Australian Today Show Busted Staging News
This is a few days old, but significant.
An Australian version of the Today Show was interviewing a military commander in East Timor. Predictably, the empty-headed host was bantering about "how dangerous everything is, why do you need soldiers behind you if it is so safe, yadda, yadda, yadda." There was one small problem - the soldiers had been asked to stand behind the commander by the segment's producer. The general, to his infinite credit, busted the ambush by revealing that the soldiers had been placed there by the show's "stage manager."
This is similar to the this staged news gaffe on the Today Show here in the US. Just another reminder to not believe anything you see on TV as fact. Sorry - that's just common sense that you should have learned when you were eight or younger. View the video here (Real Player) or here (WMP).
Question every news organization. Question authority. News organizations, as aggregate groups of like-minded individuals, realize that their coverage is both influential and instaneous. When they make mistakes (or worse, make up or stage news), they are not quick to admit it and are even less likely to run corrections or retractions. Don't be fooled into thinking that TV news has your interests at heart - they have their own. They are unelected, unaccountable (except to their audiences) and often unfettered by facts or reality. Believe what you see on TV at your own risk.