Fail: Lebanese Media Gives Oprah Cancer

So much for credible news reporting.

Our newspapers have a lot on their plates. Not only do they have a pretty screwed up political situation to wrap their heads around, dismal infrastructure to cover (link) and, well, opinions to dish out like aspirin pills, but they also have a need to keep their readers very well up to date with what’s happening and the who’s who of Hollywood and American pop culture.

Al Balad newspaper and Oprah go way back. A couple of years go, they flashed her picture for an article about Opera, the web browser:

Oprah Opera Al Balad

Today, they’re at it again with what can only be considered a hit article at almost 4000 shares: Oprah has cancer. She will be dead in 12 weeks. And all her money is going to her fans.

Those three statements are bold. You’d think one of Lebanon’s leading newspapers would try to go in depth of each and every single one of them. Cancer. Dead soon. You get money, you get money, YOU ALL GET MONEY.

Guess again. The following are screenshots before the likely take-down of the article, along with a picture of Oprah weeping because, you know, she’d likely be sad because she has cancer:

Layalina and Beiruting.com were also quick to jump on the bandwagon. Anything for Facebook likes and website clicks.

A quick google news search of Oprah reveals the following top results:

Oprah

 

You’d think someone like Oprah getting cancer would be top Google news. Anyway, then I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and make sure to include the term “cancer” in my search query:

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 7.38.31 PM

 

The result is even less important news than before, not that the results before were of any importance either.

Lebanese media is going downhill. Even more renowned newspapers such as Annahar have been very prone to ridicule lately. Check the Twitter feeds of all major news outlets and you’ll find stories being flashed around for dogs with elephant trunks, kangaroos fighting, a Polish woman waking up at the morgue after she was thought dead.

You’d think a newspaper like Al Balad would at least make sure breaking such a story would at least involve making sure it exists in American sources. Guess again. I wonder, if our news outlets make such horrendous mistakes covering such obvious news stories, how badly are they handling the very important reporting that needs to take place in Lebanon?

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