Congressman Bill Young NOT Dead, Fox News Corrects On Air

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Gretchen Carlson wrongly reported that Bill Young died and then apologized for that wrong report. (Credit: Politico/Fox News, screenshot)

Fox News’ Gretchen Carlson wrongly reported on air that Rep. Bill Young died Oct. 17. Carlson said on air, in part: “Congressman Bill Young has passed away. The Florida Republican was 82. He served a remarkable 22 terms. Announced just last week he would not seek reelection next year.”

Young was “gravely ill” but was still alive at the time of the Fox News report. (The Associated Press reported Oct. 18 that Young has since died.)

In an on-air correction, Carlson said, according to Politico:

“Alright, I’m really sorry to report that earlier we did report that Congressman Bill Young had passed away.  We are now told that is not the case and we, of course, sincerely apologize for that error. Hopefully that won’t happen again.”

Fox News also acknowledged its error in an online news report about Young. Fox News wrote: “Several news outlets, including Fox News, initially reported Thursday afternoon based on sources that Young, 82, had died.”

Congressional newspaper The Hill suggested that the Fox News source for the false death news was Florida blogger Peter Schorsch.  “A Florida blogger named Peter Schorsch, whose handle is @SaintPetersblog, said he had confirmed Young’s death, the Hill reported, noting that shortly after Schorsch’s tweet, “Fox News reported Young had died.”

At least 3 other reporters wrongly tweeted about Young.

MSNBC’s Luke Russert tweeted “Rep. Bill Young (R-FL) has died, later to tweet an apology.





NBC News’ House of Representatives producer Frank Thorp also tweeted Young died, according to Politico. iMediaEthics didn’t see any tweet on Thorp’s Twitter feed as of Oct. 18 that said Young was dead, so Thorp likely deleted the inaccurate tweet. He tweeted an apology.



NBC News Capitol Hill Correspondent Kelly O’Donnell also apologized for tweeting about Young’s death.


Separately, Politico’s report on Fox News’ error also had its own error and correction. Politico originally reported “that Fox News had not corrected the error on air.”  Politico’s correction reads:

“Correction: An original version of this report stated that Fox News had not corrected the error on air. Carlson issued a correction at 2:23 p.m, approximately 12 minutes after the initial report.”

Hat Tip: Media Bistro’s Morning Newsletter

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Congressman Bill Young NOT Dead, Fox News Corrects On Air

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