Dear News Media:
Before I tell you how pissed off I am that once again, during a national tragedy, you gave out wrong information, which had to be retracted -- I'm talking, of course, about the name of the alleged shooter at the Washington, D.C. Naval Base-- I want to rewind just a bit.
I have been a super HUGE fan of yours my entire life. For 46 years when I wanted to know some things about what's going on in the world, you've been there. When I wanted to know even more things about what's going on in the world, you were there, too. You've been a constant source of information, facts and analysis in my life... On TV, the radio, in print and on the web.
And thanks to you, I'm smarter, more informed and know every single website where I can get bryl cream, large glasses and suspenders. OK, that last one's just thanks to Larry King.
I loved the media so much, when I was growing up, next to my poster of Farrah Fawcett in that red bathing suit... was a similar one of Walter Cronkite in that same red bathing suit.
Of course, like any super-fan, I totally love the work you did uncovering Watergate, the Pentagon Papers, Iran-Contra, Amanda Knox, you know, the big arena anthems. But I also love the ballads -- like Love Canal, BP, Bhopal, Todd Aiken, Fukushima, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Sandy, Katrina, the arrogant, fat French guy who ran the IMF, you know, the important stuff people have stopped talking about, the stuff that when you play it now, people go out of the arena to take a pee.
And because I'm such a HUGE fan... I want you to know that what I'm about to say, I say with love in my heart... because I want people to love you like I love you. I want people to respect you like I respect you. I want people to stop going out to pee when you play the ballads.
So, with that, I say:
Seriously, fucking stop it!
STOP giving us wrong information.
STOP rushing to give us information.
STOP destroying the faith we have had in you.
STOP fucking up.
We are adults. We can wait till you get the facts right. If we wanted to hear someone with nice hair say a bunch of things that sound coherent but are just plain wrong, we'll watch Sean Hannity.
Before the Internet, you media people took your time, you investigated things, you talked to several sources, you made sure you got the facts right. And you almost never retracted anything. Today, you're apologizing more than Anthony Weiner... and you haven't shown anyone your penis.
Yes, we know that your corporate overlords are demanding that you do your work faster and cheaper -- but you are slowly and most assuredly killing the only thing we need from you: accuracy.
Now, get your shit together. Tell your bosses you're going to get it right first before you're first to get it wrong.
Jon Hotchkiss is the creator of the new science series, This vs That. Please follow him on Facebook here, so he can stay in touch.