the airwaves to retract that story.

Fox News made a major oops on Monday afternoon, and not of the usual Fox News kind. This wasn't a partisan lie about Obamacare or anything like that. No, a Fox reporter claimed to have been an eyewitness to a police shooting that did not happen. According to Fox's Mike Tobin:

"I was getting ready to do a live shot for my shift ... I was sitting in the car, scribbling on my notes for the next live shot, and he ran right in front of us," Tobin said. "I never saw the individual turn and do anything I would consider an aggressive act, but we did see the officer draw his weapon and I counted one gunshot."

But I guess this is why eyewitnesses aren't the be-all and end-all of investigating and prosecuting crimes:

"What's happened is we screwed up what it sounds like," [Fox host Shepard] Smith said. "I can tell you one thing, Mike Tobin would never — I've been through this. Mike Tobin thought he saw somebody get shot. And there was a gun. And there was a patient on a stretcher. And there was a woman who said she saw the cops gun him down and there's gonna be violence and all the rest of that. And what we have is nothing."

All of those things might be true, but it just proves how easy it is to get the story wrong in the heat of the moment. There's a time where the 24-hour real time news cycle fails. This is one.

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