Popular morning show Fox & Friends issue an apology Monday after mistakenly posting a graphic which seemed to imply that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had passed away.
“We need to apologize,” co-host Steve Doocy said, according to the Wrap. “A technical error in the control room triggered a graphic of Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a date on it. We don’t want to make it seem anything other than ― that was a mistake. That was an accident. We believe that she’s still at home recovering from surgery.” “We apologize, big mistake,” added co-host, Ainsley Earhardt.
In an email, a Fox news spokesperson told Yahoo Lifestyle that the mistake was “a technical error that emanated from the graphics team.”
Many on Twitter came to the defense of Fox, explaining that advanced obituaries are the norm. “Honestly, I believe this is a mistake. Every channel likely has a similar graphic ready to go, as ghoulish as it is,” tweeted Sean Marotta. “Yes, every news source has a complete obit on RBG ready to go,” added Carl Cecere. “That’s not because they’re chomping at the bit for her to die. It is because she is old and her death, whenever it happens, will be huge news.”
Honestly, I believe this is a mistake. Every channel likely has a similar graphic ready to go, as ghoulish as it is. It's not unheard of for a newspaper or TV station to accidentally publish a prewritten obit.
— Sean Marotta (@smmarotta) January 21, 2019
While others made light of the situation (“It’s a dream of mine to be honored before I’m dead,” one person tweeted) others condemned Fox for what they called an unforgivable error. “Fox news you are disgusting,” wrote one Twitter user. “RBG deserves more than ‘ooh sorry — control room error,’ wtf does that mean. The control room doesn’t run itself.” “The deplorables wishing #RuthBaderGinsburg dead,” tweeted another. “The tweets are disgusting. #RBG”
@FoxNews YOU ARE DISGUSTING. RBG deserves more than “ooh sorry – control room error” wtf does that mean. The control room doesn’t run itself.
— lois mcginnis (@lolokest) January 21, 2019
Still another corner of the internet, perhaps unsurprisingly, used the image as fuel for a growing conspiracy (one that — to be sure — has no basis in fact) that RBG has in fact passed away.
As a side-note: Fox & Friends might well have done this by accident, but if you stroll over to Alt-Right/QAnon Twitter you'll see that this is flaring up their running conspiracy theory that RBG has been dead for a while but everyone's keeping it secret because…reasons. https://t.co/7PTVUEuoc3
— Matthew Chapman (@fawfulfan) January 21, 2019
The 85-year-old, who was confirmed to be “doing well” just six days ago, was hospitalized in November after fracturing three ribs. The incident reportedly led doctors to discover two malignant cancer nodules on her lungs, which were removed in December. She has been recovering at home since, forcing her to miss multiple days of oral arguments.
In an interview with CNBC, a cancer doctor at Mt. Sinai confirmed she’s recovering at a normal pace. “I think a lot of people are getting scared because they are concerned about the balance of the court, but I’m confident she’s not going anywhere,” Raja Flores, the chief of the division of thoracic surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York told CNBC on January 9. “She’s going to be back on the court.”
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