Fox & Friends, the Fox News morning show, on Monday morning briefly aired a graphic with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with the years 1933-2019, implying that Ginsburg had died. According to Mediaite, the graphic aired for a few seconds as the show was coming back from commercial, coming into a segment unrelated to Ginsburg, in which a college professor complained of liberal bias on college campuses.
The show’s hosts apologized later on the show, calling the error a mistake that had been made in the control room.
“We need to apologize,” host Steve Doocey said. “At the beginning of Ainsley’s interview with the professor, a technical error in the control room triggered a graphic of Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a date on it… that was a mistake, that was an accident, we believe she is still at home recovering from surgery.”
“We apologize, big mistake,” Ainsley Earhardt added.
Television news organizations offer prepare obituaries and graphics, in order to prepare for their coverage once those people pass away. But occasionally, the work is published early by accident, such as when Bloomberg News accidentally published an obituary of Apple cofounder Steve Jobs in 2008, three years before Jobs’ actual death.
Ginsburg, who underwent surgery in December to remove cancerous nodules from her lung, has been recovering at home while continuing to work during the current Supreme Court term.
“Her recovery from surgery is on track. Post-surgery evaluations indicate no evidence of remaining disease, and no further treatment is required,” a Supreme Court spokesperson said earlier this month.
Last week, a website called the Santa Monica Observer reported that Ginsburg had been diagnosed with pneumonia, and was “fighting for her life.” However, the report was completely unsourced and at odds with all other reporting on the state of the justice’s health, and came from an outlet with a history of not sticking to the facts. The Observer had claimed that it “broke” the news of Ginsburg’s cancer diagnosis last year, but in fact it published a report about the justice having cancer months befor she was diagnosed, and did not accurately report what type of cancer she had.
The 85-year-old Ginsburg, a longtime liberal lion of the court, has emerged in recent years as an unlikely icon among yong people. The justice was the subject of a pair of movies in 2018, the documentary RBG and the biopic On The Basis of Sex.
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