I took a nap after the morning shift, and watched a few shows when I got up. When I decided to look for a story, one came and hit me in the face, as so often happens. If you’ll recall, I wrote a piece last week about a local Atlanta station running a bullshit story about GamerGate that tied us to the WDBJ shooter. Here’s an excerpt from that post:
Overnight, someone trolled a local news station down in Atlanta, Georgia into running a completely erroneous story tying the WDBJ shooter in with GamerGate. To put it simply, they got trolled. That’s actually a good thing, though. This station proved what we’ve been talking about for a whole year now. So, thanks WSB-TV. Here’s Ian Miles Cheong with more over on Gameranx:
An anonymous man contacted the WSB-TV news station in Atlanta claiming to know the shooter says he played the first-person shooter Counter-Strike with him for over three years in a group identified as GamerGate. They ran with the story (archived link) based entirely on these claims. Their news report was also broadcast on TV.
As we told you then, the station had been very reckless by airing such a terrible lie about gamers. Now, it seems like they agree:
Last Friday we reported on a local man who claimed he regularly talked online with the gunman who murdered a reporter and photographer on live TV in Roanoke, Virginia. He said they got to know each other while playing games online for three years, and the killer, Vester Flanagan, talked about losing his job as a reporter and his anger at former co-workers. The man also said Flanagan, who used the name Bryce Williams on TV, supported the GamerGate community. He showed us a gaming profile for Bryce Williams. We had an onslaught of emails and calls from online gamers saying we’d been duped. Among other things, they questioned that profile. This week we asked a Georgia Tech scientist who is also a gamer to analyze the profile and other screenshots the man showed us. Our expert determined the profile had not been active long enough to support the man’s claim he’d known Flanagan three years. He found problems with other screenshots, enough to conclude the man’s story was not true. As a result we are retracting the story. We apologize for any confusion it caused.
I’m glad to see the station make the right play now. I wont totally ignore what they did last week, but it’s still good to see them make them proper course correction. If only some other outlets had the nerve to do something similar. Instead, they;re rather peddle lies and bask in clickbait cuntery. And that would be fine, if they would just admit what they’re doing. But, they refuse to do so. That would be exposing the con.
Lemme know what you think. I’m about to go game out, since it’s now the weekend. I’ll have some more stories later, as well as a couple of guest editorials. So check back for that if you are so inclined.